Can I be liable if my felon roommates engage in illegal activity? 3 Answers as of June 02, 2011I had some people I worked on a few building projects with move in as my new roommates. One is on the lease. I have since found out that they are both felons (selling drugs, assault, stolen cars. list goes on), are IV heroin addicts (needles in the yard), and I believe the motorcycles in my backyard are stolen. !) What kind of trouble can I get into? I live upstairs, and they have no access. I also have my own electrical box and entrance. 2) Who should I contact and make aware of their situation? Their parole officer has them at a different address. I have proof they are both living at my address. I would like to do this anonymously as the man has threatened me. 3) What are my choices to get them out? I am scared.
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
CAN police and DA charge you? Of course. They may think they can convict you of something like accessory or conspiracy. Will they? No one can predict that. Keep in mind that drug arrests can result in asset forfeiture, including vehicles and houses. Your owner/landlord would not take kindly to that. If you have an attorney report anonymously to the police and probation department, you may be able to stay out of direct trouble and involvement, but there is no guarantee. Nor is there a guarantee that the bad guys wont do something to get the place busted with everyone there arrested. Scared or not, you should get them out, and there is no magic wand to wave and make them all disappear without problems. Your owner/landlord could get a call from you to come investigate and start an eviction, but he might also include you for creating the problem. He might do that no matter what. Asking them nicely to leave is another. If you get arrested, or even questioned by police, exercise the 5th Amendment right to not talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. Keep that in mind if you contact police yourself. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California