Domestic Violence Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
Ohio state and local laws treat domestic violence separately from other forms of assault, but the penalties for each crime can be equally severe. Cases involving charges of threatening, injuring or sexually assaulting a person close to you can also be emotionally difficult and leave you dealing with consequences that extend well beyond the courtroom. Seeking the assistance of a Leist Warner domestic violence lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, is essential if you want to mount defense. The risks to your freedom and reputation from an accusation of committing a crime against your loved ones are too great to face without having an experienced defense attorney by your side.
How Ohio Defines Domestic Violence
Section 3113.31 of the Ohio Revised Code specifies that victims of domestic violence can be the accused person’s spouse, ex-spouse, parent, child, blood relative, or in-law. Victims’ advocates such as child services investigators and individuals with power of attorney for disabled adults can also file charges of domestic violence.
The statute defines the crime of domestic violence as:
- Attempting to cause or recklessly causing bodily injury;
- Placing another person by the threat of force in fear of imminent serious physical harm or committing a violation of section 211 or 2911.211 of the Revised Code;
- Committing any act with respect to a child that would result in the child being an abused child, as defined in section 031 of the Revised Code;
- Committing a sexually oriented offense.
Three important explanations are needed here. First, subsection (b) concerns stalking and violating protective orders, which state lawmakers call “aggravated trespass.” Second, under subsection (c), a parent or guardian can lose custody of a child even if no conviction occurs. Last, showing that an injury to a child occurred as the result of an accident does not automatically prevent a conviction.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Ohio?
Police expect to make an arrest when called to a home or other location to investigate or prevent domestic violence. Some Ohio cities, such as Cincinnati, mandate arrest once law enforcement officers arrive. State code indicates that the “primary aggressor” be taken into custody, but it is not unusual, for example, for both a husband and wife engaged in a physical confrontation to get placed under arrest until a clearer picture of what happened can be pieced together.
Depending on the identity of the victim, the extent of the injury, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, and other aggravating or extenuating circumstances such as a pregnancy, a domestic violence charge can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor convictions can result in criminal fines as high as $1,000 and a jail sentence of as long as six months. As a third-degree felony, the most severe criminal penalty for a single count of the worst kind of domestic violence is 36 months of jail time and a $10,000 fine.
Orders to pay financial restitution to the victim and to restrict personal interactions and communications may accompany either misdemeanor or felony convictions.
Contact a Columbus Domestic Violence Lawyer
The keys to successfully defending yourself against a domestic violence charge are knowing the law, collecting and closely examining all the evidence, and responding appropriately to each legal action taken by a prosecutor. Columbus-based Leist Warner criminal defense lawyers may be able to provide all of those services for you. To request a no-cost case evaluation, call us at (614) 222-1000 or use this form to get in touch through our website.