Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys in Columbus, OH
Have Your Side of the Story Fairly Represented in 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 have a protection order against you or you are currently 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 and Nolder Law Firm, LPA have decades of experience representing clients throughout the Columbus area.
What is domestic violence?
Simply put, domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Anyone who shares a home with others can be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence. This includes:
- Romantic partners
Types of Domestic Violence
- 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: If you injure your spouse by pushing him or her out of the way, you may be charged with a misdemeanor assault—even if it wasn’t your intention to cause harm.
- Intentional Harm: Striking a domestic partner with the intention of causing harm could lead to a conviction of spousal abuse or domestic battery, which comes with multiple years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions
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, which carries a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- If the victim was pregnant at the time of the assault, 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.
Common Domestic Violence Defense Strategies
These are the five most common strategies a domestic violence lawyer will use to build a strong defense.
- Lack of Proof: Finding holes in the prosecution’s side of the story and stressing their requirement to fulfill the “burden of proof”.
- Wrong Suspect: Demonstrate that you cannot be the person who committed the offense through an alibi, witness testimony, time-stamped video footage, etc.
- Intentional False Accusations: Finding inconsistencies that prove you are the victim of false allegations in order for the accuser to collect a monetary reward, full-custody of the children, or even to fulfill a personal vendetta.
- Self-defense: Prove that your actions were the only way to protect yourself.
- Consent: Prove that your accuser consented to the violent or sexual act. Often devolves into a “he said, she said” argument.
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 and Nolder Law Firm, LPA analyze your case and help you achieve the best possible results.