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Domestic Violence Attorney Dayton, OH

Domestic Violence Charges Ohio

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, seek the assistance of L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC. Domestic violence charges could damage a person's reputation and limit his or her employment opportunities. Employers may hesitate to hire someone with a history of violence. Our Dayton domestic violence lawyers can help defend you against this serious charge and work toward a more positive outcome. Your reputation and future are extremely important to us.

Share the details of your case during a free consultation by contacting us at (937) 685-7006. We serve Hamilton, Brown, Allen, Clermont, Warren, Montgomery, and Butler counties.

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 or household member. Depending on the severity of the offense, domestic violence can be 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

Domestic Violence Court Processes in Ohio

After an arrest for domestic violence, an individual will go through several processes as they attempt to resolve their case.

The legal proceedings may include the following:

  • Arraignment: This is the initial hearing the individual will attend. During the arraignment, a judge will explain the charges and ask for a plea. They may also set bail. Because of the seriousness of these matters, the judge will consider several factors before setting bail, such as whether there is a history of domestic violence, whether the alleged offender suffers from a mental health issue, and whether they pose a threat to others.
  • Protection order hearing: The alleged victim may file a motion for an order of protection, which, if granted, would prevent the offender from having any contact with the victim or others. The court may issue a protection order and set bail as a condition of pre-trial release. If the alleged offender violates the protection order, they could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Pre-Trial: During this phase, motions are filed, and the defense and prosecution may enter into plea negotiations. Domestic violence matters pose serious risks to others, which means it’s unlikely charges will be reduced or dropped or any diversion programs will be offered.
  • Trial: The case will progress to the trial, where both sides present evidence to support their arguments. The State has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged offense.
  • Sentencing: If a judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, they will be sentenced. In other words, the judge will determine what penalties to impose.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Ohio

Domestic violence is a serious offense that comes with severe consequences that could follow you around for life. The penalties for a domestic violence conviction vary depending on the severity of the crime.

You could be penalized with the following:

  • A restraining order
  • Expensive fines
  • A criminal record
  • Community service

The criminal charges and punishments are tied to the specific conduct involved in the offense.

Domestic violence crimes are charged and penalized as follows:

Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor

  • Charged when a person:
    • Knowingly makes a family or household member fear immediate physical harm
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 30 days in jail and/or
    • Up to $250 in fines

Third-Degree Misdemeanor

  • Charged when a person:
    • Knowingly places a pregnant family or household member in fear of immediate physical harm
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 60 days in jail and/or
    • Up to $500 in fines

Second-degree Misdemeanor

  • Charged when a person:
    • Has 1 prior domestic violence conviction and knowingly threatens immediate physical harm against a family or household member
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 90 days in jail and/or
    • Up to $750 in fines

First-Degree Misdemeanor

  • Charged when a person:
    • Knowingly causes or tries to cause harm to a family or household member,
    • Recklessly causes serious physical harm to a family or household member, or
    • Has 2 prior domestic violence convictions and knowingly makes a family or household member fear immediate harm
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 6 months in jail and/or
    • Up to $1,000 in fines

Fifth-Degree Felony

  • Charged when a person:
    • Knew the family or household member was pregnant and either:
    • Knowingly caused or threatened to cause physical harm, or
    • Recklessly caused serious physical harm
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 12 months in prison, with a mandatory minimum of:
    • 6 months, or
    • 12 months if the offender caused serious physical harm to an unborn or termination of pregnancy; and/or
    • Up to $2,500 in fines

Fourth-Degree Felony

  • Charged when a person:
    • Has 1 prior domestic violence charge and:
    • Knowingly caused or attempting to cause physical harm to a household or family member, or
    • Recklessly caused serious physical harm to a household or family member
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 18 months in prison, with a mandatory minimum of
    • 6 months, or
    • 12 months if an unborn was seriously physically harmed or a pregnancy was terminated because of the conduct; and/or
    • Up to $5,000 in fines

Third-Degree Felony

  • Charged when a person:
    • Has 2 prior domestic violence convictions and either:
    • Knowingly caused or tried to cause harm to a family or household member, or
    • Recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member
  • Penalties include:
    • Up to 3 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of
    • 6 months, or
    • 12 months if serious physical harm was caused to an unborn or a pregnancy was terminated as a result of the offense; and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines

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.

Experienced. Dedicated. Reliable.

Backed by more than five decades of combined experience, our firm has the insight and resources required to tackle even the most complex cases. Always reliable and dedicated, our firm has earned the respect of our peers and favorable reviews from previous clients. Our legal team benefits from the expert direction of Attorney L. Patrick Mulligan, who is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. When it comes to handling domestic violence cases, we leave no stone unturned in order to determine if the allegations are unfounded or in search of another defense strategy.

Call L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC Today for Guidance

Domestic violence cases require swift and strategic legal action. We encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible for the legal guidance you need to navigate Ohio's judicial system. Should you choose to entrust your case to our firm, you can rest assured it is in good hands.

Contact our firm at (937) 685-7006 for the client-focused advocacy you need in Dayton, OH.

L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates

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  • L. Patrick Mulligan, Esq.
  • Brandon Moermond
  • Lindsay Arway
  • Laura Woodruff
  • L. Patrick Mulligan, Esq. L. Patrick Mulligan, Esq.
    Founder Attorney L. Patrick Mulligan leads the firm with experience, qualification, and passion. As the founder of our firm, ...
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  • Brandon Moermond Brandon Moermond
    Brandon Moermond joined L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC in 2018. Prior to working for our firm, Brandon worked at the ...
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  • Lindsay Arway Lindsay Arway
    Passionate & experienced attorney striving to protect the rights & freedom of her clients. Lindsay Arway joined the team at ...
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    Laura is a graduate of Earlham College, where she actively participated in Model United Nations programs and volunteered with ...
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