Domestic violence is often a heated, ugly, unplanned situation that simply went out of control. At times, the accusations are completely false, baseless, and are one party attempting to gain an advantage over the other party. One person may even be trying to get revenge upon another for completely petty reasons.
At Patituce & Associates, our Cleveland domestic violence lawyers are prepared to defend you from such allegations or accusations. Led by former prosecutors and with more than 70 years of combined legal experience, our criminal defense attorneys understand how family crime cases are brought against defendants and how to build compelling defense strategies that yield positive results.
Even if the odds seem stacked against you, we’re confident in our ability to help. Call 440-471-7784 for a free consultation with our Cleveland domestic violence lawyers today!
“Joe Patituce and his team worked tirelessly in my defense. Joe answered all of my questions – and there were many – in a timely manner, many within minutes. Joe was able to find errors in the prosecution’s evidence and get my case plead down significantly. If you need a strong defense, hire Joe Patituce.” – Dan
What Is Domestic Violence?
Three different types of conduct committed against a family or household member constitute domestic violence under Ohio Revised Code § 2919.25.
Domestic violence offenses under this statute include:
- Knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm;
- Recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical harm; or
- Using threats to make a family or household member believe that they are in danger of imminent physical harm
At Patituce & Associates, we know there are two sides to every story. Our Cleveland domestic violence attorneys are ready to listen to yours. After we have an account of the incident from your perspective, we will begin building an aggressive defense to fight your charge.
Family/Household Members in Ohio Domestic Violence Cases
Under the domestic violence statute of the Ohio Revised Code, a person may be accused of domestic violence if they allegedly caused or attempted to cause harm to a family or household member.
Family and household members are defined as the following individuals who live or lived with the alleged offender:
- Spouse, person living as a spouse, former spouse
- Parent, foster parent, or child of the alleged offender
- Any person related by blood or marriage to the alleged offender
- Parent or child of the alleged offender’s spouse, a person living with them as a spouse, or a former spouse
- A person related by blood/marriage to the alleged offender’s spouse, a person living with them as a spouse, or a former spouse
- Another natural parent of the alleged offender’s biological child
Ohio Domestic Violence Penalties
For most cases, domestic violence charges start off as a misdemeanor. However, depending on your prior history with the law, they may become a felony.
A first offense involving a threat to use physical force is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by:
- 30 days in jail
- A $250 fine
A first offense involving physical harm or the attempt to cause harm is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Court costs
- Up to 5 years of probation on top of the jail time
On top of the criminal penalties that are imposed, the convicted will have several civil types of penalties. For example, they can never have possession of a firearm, cannot expunge the charge, and may be subject to a civil protection order.
Finally, domestic violence charges escalate depending on the number of priors that the defendant has. A second, third, or fourth domestic violence can be a felony resulting in up to 8 years in prison. And if you are in the military, or are a police officer, a conviction will end your career.
Our Cleveland domestic violence attorneys protect clients from these charges by always preparing our cases from the start as if we are going to go to trial. We understand the consequences associated with these allegations. However, many defense lawyers do not.
Having an experienced lawyer by your side to defend you is critical for ensuring that you have all of the guidance and support that you need during this time. Without a reputable attorney, you may be risking your future and your reputation.
Restraining Orders & Domestic Violence in Ohio
One of the unique things about a domestic violence matter is that the alleged offender can suffer sanctions before the criminal case has concluded. That is because the alleged victim–or a person working on their behalf–can seek a protection order.
The individual seeking the order must file a petition with the court having jurisdiction over the case. Within 24 hours after receiving the request, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether to grant the order. The motion may be approved if the court feels that the alleged offender poses a risk to the alleged victim.
The protection order will contain conditions, including:
- Prohibiting the alleged offender from going to the alleged victim’s home, school, or place of employment
- Ordering the alleged offender to refrain from abusing or committing any sexually oriented offenses against the alleged victim
- Forbidding the alleged offender from taking or hiding the alleged victim’s companion animal
- Granting possession of a shared home to the alleged victim
- Temporarily restricting the alleged offenders’ parental rights and responsibilities and allocating parenting time
- Prohibiting the alleged offender from possessing firearms or ammunition
The court can also issue an ex parte order of protection. This means that the alleged victim’s request may be granted without the alleged offender being in court to present their side of the story. If an ex parte order is issued, the court must hold a hearing the next day with the alleged offender present.
A temporary domestic violence restraining order is valid until either:
- The criminal case is complete; or
- A permanent protection order is granted.
When a domestic violence protection order is in place, the alleged offender must be mindful of who they communicate with, where they go, and what they do. A violation of any of the conditions is a crime.
A first violation of a restraining order is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by:
- Up to 180 days of incarceration
- Up to $1,000 in fines
A second or subsequent restraining order violation is a fifth-degree felony, punishable by:
- Up to 12 months of imprisonment
- Up to $2,500 in fines
Can Cleveland Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?
No. Since domestic violence is a crime, the victim is not the one who issued the charge and therefore doesn’t have the authority to drop the charge. Once you have been charged, the case has been taken over by the prosecutor’s office.
They take all domestic violence charges seriously and ensure that the victim and the victim’s rights are protected. It is ultimately up to the prosecuting attorney assigned to your case to determine if they will proceed with the charges against you.
How Can a Cleveland Domestic Violence Lawyer Help?
Having an experienced Cleveland criminal defense attorney by your side to protect and defend you is important for ensuring that you have all of the support and guidance that you need during this challenging time. Don’t go through a domestic violence charge on your own. Let our attorneys help protect your rights, your future, and your reputation.
A domestic violence lawyer can help you in the following ways.
Providing You With Objective Legal Guidance
Having objective legal guidance during this time is critical for ensuring that your rights and future are protected. It’s important that you know all of your legal options, and the best route to take. Any decisions that you make will directly impact your case, and your lawyer will provide you with clarity on the best way to proceed.
Offering You Emotional Support
Having an experienced lawyer by your side during this time is important for ensuring that you have all of the support and emotional reassurance that you need during this difficult time.
Collecting Important Evidence
Your lawyer will have worked with many other individuals facing a similar struggle to you. He or she will be able to collect the necessary evidence to support your case and defend you.
Investigating Your Charges
Your lawyer will thoroughly examine and investigate your charges. This is important to ensure that you have a realistic evaluation of the case prospects and that you are guided on the best route to take.
Protecting Your Future
Without a reputable lawyer by your side, you may be risking your future and your reputation. Your attorney will be by your side to guide and support you through each step of the process and help prevent you from making any costly mistakes.
Effectively Representing You in Trial
If your case gets taken to court, having a reputable lawyer to represent you is extremely important. Your lawyer will effectively negotiate your sentence and help to protect your rights and your future.
Call for Your Free, Confidential Consultation with Our Cleveland Domestic Violence Lawyers Today
Most people, even some defense attorneys, fail to recognize that when you are accused of committing this crime, it has to be handled appropriately.
Only with experience do attorneys discover that these cases are all too often the result of raw nerves, tough situations, or events outside the control of the client. That is why some attorneys will try to force the alleged victim into recanting his or her story about what really happened.
Our Cleveland domestic violence lawyers know that there is no point in trying to get a witness to change their story. Rather, our job is to defend our client and prepare the family for reconciliation after the case is over.