- Causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family or household member;
- With purpose, recklessness; or
- Threatening physical harm.
A Domestic violence charge can be charged as low as a misdemeanor of the fourth degree with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250, but the more likely Domestic Violence charge is as a misdemeanor of the first degree, which entails jail time of up to 180 days and a maximum fine of $1,000.
At Funkhouser Law, we know that everyone accused of 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 domestic violence, please call Funkhouser Law for a free consultation with an experienced, peer-rated lawyer.
If a person is charged multiple times with domestic violence and causes the injury of another, the charge can be further elevated to a felony of the fourth degree with a mandatory prison sentence or further if the victim is pregnant at the commission of the crime. If the fetus is seriously injured, the mandatory prison term is extended to twelve months.
Self -defense in Ohio is an affirmative defense meaning that the burden of proof is on the victim, so it is important to have good legal representation at trial. Self-defense is a legal defense in which a victim of an attack may use reasonable force to fend off an attack. This requires that the victim did not initiate the physical fight. In order to use deadly force to fend off an attack, the victim must be in fear for their life with no other way of escape. An exception exists in the case of battered woman syndrome or if the victim is in their residence.
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. 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.