Domestic violence is a serious offense that comes with severe consequences that could follow you around for life. If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence in Dayton, you should immediately retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows what it takes to protect you.
What is Domestic Violence?
According to Ohio Rev. Code Ann., §2919.25, domestic violence involves knowingly or recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family member or other household member. Depending on the severity of the offense, domestic violence resulting in harm can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony.
A family or household member is defined as any of the following:
- A spouse, former spouse, or romantic partner with whom the offender has lived for at least five years
- The child of the offender
- The parent or foster parent of the offender
- The parent or child of the offender’s spouse, former spouse, or romantic partner
- An extended family member of the offender or his or her spouse, former spouse, or romantic partner
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Ohio
The penalties for a domestic violence conviction vary depending on the severity of the crime. Convicted individuals will face the following punishments in Ohio:
- 1st Degree Misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine
- 3rd Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
- 5th Degree Felony: Up to 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine
- 4th Degree Felony: Up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine
- 3rd Degree Felony: Up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine
Furthermore, a convicted individual may be required to pay restitution to the victim, which may include reimbursement for things like property damage, medical bills, and the cost of counseling.
In addition to these penalties, a convicted individual may be placed on probation and/or ordered to perform community service. A conviction, especially one for a violent crime, could harm a person’s reputation in the future and limit their job and housing prospects. Felony convictions can also result in a loss of the right to own or carry firearms, vote, serve as a juror (for seven years), or hold public office.
Possible Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges
Just because you have been charged with domestic violence doesn’t mean you are guilty. Here are some possible defenses to domestic violence accusations:
- False allegations. Some individuals may make false allegations out of spite, particularly in contentious divorce or child custody cases.
- Self-defense. A defendant may have been acting in self-defense to protect themselves or their children.
- Lack of proof. A defendant cannot be convicted of domestic violence if the prosecutor can’t meet the requisite burden of proof.
With so much riding on avoiding a conviction, it is imperative that you put a qualified Dayton criminal defense lawyer on your side to challenge your charges. With nearly 30 years of combined experience and a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist (NBTA) on staff, you can trust that we have the knowledge, skill, and resources to intelligently and strategically defend you during this difficult time. We understand that the legal system can be frightening, which is why our goal is to guide you through the process and put your mind at ease.
For a confidential evaluation of your case, please contact us as soon as possible. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.