Domestic violence charges are often the result of misunderstandings, false allegations, or situations that have been blown out of proportion. At Patituce & Associates, LLC, our Columbus domestic violence defense attorneys know all too well how these situations can get out of your control and take on a life of their own. We are here to aggressively defend your rights and minimize the impact these allegations have on your future. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (440) 427-3860.
How Our Lawyers Can Help with Your Domestic Violence Case
When you are facing serious criminal charges, it is essential that you work with a lawyer who can employ effective strategies to defend you. The legal team at Patituce & Associates, LLC can provide you with the support and guidance you need during this ordeal. Our Columbus domestic violence defense attorneys lawyers can help by:
- Investigating the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault – We know that domestic violence charges are often made after an alleged victim makes a false allegation or exaggeration. The other party may be trying to get a leg up on a child custody case or seeking revenge for something that went wrong in a romantic relationship. We will seek to uncover the reasons for such false allegations.
- Thoroughly investigating the case – We will look for objective evidence to establish things happened as you reported by examining the physical evidence, looking for photos or videos of the event, or speaking to potential witnesses.
- Providing you with an objective perspective about your case prospects – At Patituce & Associates, LLC, our Columbus criminal defense attorneys know how important it is that you receive practical legal advice and an honest assessment of your case. We can explain your legal rights and options so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.
- Representing you during plea negotiations – We can help you honestly evaluate any plea bargains and discuss the potential consequences, good and bad, of accepting a plea deal. We will focus on protecting your future.
- Representing you at trial – If your case goes to trial, we will zealously represent you in this forum.
Don’t leave your future up to chance. Work with a reputable lawyer who knows how to win.
How Does Ohio Define Domestic Violence?
Ohio law defines domestic violence as any of the following to a family or household member:
- Knowingly causing or attempting to cause them physical harm
- Recklessly causing serious physical harm to them
- Making threats of force to knowingly cause them to believe you will cause them imminent physical harm
Household or Family Member
The terms household and family member have specific meanings. These are any of the following individuals who live or have lived with you:
- Your spouse
- A person living as a spouse
- Your ex-spouse
- Your parent
- Foster parent
- Your child
- Someone related to you by blood or marriage
- Your spouse’s parent, child, person living as a spouse, former spouse, or person related to your spouse by blood or marriage
The definition also includes a person with whom you share a co-parenting relationship.
In addition to potential criminal consequences, domestic violence allegations can result in a protection order against you, which can seriously impact your life. If the court grants their request, the order can contain limiting language that affects you, including orders to:
- Not go to their home, school, or place of employment
- Relinquish possession of a shared residence to them
- Relinquish possession of firearms or ammunition
- Not abuse or commit any sexually-oriented offense against them
- Not take or hide their companion animal
- Limit their contact with children they share in common
The protective order will be ordered temporarily. However, it can become permanent after the criminal case is complete or a permanent protection order is granted.
Can the “Victim” Drop the Charges?
Once a criminal case is initiated, it is out of the victim’s hands. The prosecutor has a duty to uphold the laws of the state and to seek justice for the good of society. Therefore, the victim does not have the authority to drop charges once they’ve been filed. Nonetheless, the prosecutor may consider whether they have a winnable case if the victim is not cooperating.
Potential Penalties for Ohio Domestic Violence Crimes
The potential penalties you can face for an Ohio domestic violence offense depend on the circumstances and whether you have any prior domestic violence history. Here are some of the potential penalties based on cases our firm often handles:
First Offense Involving Threats to Use Physical Force
A first offense involving only threats and the actual or attempted use of force is a second-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
First Offense Involving Physical Harm or the Attempt to Cause Harm
A first offense involving physical harm or an attempt to cause physical harm is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. This offense can result in up to six months in jail and five years of probation. The defendant can also be ordered to pay court costs and a fine of up to $1,000.
Domestic violence convictions are not eligible for expunction.
Subsequent Domestic Violence Offense
Beyond the first conviction, the offense can be classified as a felony resulting in up to eight years in prison. A conviction of this nature can prevent the defendant from working in certain lines of work.
First Violation of a Protective Order
The first violation of a protective order is a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to six months behind bars and $1,000 in fines.
Second or Subsequent Violation of a Protective Order
A second or subsequent violation of a protective order is a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines.
Contact Our Columbus Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers for a Confidential Consultation
At Patituce & Associates, LLC, we understand how important it is to get ahead of these types of charges. We can mount a vigorous defense on your behalf. We prepare every case as though it was going to trial, which helps us whether it does or we are able to reach a favorable plea agreement. Contact our Columbus domestic violence defense lawyers today.