Domestic Violence

There’s a fine line between domestic violence and assault in Columbus, Ohio. Both cases involve physical harm, but domestic violence can also include the mere threat of physical harm against someone close to you. The alleged victim could be your spouse, ex-spouse, or a former boyfriend or girlfriend. It could also be an extended family member or child. After any such allegation, you may find yourself facing a restraining order that obligates you to stay away from the alleged victim for a period of time until a court can rule based on the evidence. If you find yourself in such a situation in Ohio, you need a Columbus domestic violence lawyer.

Domestic Violence Charges and Sentencing

A domestic violence charge can be a felony or a misdemeanor. It depends on several factors, such as whether this was your first offense, if you’re accused of causing actual injury, or if the alleged victim was pregnant. Multiple offenses or pregnancy make the crime a third, fourth, or fifth-degree felony. Threatening someone with harm is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to $250 in fines. Causing physical harm is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. You may also be ordered to compensate the alleged victim for costs incurred, such as medical care or counseling, and be sentenced to attend anger management classes.

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Assault Charges and Sentencing

A serious injury upgrades a domestic violence charge to assault; prosecutors also bring assault charges if there is no familial or intimate relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. Either way, assault involves causing harm to or attempting harm to another person. 

Ohio law breaks it into four categories:

  • Negligent assault is a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500.
  • Simple assault is generally a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Aggravated assault typically involves harm inflicted upon an unborn child or with the use or threat of a deadly weapon due to rage or passion. It’s a fourth-degree felony, punishable by a prison term of up to six years and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Felonious assault is more serious and occurs absent the mitigating factor of anger or passion. It’s a second-degree felony, which can mean up to eight years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.

Pleading No Contest

If you’re charged with any of these violent crimes in Columbus, Ohio, you need to call a criminal law attorney to prevent you from taking a misstep that could cost you dearly. For example, you may be considering pleading no contest, thinking this means you’re denying your guilt. You are — but you’re admitting that the facts of the case, as the prosecution has presented them, are correct. You’re saying the evidence against you is accurate.

Domestic Violence Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

Don’t face these charges alone. Let the team of experienced attorneys at Halabi Law, LLC help you and act on your behalf. Joe Halabi has the investigative experience to review your case and fight for your rights. He comes highly recommended and reviewed. Call today for a free consultation, so we can get to work assessing your case and forming the best possible defense.