Menacing by stalking in Ohio can be a serious charge that can change your life. If the State charges you under Ohio stalking laws, you may not know what to do.
However, know that there are ways to defend yourself against such a charge. Contact an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case and see what steps you can take.
Overview of Ohio Stalking Laws
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2903.211, no person may knowingly take any action that would cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm or emotional distress to that person or a member of their family. This will constitute “menacing by stalking” under Ohio law.
Take note, however, that the act of menacing by stalking extends beyond physical action or in-person communications. In fact, written and electronic communications used to cause another person to believe they are in danger of physical harm or emotional distress may also constitute stalking.
Penalties for Menacing by Stalking in Ohio
In general, a violation of Ohio menacing by stalking law will result in a first-degree misdemeanor. This can result in jail time of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $1,000. However, this penalty can be increased in certain situations.
For example, penalties will be enhanced if any of the following applies:
- The accused has a prior conviction for menacing by stalking;
- The accused made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim;
- In committing the act of menacing by stalking, the accused trespassed on property where the victim lives, works, or attends school;
- The victim is a minor; or
- The accused has a history of violence toward the victim.
In any of these situations, a violation will result in a fourth-degree felony charge. Further, a felony in the fourth degree in Ohio is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
A felony can be damaging to your rights and reputation moving forward. In fact, a felony conviction can impact your credit or result in loss of the right to vote or hold office.
A felony conviction can even result in the revocation of certain professional licenses. Thus, it is imperative that you contact an attorney who can advocate and fight on your behalf. An experienced attorney can work with you to reduce and defend against your charges or have them expunged.
Contact Our Team Today
If you are facing a criminal charge in or near Dayton, Ohio, for menacing by stalking, act now. Contact our team today to discuss your rights and defenses under the law.
The criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, have over 50 years of collective experience providing high-quality legal counsel to our clients. We are ready and willing to take on even the most challenging legal cases in Dayton and throughout Ohio. Contact us online or by phone at 937-222-1515 for a consultation and see what we can do for you.