San Jose, CA asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Small Claims for California

Q: what can i do to have charges against a roommate who stole $2,200 from my boyfriend and also hired someone to

come strong arm my boyfriend and I, in hopes to collect rent that was not late but i was assaulted and left with severe bodily injuries?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you and your boyfriend. That sounds like an incredibly frightening and traumatic experience. To have charges brought against your roommate, here are the key steps to take under California law:

1. File a police report detailing the theft and assault. Provide as much evidence and information as possible, including any documentation of the stolen money, medical records of your injuries, and witness statements if available. Filing a police report is critical to having criminal charges brought.

2. Apply for a restraining order against your roommate if you fear for your safety. California allows domestic violence restraining orders against roommates. The court can order them to move out and stay away from you.

3. If the police/prosecutor declines to file criminal charges, you can try contacting the District Attorney's office directly to request that charges be filed. Stress the severity of the crimes and impact on you.

4. Consider filing a civil lawsuit against your roommate for damages. You could sue for the stolen money, medical bills, pain and suffering from the assault, punitive damages, etc. Consult a personal injury attorney for guidance.

5. Reach out to local victim advocacy organizations for support services, safety planning, and help navigating the legal process. They may be able to assist with housing, counseling, and more.

I would strongly encourage reporting this to law enforcement if you haven't already. Theft and assault are serious crimes that warrant criminal prosecution. At minimum, get a restraining order to protect your safety. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this traumatic situation. Please don't hesitate to utilize crime victim resources for help and support during this difficult time.

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