Arrested for domestic violence? Call 937-222-1515.
A domestic violence charge can leave you with a stigma that affects your entire life.
If you face these charges, you need the top criminal defense attorney in Dayton to represent you.
At our Dayton criminal defense firm, you can get former prosecutors and a former judge on your side.
Related Articles Regarding Domestic Violence Defense
Overview of Domestic Violence in Ohio
Under Ohio law, it is illegal for any person to:
- Knowingly cause or try to cause injury to a family or household member;
- Recklessly cause serious bodily injury to a family or household member; or
- Threaten a family or household member with physical harm.
A family or household member includes a spouse, former spouse, child, or another relative that lives with the offender.
Domestic violence charges can arise from many different situations, including:
- Heated arguments
- Child custody disagreements
- Situations where the parties are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Divorce disputes
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence in Dayton, contact a criminal defense lawyer today.
Understanding Domestic Violence Penalties in Ohio
The severity of Ohio domestic violence penalties depends on the facts of each case and whether you’re a first-time or repeat offender.
A Dayton, OH criminal defense attorney can help you determine what penalties might apply to your case.
First-Time vs. Repeat Offenders
The penalty for a first-time charge of misdemeanor domestic violence is a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
Ohio also has enhanced penalties for a second offense, even if it comes years later, meaning that a second domestic violence charge is a felony punishable by 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Factors That Affect the Severity of the Charge
Factors that the State of Ohio take into consideration when determining whether to charge a person with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence include:
- Whether the alleged offender has prior domestic violence offenses;
- The nature of the crime;
- The severity of the victim’s injuries;
- Whether the alleged offender knew the victim was a pregnant woman; and
- If the victim was pregnant, whether the unborn was harmed.
A domestic violence lawyer can help defend against either a misdemeanor or a felony domestic violence charge.
A first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge results in a maximum of six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
A second-degree misdemeanor charge results in a maximum of 90 days in jail and a fine up to $750.
A third-degree misdemeanor charge results in a maximum of 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500.
A third-degree felony domestic violence charge results in nine months to three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
A fourth-degree felony charge results in six to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
A fifth-degree felony charge results in six to 12 months in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.
Long-Term Effects of a Domestic Violence Charge
When charged with domestic violence, you might not initially understand that the charge can have adverse long-term effects. Some of these negative long-term effects might include:
- The loss of your job,
- More difficulty in finding future jobs, and
- The loss of a professional license.
Talking to a domestic violence lawyer can help you mitigate the negative adverse effects of a domestic violence charge.
Some defenses you might be able to argue to defend against a domestic violence charge include innocence, defense of others, and self-defense.
Sometimes a household or family member might falsely claim that you harmed or attempted to harm them.
A household or family member might claim this to achieve some other motive.
For example, a former spouse might claim that you falsely harmed him or her to get custody of a child or gain leverage in a divorce proceeding.
You should contact a domestic violence lawyer today if you believe you were wrongly accused of domestic violence.
Defense of Others
Sometimes, you might be accused of domestic violence when you used force to prevent a household or family member from harming someone.
If this is the case, you may be able to argue that you were defending the other person.
A lawyer can help you understand whether this argument could defeat a domestic violence charge.
Additionally, you might be accused of domestic violence when using force to defend yourself against a family member.
If you believe you acted in self-defense and were charged with domestic violence, you should talk to an attorney today.
The court process for domestic violence cases generally has three steps: the arraignment hearing, pre-trial hearing, and trial.
First, a person accused of domestic violence has an arraignment hearing within a reasonable time of their arrest.
At the hearing, the judge informs them of the crime they are charged with.
The defendant is asked to enter into a plea, usually by pleading either guilty or not guilty.
The judge also sets bail at the arraignment hearing.
The next step in the process is the pre-trial hearing.
At the pre-trial hearing, the defense attorney reviews the prosecutor’s evidence against the defendant.
Additionally, the defense lawyer and prosecutor can discuss the admissibility of evidence.
The admissibility of certain evidence is important because it can have a major impact on the outcome of the case.
In some criminal cases, the defendant has the opportunity to enter into a plea-bargain to avoid trial.
A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and defense where the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest.
In return, the prosecution drops or reduces one or more charges or agrees to recommend a particular sentence.
If the defendant does not enter into a plea bargain, the case proceeds to trial.
At trial, both sides present their cases as to why the defendant is either guilty or not guilty.
Why Choose Our Domestic Violence Lawyers?
What you do immediately after receiving a domestic violence charge can drastically affect the outcome of your case.
A domestic violence defense lawyer with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can assist and guide you in this matter.
Our Ohio defense firm is experienced in the sensitive issues surrounding domestic violence cases, even complex ones that involve sex crime charges.
We can use this experience to challenge the evidence and pursue the most favorable results.
Backed by over 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys have each achieved:
- Backed by over 50 years’ combined experience, our attorneys have each achieved:
- Perfect 10.0 Superb Ratings from Avvo
- Selection for Ohio Super Lawyers®
- Inclusion in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
When you have been accused of or charged with domestic violence, you can rely on our criminal defense lawyers in Dayton.