Cases involving domestic violence are often complicated because there may be no physical evidence available and police officers may have to rely only on the victim’s statements. This does not mean that a charge of domestic violence should ever be taken lightly. It is considered to be a very serious crime that is subject to severe penalties, which is why defendants should immediately contact a defense attorney if they are facing domestic violence charges near Columbus.
Victims of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a crime committed against a family or household member. Under Ohio domestic violence law, this includes the alleged offender’s parent, foster parent, child, extended family member, spouse, former spouse, and romantic partner. It also includes any extended family member of the spouse, former spouse, or romantic partner, along with that individual’s parent or child.
Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence has occurred when an individual intentionally or recklessly committed an action that resulted in physical harm to the victim. Reckless acts are committed not necessarily for the purpose of inflicting harm, but out of a disregard for any harm that results. Domestic violence also includes the threat of physical force, which results in the victim being in fear of his or her safety.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
A defense attorney can explain the potential consequences for a domestic violence conviction. Sometimes, domestic violence is considered a misdemeanor offense, while in other cases it is a felony. The threat of force is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. However, if the victim was pregnant at the time or the offender had a prior conviction of domestic violence, it may be a first, second, or third-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $750. For a conviction of a third-degree misdemeanor, the offender faces up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The consequences for a felony conviction are more severe. For example, a third-degree felony conviction can result in up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction, for even a misdemeanor DV, will forever bar the defendant from possessing a firearm under federal law (18 USC 922(g)(9))