If you have been accused of domestic violence in Ohio, this is what you should know.

Being accused of domestic violence in Ohio is akin to wearing the modern day scarlet letter. Your reputation and character are severely damaged when you are accused of domestic violence. Mere accusations lead to conviction in the court of public perception. It won’t matter if the police have nabbed the wrong guy or if you are facing baseless accusations!

Unfortunately, the taint of a domestic violence charge could lead to detrimental outcomes for you, including:

  • Jail: Most domestic violence claims lead to the arrest of the accused. The accused is then jailed until court.
  • Job Loss: You may be terminated from your job or face other negative consequences.
  • Tarnished Reputation: Your reputation could be irreparably damaged.
  • Damaged Record: A temporary restraining order will be filed against you.
  • Gun Rights Limited: You will not be allowed to possess a firearm.

You must act quickly and aggressively to counteract these detrimental outcomes.

Convicted, Now What?
There are serious criminal and collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Criminal Consequences: If you are convicted of domestic violence, you are branded a criminal by society. However, the law imposes several penalties under the Ohio Revised Code. These penalties may vary according to the level of offense or victim type:

First Offense: This will result in a first-degree misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

  • In some instances a fourth-degree misdemeanor could result.
  • A felony may result if the victim was pregnant.

Previous Conviction: You will be charged with a fourth-degree felony punishable by a jail term between 6 and 18 months, and a fine up to $5,000.

  • A maximum sentence will be imposed if the victim was pregnant.
  • If there are 2 or greater prior convictions, you will be charged with a third-degree felony.
  • If you have 2 or greater prior convictions, you face a 5 year maximum sentence and $10,000 fine.

A domestic violence conviction will also result in an injunction preventing you from contacting the alleged victim, probation, and drug and/or alcohol abuse counseling.

Collateral Consequences:
There are several collateral consequences that lead to detrimental and permanent negative effects on the accused, including:

  • Unemployment: The conviction will likely prevent you from working in law enforcement, the military, and places serving children and/or the disabled. You will also find that your current or potential future employers do not want to employ domestic violence offenders.
  • License Restrictions: You may be prevented from receiving professional licenses in the state.
  • Brady Prohibition: You will be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.
  • Child Custody and/or Visitation Limitations: You may lose access to your children.
  • Scarred Criminal Record: Domestic violence convictions cannot be expunged and will remain on your criminal record.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, please contact the law office of Spaulding & Kitzler, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys.