If you have been reading our articles, you have would likely recognize the term “crime of violence.” The violence distinction holds a certain amount of significance on your record, which is why you may see it mentioned rather frequently in our articles about expungement. The concept may seem simple, and for the most part it is common sense whether something is violent or not. But did you know, that there is a definition for “crime of violence” spelled out in the law? The definition for crime of violence in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) is not only specific, but like a lot of the laws we cover, it can be sort of complex.
What are the Crimes of Violence in Ohio?
At this point, we will simply list the crimes of violence in Ohio. Note that we had to paraphrase some of what is described in the ORC because some definitions contain complex sentences that refer to other sections and paragraphs which contain their own sentences. Some entries on this list may not be official names of crimes, but short descriptions that give you an idea of the crime in question. With that in mind, the offenses of violence from the ORC are:
- Aggravated Murder
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- Felonious Assault (see clarifications)
- Child Abuse
- Permitting Child Abuse
- Aggravated Menacing
- Menacing by Stalking
- Trafficking in Persons
- Sexual Battery
- Gross Sexual Imposition
- Aggravated Arson
- Aggravated Robbery
- Aggravated Burglary
- Inciting Violence
- Aggravated Riot
- Inducing Panic
- Domestic Violence
- Intimidation of an Attorney, Victim or Witness in Criminal Case or Delinquent Child Action
- Improperly Discharging a Firearm into a Habitation, in a School Safety Zone or with Intent to Cause Harm or Panic to Persons in a School Building or at a School Function
- Abuse Against a Resident or Patient of a Care Facility by a Person Who Owns, Operates, or Administers, or Who is an Employee of the Care Facility (see Clarifications)
- Burglary (see Clarifications)
- Torturing or Cruelly Abusing a Child
- Excessive Punishment, Discipline, or Restraint of a Child that causes risk of physical harm to the Child
- Administering Disciplinary Measures that Can Impair Child’s Mental Health or Development
- Felonious Sexual Penetration
Crimes of Violence and Expungement
If you have read our article on recent expungement updates in Ohio, you may recognize some of those crimes of violence as crimes that cannot be expunged (or sealed to be more accurate). Specifically, Rape, Sexual Battery, Gross Sexual Imposition, are all crimes which cannot be sealed. Of course there are other crimes which are not sealable that are not crimes of violence so we do not address them here. However, some crimes of violence can be sealed, but there is a catch. ORC Section 2953.36(A)(4) addresses the expungement of crimes of violence, so even if a specific crime of violence can be sealed, there are still some special rules. With some exceptions, the rule is that crimes of violence cannot be sealed if they are misdemeanors of the first degree of felonies of any degree. As far as exceptions, the same paragraph of the ORC mentions Riot, Assault, Inciting Violence, and Inducing Panic as exceptions to the general rule, although even those exceptions have different rules from each other. As with any rule, there may be other exceptions or seem to be exceptions based on the situation.
Even if a crime of violence is eligible for sealing in Ohio, having a crime of violence on your record can sometimes cause problems when you try to have other crimes on your record sealed. When it comes to expungement, the ORC has two definitions for “eligible offender.” If you are not eligible to have your record sealed under the first definition, you can still be eligible under the second. While having a crime of violence on your record makes you ineligible to have any of your records sealed under the first definition, it still may be possible to have your record sealed under the second definition even with the crime of violence. It depends, among other things, on how many crimes you have on your record, the degrees of your crimes, and whether the crimes on your record are sealable offenses. See our other article, The Two Requirements for Expungement in Ohio to read more about eligibility. If you were convicted of a crime and you are unsure whether the crime is a crime of violence and/or if the crime is expungeable, feel free to contact one of our expert attorneys.
While we do have to paraphrase the legal description of some of these crimes in order to give them a name for our purposes, we do try to stay close to the language used in the ORC. Sometimes, that language may be confusing or need clarification. For example “Felonious Assault” refers to some specific illegal actions and you can see what the ORC has to say about it in section 2903.11. However, that does not mean that a person who is guilty of only assault cannot be guilty of a felony. Assault is its own crime that can be both a misdemeanor and a felony depending on the circumstances.
Another clarification we would like to make has to do with the abuse of a patient at a care facility. While the Revised Code may be specific about abuse of a patient or resident by someone working at the care facility, it would still be considered a serious crime to harm a patient at a care facility even if you do not own it or work there. Most likely, you would simply be charged under another section, probably still as a crime of violence.
Burglary is another crime that may be more complicated than it seems at first. The ORC section that deals with Burglary makes a distinction between Burglary and Trespass in a Habitation when a Person is Present or Likely to be Present. According to ORC 2953.36, a person charged under this section may or may not be guilty of a crime of violence.
There are other exceptions and meanings that may not be readily apparent from the names of the crimes. While we cannot cover every detail here, the above list shows for the most part which crimes are considered crimes of violence in Ohio.
While there is a good bit of common sense involved in determining whether or not a crime is a crime of violence, the legal definition of “crime of violence” can seem more complicated. As we said, some of the descriptions we give for certain crimes of violence are not the exact words from the ORC, and even when we do use the exact language from the Revised Code, there can be exceptions for many rules in other smaller sections. Our above list should give you a pretty good idea of what the crimes of violence are and hopefully this article helps you understand how they are handled in the law. As always, feel free to contact us with any clarifications, questions, or if you need legal help with a crime of violence or any other legal issue.