Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

Have Your Side of the Story Fairly Represented in Columbus Court

Most of the time, what happens within the walls of your home is entirely your own business. That said, domestic violence is a serious offense that Columbus law enforcement officers cannot ignore. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you deserve to have your side of the story fairly represented in a court of law. The domestic violence defense attorneys at Scott & Nolder Law Firm have decades of experience representing clients throughout the Columbus area, and we can help you take on your domestic violence charges.

Types of Domestic Violence

Anyone who shares a home with others can be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence. This includes parents, children, spouses, romantic partners, siblings, and even roommates. Not all domestic violence cases involve physical violence. For example, a threat that instills a reasonable fear of harm is a common form of domestic violence. Domestic abuse charges are also not limited to intentional harm. You may be charged with a misdemeanor assault if you injure your spouse by pushing him or her out of the way, even if you didn’t mean to hurt them. The most serious form of domestic violence is striking a domestic partner with the intention of causing harm. A conviction could lead to multiple years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

  • Threat of Violence : Not all domestic violence cases involve physical violence. For example, a threat that instills a reasonable fear of harm is a common form of domestic violence.
  • Reckless Harm : Not all kinds of domestic violence are strictly intentional. For example, you may be charged with domestic violence if you injure your spouse by pushing him or her out of the way—even if it wasn't your intention to cause harm.
  • Intentional Harm : Striking a domestic partner with the intention of causing harm is the most serious kind of domestic violence. A conviction could lead to multiple years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Penalties for domestic violence convictions

Since no two domestic violence cases are the same, judges must carefully consider a number of factors including the circumstances surrounding the incident, the extent of injuries, and prior convictions before deciding an appropriate sentence.

Threatening a family member with imminent physical harm:

  • First offense is a Fourth Degree Misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to 30 day in jail and a $250 fine.
  • If the victim was pregnant, the same offense is now a Third Degree Misdemeanor with a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • One prior conviction on the books makes this a Second Degree Misdemeanor with a sentence of up to 90 days and a fine of up to $750.
  • With more than one prior conviction, the offense is now a First Degree Misdemeanor and you may spend 180 days in jail and pay up to $1,000.

For physical abuse, Ohio domestic violence laws state that:

  • A first-time violation is a First Degree Misdemeanor assault, which carries a sentence of up to 180 days in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • If the victim was pregnant at the time of the assault offense, the sentence escalates to a Fifth Degree felony, which means up to 12months in prison (6 of which are mandatory) and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • One prior conviction makes this charge a Fourth Degree Felony, which means six-eighteen months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Prior assault charges that ended in convictions raise this to a Third Degree Felony, which carries a prison term of nine months–three years and a $5,000 - $10,000 fine.

Considerations When Determining Punishment

Since no two domestic violence cases are the same, judges must carefully weigh a number of factors when passing judgment. Here are a few of considerations involved.

  • Circumstances : After examining the circumstances of the incident, a judge must determine whether provocation was a factor. Other important factors include the relationship between the people involved and where the incident took place.
  • Physical Injury : The extent of the injuries also factor into the punishment. For example, a small bruise will merit a shorter sentence than a broken arm.
  • Prior Convictions : Punishments are meant to prevent crimes from occurring again. If a judge sees that a domestic violence convict already has similar convictions, that judge will pass a harsher sentence.

Long-term Effects of a Domestic Violence Conviction

A domestic violence conviction can continue to have lasting effects on your life, even long after the trial is over. Assault charges and convictions can follow you for years to come, altering your public image, risking the loss of your job, preventing you from holding a public service job, making it impossible to gain custody in a divorce, and even affecting your ability to obtain a loan. That’s why it’s essential to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you are facing assault or domestic violence charges in Columbus.

Domestic violence is a complicated aspect of law that straddles the line between family law and criminal law, so let the criminal defense team at Scott & Nolder Law Firm analyze your case and help you achieve the best possible results. You can call our Columbus law firm at (614) 285-3059 to get started.

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