Domestic Violence Criminal Defense in Columbus
Helping the Accused Fight Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence is undoubtedly an issue from coast to coast, including here in America’s Heartland. Ohio has criminal and civil penalties for domestic abuse.
Like other defendants, anyone suspected of domestic violence in Columbus deserves an aggressive and smart criminal defense. At the Law Office of Matthew Doyaga, LLC, we understand that situations are complicated and not always as they seem. Some criminal complaints are made under false pretenses. Bystanders who call the police might misread a situation.
If you are implicated in a domestic violence situation, contact the Law Office of Matthew Doyaga, LLC right away. Call (888) 490-7958 for a free case consultation.
Ohio’s Definition of Domestic Violence
Every state has a similar definition of what constitutes domestic violence. The Buckeye State’s legal description is found in Title 29, Chapter 2919 of the Ohio Revised Code.
A person may be guilty of domestic violence in Ohio if any of the following is true:
- They knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member.
- They recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member.
- They, by threat of force, knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.
The state defines a family or household member generally as someone who lives or has lived with the offender as any of the following:
- A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender
- A parent, a foster parent, a child of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to the offender
- A parent or a child of a spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender
- The natural parent of any child of whom the offender is the other natural parent or is the putative other natural parent (an exception to the general requirement of living or having lived with the offender)
Police Response to Domestic Violence Calls
Columbus police report that they responded to nearly 9,600 domestic incidents in 2021. Those incidents resulted in almost 2,600 domestic violence charges and 461 other charges. The great majority – 6,520 – resulted in no charges.
Ohio law provides a framework for responding to domestic violence incidents. According to the Columbus Division of Police, law enforcement will not force their way into a home unless there are clear signs of abuse. Police also will enter a residence upon invitation. Protocol calls for the responding officers to separate the people involved for interviews. They secure weapons and run checks for outstanding warrants.
If officers determine domestic violence occurred and there is a primary aggressor, that person is arrested and removed from the location. That person can be charged with domestic violence. Police can make an arrest over the objections of the alleged victim. The person arrested will be held without bail until a hearing before a judge.
Domestic Violence Penalties
The specifics of the case can lead prosecutors to file either misdemeanor or felony charges.
Possible consequences of a domestic violence charge include the following:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Maximum of six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Maximum of 90 days in jail and/or fine of up to $750
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Maximum of 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500
- Fifth-degree felony: Six to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500
- Fourth-degree felony: Six to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- Third-degree felony: Nine months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
If the defendant knew the alleged victim was pregnant at the time of the incident, the court is required to hand down a sentence of six months or one year in jail.
Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge will have their guns confiscated and their right to purchase or possess a firearm revoked. If convicted, they face the possibility of a lifetime ban.
Skilled Legal Counsel for Domestic Violence Charges in Columbus
Even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction has ramifications that can follow you for the rest of your life. The guilty finding becomes part of your permanent criminal record and can impact your ability to be approved for housing or find employment. Felony convictions also result in losing the right to vote, hold public office, or carry or own firearms.
Do not navigate Ohio’s criminal justice system on your own. Lean on the experience and know-how of the Law Office of Matthew Doyaga, LLC. We look at every angle and aspect of each domestic violence case. It is in the details where we find the best approach to passionately defend our clients.
If you are suspected or arrested in a domestic violence case, contact us right away. Call (888) 490-7958 to schedule your free consultation.