In Ohio, an individual commits a crime of domestic violence if they cause harm to a family member or a current/former member of their household. A conviction on a domestic violence charge can lead to severe penalties, including high monetary fines, jail time, and probation.
A judge may also grant a protective order that prohibits the accused from contacting family members and, in some cases, their children. A conviction can also lead to collateral consequences, including significant harm to one’s reputation in the community.
In some situations, domestic violence charges result from misunderstandings or miscommunication between two household members. At other times, one of the parties may file domestic violence charges out of revenge – or to try and gain the upper hand in a contentious child custody proceeding.
If you are currently pending a criminal charge for domestic violence, you must seek defense representation immediately. The experienced Akron Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and review some potential legal options with you.
For example, we can raise a solid legal defense to your domestic violence charge in court or negotiate a fair plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case. Our team will do everything possible to secure the best possible result in your criminal legal matter.
Please contact our firm for a free legal consultation with an experienced Akron domestic violence defense attorney. We can discuss your arrest, charges, and possible outcomes of your case.
Why Choose Us to Represent You Against Your Criminal Domestic Violence Charge?
A conviction on a criminal domestic violence charge in Ohio can lead to severe penalties. Therefore, you want the best possible team of criminal defense attorneys in your corner to advocate for all your legal interests.
The knowledgeable Akron domestic violence defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can review the circumstances of your arrest with you and develop a plan of action for achieving a favorable result in your case.
Our attorneys have a combined 70-plus years of experience successfully defending individuals against their pending criminal charges. In addition, three of our legal team members were former prosecutors. As a result, we know how prosecutors build their cases and the types of evidence they use to secure a conviction against a criminal defendant. We use this knowledge to our advantage when representing and defending our clients.
In a criminal domestic violence matter, we can investigate the circumstances surrounding your case and uncover potential reasons or motivations for false allegations.
We can also examine any physical evidence the prosecution plans to introduce, identify additional evidence that might refute the alleged victim’s version of events, and challenge the evidence the prosecution intends to present against you.
Our legal team can also present you with a straightforward assessment of your criminal case and your chances of success.
Finally, we will explain your legal rights and options and guide you to make informed and intelligent decisions throughout your case. For example, we can raise a robust legal defense at a criminal bench or jury trial in your case or negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case.
Our office is conveniently in Downtown Akron at 520 South Main Street, Suite 2511, Akron, OH 44331. Let us secure the best possible result in your pending domestic violence case.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in Ohio?
Many criminal offenses may comprise a domestic violence charge, including assault and battery. Therefore, the potential penalties that an individual may face for a domestic violence conviction will depend on the specific criminal charge that they are facing.
Additionally, for you to even receive penalties on a crime of domestic violence, the state prosecutor must first satisfy their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and secure a conviction against you.
If the prosecutor cannot meet even one legal element of the underlying criminal charge, they should not obtain a conviction against you.
In that instance, the court may dismiss your entire criminal case.
If the court does convict you, you may face significant penalties:
- If an individual receives a conviction on a first-time offense that involves a threat of physical force, they can incur second-degree misdemeanor penalties, including a maximum of 30 days of incarceration and a monetary fine of $250.
- A first-time offense that involves some degree of physical harm can lead to first-degree misdemeanor penalties, including a maximum of 180 days of incarceration, along with a maximum of five years on probation and a monetary fine of $1,000.
- If an individual receives a conviction on a first-time offense that involves an attempt to cause physical harm to someone else, they can receive first-degree misdemeanor penalties, including a maximum of 180 days in jail, a maximum of five years of probation, and a monetary fine of $1,000.
- A second or subsequent domestic violence offense is a Felony. Upon conviction, the accused can receive a maximum prison sentence of eight years.
- If the accused receives a conviction for a first-time protective order violation, they can incur first-degree misdemeanor penalties, including a maximum of 180 days in jail, a maximum of five years on probation, and a $1,000 monetary fine.
- Finally, a second or subsequent protective order violation can incur fifth-degree felony penalties, including a maximum of one year in jail and a maximum monetary fine of $2,500.
In addition, a domestic violence conviction may prevent the accused from working in certain occupations. You cannot expunge these convictions.
A domestic violence offender may also experience numerous collateral consequences upon conviction. First, they may have trouble getting admission to an educational program at a vocational school, college, or university. Additionally, if they currently receive scholarship funding or other financial aid, their school may cut off that funding.
In addition, a convicted domestic violence offender may lose the right to spend time with certain family members, including their children. This is especially true if they are subject to a protective order.
A convicted domestic violence offender may also have difficulty finding a place to live or finding/keeping a job. Finally, domestic violence offenders will likely suffer harm to their reputation in both their personal and professional communities.
If you recently sustained a conviction or guilty finding on a criminal domestic violence charge, our legal team can represent you before a judge at your criminal sentencing hearing. We can argue for the lightest possible penalty on your behalf and emphasize your potential lack of a criminal record or connections to the community. We can also work to lessen or entirely eliminate the collateral consequences you may experience following your domestic violence conviction.
What Is a Domestic Violence Charge in Ohio?
Domestic violence encompasses several criminal offenses in Ohio.
Under Ohio law, domestic violence refers to harming a family member or household member.
A household member may include:
- Your former spouse or current spouse
- A romantic partner who resides with you
- A foster parent
- A natural parent
- A child
- Someone who is related to you by marriage or blood
- Some other family member who lives with you
Also, for purposes of domestic violence law in Ohio, a family member is an individual with whom you are currently in a co-parenting relationship.
Under Ohio criminal law, you can face a domestic violence charge if one of these individuals accuses you of taking one or more of the following actions:
- Causing severe physical harm to them in a reckless manner
- Knowingly bringing about or attempting to bring about some type of physical harm
- Making a threat of force that causes the alleged victim to believe that you will bring about imminent physical harm to them
If you are currently pending one or more domestic violence charges, seek the experienced defense you need immediately. The Akron domestic violence defense attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC can review your domestic violence charge with you and develop a plan of action for your case.
What Is a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
If a current or former household member accuses you of domestic violence, they may petition the court for a protective order. As part of a protective order, a judge may order you to have no contact with the alleged victim (the subject of the protective order). Depending on the circumstances, a judge may also order you to have no contact with your minor child or children.
The term no contact refers to contact of any sort, including in-person and electronic contact, such as by phone call, text message, email, or other forms of electronic communication.
Our Akron, Ohio, Law Office is Prepared to Serve You
Potential Legal Options for Your Domestic Violence Case
You may have several legal options if you are currently pending domestic violence charges in Akron.
First, we can raise one or more legal defenses on your behalf at trial. Although, as the criminal defendant, you do not have to establish a legal burden of proof at trial (or even testify on the witness stand at all), we can advance a solid legal defense on your behalf.
A successful defense may prohibit the state prosecutor from totally satisfying their legal burden of proof. As a result, the court may dismiss your domestic violence case.
Some of the most common defenses that individuals may raise in response to a domestic violence criminal charge include:
- Self-defense, where the accused individual uses a proportionate amount of force to what the alleged victim used against them, and where the accused was not the initial aggressor
- Motive, where the alleged victim had a reason to accuse the defendant of domestic violence, such as a divorce situation where the alleged victim wants child custody
- Alibi, where the accused individual can demonstrate that they were somewhere else at the time the alleged offense occurred
Our legal team can determine if you may raise one or more defenses at your criminal court trial. If so, we can advance the defense on your behalf and pursue a complete dismissal of your pending case.
We can negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor as an alternative to taking your case to trial. As part of a plea deal, a state prosecutor typically agrees to a period of probation or a reduced criminal charge in exchange for a guilty plea from the accused person.
If the accused individual accepts the plea deal and pleads guilty to a criminal offense, they give up certain legal rights, including their constitutional right to a trial by jury, as well as their right of appeal. In addition, the accused individual must put their plea deal on the record in open court and inform the judge they agree to the deal freely, willingly, and voluntarily.
Our legal team can determine if accepting a plea deal from the state prosecutor is the best option for your case or whether you should take your case to trial and advance a solid legal defense.
Steps to Take Following an Arrest on a Domestic Violence Charge
Following an arrest on a domestic violence charge, invoke your right to the presence of legal counsel during questioning. That way, the police officer has to stop questioning you until you consult an attorney.
In addition, retain copies of important documents, including police reports and charging documents. Finally, call us to represent you as quickly as possible so that we can appear on your behalf in your criminal case.
Contact an Experienced Akron Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today
At Patituce & Associates, LLC, our experienced attorneys can handle every step of your criminal case and pursue the best possible result. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an Akron domestic violence defense lawyer, please call us at (440) 641-4434 or contact us online right away for the strong defense you need.
Patituce & Associates, LCC – Akron Office
520 S Main Street, Suite 2511
Akron, OH 44331