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.