Domestic Violence R.C. § 2919.25
Domestic Violence can be a felony or a misdemeanor!
Definition of Domestic Violence
The Ohio Revised Code sets out that someone commits DV if they:
- Cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member; or
- By threat of force cause a family member to believe that the will suffer physical harm.
Whether a person is accused of causing physical harm or making threats determines the severity of a DV Charge in Ohio. If a person is alleged of threatening a family member the charge will be a fourth degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. If a person is accused of causing or attempting to cause physical harm the Ohio Domestic Violence charge will be a first degree misdemeanor, which entails jail time of up to 180 days and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Felony Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence in Ohio can also be a felony charge. If a person is convicted of Felony DV they can be subject to mandatory prison time. If you are charged with a Felony Domestic Violence it is critical that you hire an experienced felony attorney as soon as possible.
If a person who has a previous domestic violence conviction is charged with domestic violence again and causes the injury of another, the charge can be elevated to either a third or fourth degree felony depending on the amount of prior convictions.
Domestic Violence with a Pregnant Victim
If the victim is pregnant at the time of the offense and the defendant knows, then the DV charge will also be enhanced to a felony and the Defendant is subjected to mandatory incarceration. If the fetus is seriously injured, the mandatory prison term is extended to twelve months.
Self Defense and Domestic Violence
Under Ohio law a person is permitted to use force to defend themselves. To successfully assert a self-defense claim you must prove 1) you were threatened with force, 2) you did not provoke the other person, 3) the amount force you used to defend yourself was reasonable. Ohio is a “Stand Your Ground” state and does not require someone to attempt to retreat before using self-defense. You can read more about Ohio Self Defense cases here. Person’s who find themselves in a DV situation often have to use force to protect themselves. An exception exists in the case of battered woman syndrome.
Battered Woman Syndrome
Battered woman syndrome, often associated with PTSD, is a legal defense in Ohio of self-defense if a woman kills her spouse in fear of imminent bodily harm. Having a skilled domestic violence defense lawyer in Columbus with the ability to address this complicated legal situation is vital to success. The idea is that a woman who has been repeatedly abused by her spouse may be unable to leave the relationship due to low self-esteem or fear of retribution. The type of domestic violence leading up to a murder and the battered woman defense is typically cyclical meaning the abuser may abuse the woman and plead for forgiveness multiple times.
Although this syndrome is not gender specific, it is currently only recognized as a defense for women.
No Contact Order and DV Cases
Often when someone is charged with DV the court will make a condition of the defendant’s bond that they are not allowed to have any contact with the alleged victim. This can make it impossible for a family to function and can force a member of the family out of the house. If you have a no contact order or a stay away order as a condition of your bond WE CAN HAVE IT REMOVED. A violation of your no contact order can have your bond revoked resulting in being sent back to jail.
Civil Protection Orders (CPO)
When someone is charged with DV the alleged victim will often get a Civil Protection Order or CPO also. A CPO is a court order that prohibits a person from contacting another person. If someone has filed for a CPO against you it is important to hire an experienced CPO attorney as soon as possible. If you miss your court date, it may be too late to fight the CPO.
Charged with Domestic Violence in Ohio?
At Funkhouser Law, we know that everyone charged with domestic violence is presumed innocent and we work hard to accomplish the most favorable outcome for each of our clients. If you have been accused of DV, please call Funkhouser Law for a free consultation with a seasoned, peer-rated lawyer in Columbus who has domestic violence defense experience.