Domestic Violence Lawyers Ohio

What Can Happen As A Result of Domestic Violence Charges?

A domestic violence conviction can have serious consequences for your life and your future.

A domestic violence conviction goes on your permanent record. Some lower-level offenses may be expungeable (removed from your record) after a period of time, but first degree misdemeanors and felony convictions are generally not expungeable.

The penalties for a DV conviction can be very serious. A conviction will be either a misdemeanor or felony conviction, and depending on the severity of the offense, can potentially include:

Court-imposed penalties and restrictions:

  • jail/prison time and heavy fines

  • temprary protection order that might keep you from your home, your children, and other loved ones

  • Probation and/or community service

  • Required anger management and other counseling

  • Restitution - payments to victim for medical expenses or damage to property stemming from the domestic violence incident

  • restrictions on firearms possession

Collateral consequences that can affect your life and your future:

  • social stigma and a reputation as someone who is a danger to others

  • difficulty in obtaining and retaining employment and professional licenses

  • restrictions on access to and custody of your children.

  • Loss of right to vote or hold public office

  • Loss ability to serve as a juror

  • Problems when applying for loans or housing

Even a misdemeanor conviction can interfere with gun ownership rights

Under Ohio law, your firearms are confiscated upon your being charged with Domestic Violence. Law Enforcement retains all guns and ammunition for the duration of your case. If you are later convicted of Domestic Violence, you face the possibility of losing firearms privileges for life.

For more information read our article, "Firearms Restrictions with Domestic Violence Charges in Ohio."

"Preferred Arrest" Policy in Domestic Violence Cases

If a police officer at the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense of domestic violence or the violation of a protection order has been committed, it is the "preferred course of action in this state that the officer arrest and detain that person".

For more information on the law regarding domestic violence arrests, read our article, "Are Ohio Police Required By Law to Make an Arrest for Every Domestic Violence Call?".

Domestic Violence Defined in Ohio Law

A criminal Domestic Violence charge can be leveled against you if you are accused of an act, attempted act, or threat of physical harm against a member of your family or household:

No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member.

No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member.

No person, by threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member. (Ohio Revised Code 2919.25)

Note that if you attempt to cause physical arm or threaten to cause physical harm, you can be charged with criminal domestic violence - even if you never laid a finger on the household or family member.

Domestic Violence law in Ohio is very complex. Our lawyers can help you navigate the law, understand its meaning and its consequences, and develop an individualized defense strategy aimed at attempting to get you a dismissal or a reduction in charges, or taking your case to trial if necessary. There may be many options available to you, depending on the circumstances of your particular case.

Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in Ohio

Penalties for a domestic violence conviction vary from case to case.  Since the law is rather complex, please see also our  Helpful Guide to Domestic Violence Penalties in Ohio.

Which of the following most closely describes the current charges against you?

Domestic Violence, causing harm or attempting to cause harm, first offense.

Charged as a first degree misdemeanor, penalties include up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.00.

If this is your first time being charged with domestic violence, read our article "Charged with Criminal Domestic Violence in Ohio? Some things you need to know".

Domestic Violence, causing harm or attempting to cause harm, with a prior record of domestic violence

Can be charged as a 4th or 3rd degree felony, depending on the number and severity of prior convictions. Penalties for conviction:

4th degree felony: 6-18 months in prison, fine up to $5,000.00, if one prior conviction

3rd degree felony: 9 months - 3 years in prison, fine up to $10,000.00, if multiple prior convictions

Domestic Violence, victim is pregnant

How a defendant is charged in this case is dependent on whether the offender knew the victim was pregnant, and the severity of injuries to the mother and to the unborn child.

Fines will vary depending on the level of charge, with a mandatory prison sentence of 6 months to a year if convicted.

A first time offense against a pregnant woman will be charged as a 5th degree felony, with a potential 6-12 months in prison.  There is mandatory minimum prison sentence

Domestic Violence as a Threat

You can be charged with domestic violence even if you made a threat to harm a household or family member, even if you do not carry out the threat.  A charge of the threat to commit domestic violence is generally charged as a 4th degree misdemeanor, and carries penalties of up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $250.00.

Domestic Violence as a Threat, with a prior record of domestic violence

With a prior record of domestic violence, depending on the severity of the threat you can be charged with:

a 2nd degree misdemeanor, if one prior conviction, potential penalties of up to 60 days in jail with  fines up to $500.00

a 1st degree misdemeanor, if multiple prior convictions, with penalites of up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.00.

Domestic Violence as a threat, alleged victim is pregnant

If the alleged victim is pregnant, depending on the severity of the threat, and whether you knew the alleged victim was pregnant, you can be charged with:

a 3rd degree misdemeanor, with potential penalties of up to 60 days in jail with fines up to $500.00.

a 2nd degree misdemeanor, if one prior conviction, potential penalties of up to 60 days in jail with fines up to $500.00

a 1st degree misdemeanor, if multiple prior convictions, with penalites of up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.00.

How Can Our Attorneys Help You in Your Domestic Violence Charge?

The lawyers of Dearie, Fischer & Mathews have decades of experience representing clients in Domestic Violence cases. In our initial meeting or phone call with you, we can begin to get a sense of what happened, and how the event has affected you.

Once you hire us, we can immediately delve into the evidence, and begin to challenge various elements of the case:

  • Were you properly arrested?
  • Did the police officer act properly?
  • Was there probable cause for your arrest?
  • What is the evidence in the case?
  • Does the accuser have evidence that backs up the claim against you?

After our initial investigation into the evidence, we will begin talks with the prosecutor, and immediately begin looking for ways to either have the case dismissed or have charges reduced. Oftentimes, we can get the prosecutor to agree to a lighter sentence if you agree to a guilty plea, or we can negotiate a reduced charge for the offense.  We will nefotiate with prosecutors and be prepared to take the case to trial if you are not satisfied with the prosecutor's plea deal.

Commitment to Communication with our Clients

We will share with you everything we learn at each step in your case. We will educate you on your options moving forward, and help you decide your next steps and goals in the case.

We stay heavily involved in the case and are prepared to take the case to trial or to negotiate an outcome with the prosecutor that is satisfactory for you.

At Dearie, Fischer & Mathews, we realize that you can be very anxious about pending charges against you. We realize that the length of time that it takes for a Court to make decisions on your case can be agonizing, We are committed to updating our clients everytime there is any development in the case relating to evidence or any communication from the prosecutor. As a client, you should feel free to call us any time you have any questions about your case. We are available by office phone, email, text, and cell phone.

The attorneys at Dearie, Fischer & Mathews, LLC, know that good people sometimes get arrested as result of domestic disputes. If you have been charged in any kind of domestic case, give us a call. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in domestic violence cases. We are familiar with the local Court and will help you get the best result in negotiations with the prosecutor or at trial.  Read our client reviews on Google, Facebook and Avvo.

Call us for a discussion of your case.

In Lebanon, Warren County, Butler County, Hamilton County, and Clinton County, call (513) 932-5529.

In Beavercreek, Montgomery County, Greene County, and greater Dayton, call (937) 306-6402.

One of our lawyers will be available to talk to you unless we are in Court or with a client. If you leave a message with us, we make every effort to return your call within the hour.

Our experienced attorneys will make sure that your rights are protected, and that you get the best result for your case.