Being accused of domestic violence can be one of the toughest accusations a person will ever face. Because of the relationships involved and the complexity of the laws, domestic violence cases can be wrought with emotion and stress. Criminal courts can be extremely tough on people convicted of domestic violence-related charges.
The courts want to know that no one will be hurt and because of this, the system can seem overbearing and unfair for someone charged with the offense. Many minor disagreements, even when absolutely no one is hurt, can result in a domestic violence arrest.
What is Domestic Violence under Ohio Law? When talking about domestic violence it is important to note that the offense does not have to occur between spouses. The term “domestic” applies to any of the following relationships:
· Someone you share a child with
· Any family member (sibling, aunt, etc)
· Parent or child
· Live-in girlfriend/boyfriend
· Relatives by marriage More than likely, you were immediately arrested on the day of the incident.
In most cases, after being granted bail, a temporary restraining order will be put in place to ensure the person charged does not have contact with the alleged victim.
The penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction depend on the circumstances of the incident.
If You are Accused of –
· Attempting to cause or causing bodily harm to a person defined in the domestic violence statute, you will face misdemeanor of the first degree which carries a potential sentence of up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
· Threatening or causing a family or household member to believe that physical harm will be caused, you will face misdemeanor of the fourth degree which carries a possible penalty of up to 30 days in jail and $250 in fines. If the incident that led to your arrest resulted in more serious injuries to the alleged victim, you could be facing additional felony assault charges. Depending on the extent of the injuries, assault carries up to 8 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. If convicted, in addition to jail time and fines, the judge will likely order you to attend anger management classes and/or counselling.
· If you have previously been convicted of Domestic Violence and are charge with another, you will be charged with a felony offense.
If you are accused of domestic violence, let Attorney Walter J. Benson defend you and navigate the complicated criminal justice system for you.