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When violence occurs between strangers or people that are outside of the family, such violence is typically categorized as assault or battery. However, when someone makes threats or commits an act of violence against their significant other, child or another family member, it is called domestic violence. Unfortunately, law enforcement and prosecutors may be in a rush to arrest and charge a person who is accused of domestic violence without getting the details straight. This rush can cause innocent people to be arrested and simple mistakes to be blown out of proportion.
At The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC, we defend people across central Ohio who are accused of domestic violence. Our attorneys have more than 15 years of criminal defense experience and are committed to thoroughly investigating client cases. You can talk to a skilled lawyer in a consultation at our Delaware office by calling 740-363-3900.
We understand that you are in a difficult situation the moment you are charged with Domestic Violence. Your reputation suffers immediate harm; you will likely be arrested and placed in jail until you obtain a hearing in Court; you will likely be placed under a Temporary Restraining Order, potentially barring you from contact with loved ones and keeping you from your home.
This will be one of the hardest and most humiliating experiences you will go through in your life. You may be thinking the worst and that you are a “criminal”, but you are still innocent until proven guilty and are entitled to a proper defense. We represent clients in many Domestic Violence cases in Ohio. Many of these cases involve the alleged violence of a boyfriend or husband against a girlfriend or wife, but reverse cases are also just as common. Regardless of the circumstances we can assist you in defending your rights.
The penalties for a DV conviction can be very serious. A conviction will be either a misdemeanor or felony conviction, and can potentially include:
Contact us for assistance in defending your rights if you are charged with Domestic Violence. (740)363-3900
You can be charged with a criminal Domestic Violence if you are accused of an act or threat of serious physical harm against a member of your family or household.
Examples of Domestic Violence may include:
In the State of Ohio several criminal offenses constitute domestic violence, although the specific statutes might not state an individual has committed domestic violence by committing this particular act. For example, courts have determined forcible rape constitutes domestic violence although Ohio Revised Code § 2919.25 does not specifically state rape is domestic violence. Domestic violence encompasses any crime in which the perpetrator:
In Domestic Violence law, family/household members include any of the following who are residing with or have resided with the alleged offender:
Domestic violence charges may be brought when an alleged victim makes an accusation and calls law enforcement. When the law enforcement officer arrives he or she will make an assessment of the situation, and will most likely be making an arrest on the scene. Arrests often occur when the only evidence is a statement from the alleged victim.
Once charged, the accused can expect:
A Temporary Protective Order or TPO, is a type of a restraining order, which requires the accused to stay away from the alleged victim during the course of the criminal Domestic Violence case. This may mean that the accused will have to stay away from their home and family members until the case is resolved. The accused may be restricted from communicating with the alleged victim through in-person visits, telephone, texting, or even contact through a third party.
As difficult as this may be, it is very important that accused not violate the conditions of the TPO. A violation of the TPO is an additional criminal offense, and will result in more criminal charges against the accused.
If placed on a Protective Order restriction, it is extremely important that the accused not contact the alleged victim in any manner or for any reason. Usually, attempts to contact the alleged victim through any means are disallowed under the Protection Order:
The accused often believe they can return phone calls or texts as long as the alleged victim reached out first, but don’t fall for this trap. It important to realize that these restrictions go one way and the accused could be arrested if they make any attempt to contact the alleged victim, but there is no restriction for the alleged victim to contact the accused. Still, the accused may not return phone calls, emails, letters or any other form of communication, even if initiated by the alleged victim. As long as the Protective Order is in place, the accused may not have any contact with the alleged victim. Efforts to do so may result in the accused being arrested.
When charged with Domestic Violence under Ohio law, your firearms are confiscated upon your being charged with Domestic Violence. Law Enforcement retains all guns and ammunition for the duration of your case. If you are cleared of Domestic Violence charges or if you plead to a lesser offense, your guns will be returned to you, and there will likely be no permanent restrictions on your ability to possess or obtain firearms.
If convicted of Domestic Violence, you face the possibility of losing firearms privileges for life. So before pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge understand that this may be the case. In most cases, the Court is required to notify you prior to accepting your guilty plea that you face a lifelong firearms restriction across all 50 states if you are convicted of Domestic Violence.
Ohio Courts and prosecutors’ offices have taken a very hard line on Domestic Violence cases. Great favor is given to victims of alleged domestic violence. When a person claims to be a victim of Domestic Violence, those charges are taken very seriously.
Depending on the seriousness of the charge, Domestic Violence can be charged as a Misdemeanor (a less serious offense) or a Felony (a very serious offense). Both misdemeanors and felonies are separated into degrees, with First Degree being the most serious. For an offense that has allegedly caused actual physical harm to the victim, a defendant could be charged with anything from a 1st degree misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony. For threats of physical harm against another person, an offender can be charged with anything from a fourth degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.
In many areas of Criminal Law, a prosecutor will give a great deal of weight to a victim’s request that the state withdraw criminal charges. In domestic violence cases in recent years, once the case enters the Court system, the state will most likely NOT withdraw charges even if the victim recants or decides he/she no longer wish to see charges pursued.
Defendants who have never been charged with Domestic Violence charges before will often be charged with a Misdemeanor, usually of the first degree (the most serious misdemeanor offense). Depending on the circumstances, a defendant is charged with a lesser offense, even a fourth degree misdemeanor. If the harm to the alleged victim is very serious, a defendant could be charged with a felony even on the first offense. Certainly, during the course of the criminal proceedings, our attorneys will attempt to convince the Court to reduce the charges to a less serious offense to even to dismiss the charges.
Defendants with a prior DV conviction face a very serious charge. After a first DV conviction, defendants will be charged with a mandatory felony for any subsequent violations.
If the Defendant is found to have known that an alleged DV victim was pregnant, there is mandatory minimum sentence of six months to one year for a conviction. Penalties are harsher for incidents that involved actual harm to the mother and/or harm to the baby. But even threats of physical harm to a pregnant victim carries minimum jail time if convicted.
Due to the seriousness of the charges and the possible of a DV conviction, it is highly recommended that you obtain an attorney as soon as possible. It is highly advisable that you hire an attorney to prior to the first hearing. It is also advisable, with a Domestic Violence charge or any other criminal charge that you not talk to any police or detectives before obtaining an attorney.
Charges of domestic violence cover more than just physical abuse. These charges encompass many kinds of behaviors, such as making threats of bodily harm or physically harming a family pet. People in Ohio can also receive domestic violence charges for psychological abuse, such as threatening a spouse to make them feel fear and terror.
One of the most damaging domestic violence allegations to a person’s reputation is an allegation of sexual abuse against children. Many people assume guilt when a person is accused of childhood sexual abuse, and a conviction can cause long-term damage to a person’s standing in their community. If you are accused of domestic sexual abuse, you should contact a skilled attorney who can communicate with law enforcement and clear your name.
In Ohio, if someone is accused of attempting to or causing physical harm, they will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor offense punishable with up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. If the person threatened to harm another, they face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. If the victim suffered serious bodily harm, then the attacker may be charged with felonious assault. In felony assault cases, the defendant could face up to eight years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Serious assault includes the physical aspect of abuse, such as slapping, hitting, punching, kicking or choking. How someone is charged will depend on the facts surrounding the case and the extent of the injuries to the victim.
At The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC, we understand that there are always two sides to every story. You may have been acting out of self-defense, or your significant other may have called the police out of spite. It is important for you to know that even if the alleged domestic violence victim decides to drop all charges, the prosecutor can still move forward with the case. For parents, a conviction for domestic violence can affect your ability to get child custody and visitation.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, we urge you to call our firm 740-363-3900 or send us an email so we can begin working to reduce your charges or get them dropped altogether. Se habla español.
Brian Glen Jones graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Government. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of Akron School Of Law. Brian has been a lifelong resident of Ohio. Brian is licensed to practice law in the state of Ohio and before the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio.
Calling a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer before speaking to law enforcement is the best way to protect your future. Our attorneys will work to minimize or eliminate the possibility of jail time, a prison sentence, probation, hefty fines and a permanent criminal record. Call us now at 740-363-3900 to schedule your appointment with one of the firm’s knowledgeable attorneys.
Our team of criminal defense attorneys know how to fight your charges aggressively. They will do everything they can to get the best possible outcome for your case. The sooner you start building a defense against your charges, the better.
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Delaware, OH 43015