Anyone who recklessly or knowingly causes harm to a household member has committed domestic violence in Ohio. R.C.§2912.25. In other words, if you knew or should have known that your actions would cause harm to someone living in your home, then you have committed domestic violence. A household member can be anyone – someone currently living in your home or someone who resided in your home in the recent past.
The law was created to protect families from violence in the household, and there are special protections within the statute for pregnant woman and unborn children. Generally, domestic violence is a first degree misdemeanor, but there are even heightened penalty provisions for repeat offenders. For instance domestic violence is a felony level offense for anyone who has two or more prior domestic violence convictions.
Unfortunately, we often see spouses, family and household members who take advantage of the domestic violence, and will make false claims of violence or – even more prevalent – people will indulge and exaggerate a conflict to include violence where violence did not occur. However, once that call is made it has become an almost automatic consequence of such allegations that someone is arrested, regardless of the presence of injury.
Law enforcement is tasked with discerning the truth from the often difficult and convoluted stories of two or more emotionally charged people who live in the same home and who are fighting over something unknown to the officers responding to the call. It is important for those who are accused of domestic violence, or any crime for that matter, to remain calm and to treat law enforcement respectfully at all times.
It is imperative that those individuals who may be under investigation or under arrest for domestic violence assert their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. It does not matter whether he or she actually committed domestic violence, remaining silent until he or she has spoken with a competent criminal defense attorney is often the difference in finding the truth and/or successfully asserting a defense to domestic violence charges in Ohio.
Convictions for domestic violence can lead to prolonged incarceration in county jail or state prison, loss of employment, and loss of the right to carry a firearm – just to name a few.
Eyer Stone, LTD is located in Bucyrus, Ohio and represents individuals throughout Crawford, Seneca, Wyandot County and all over Northcentral Ohio. If you have been involved in an incident of domestic violence anywhere in Ohio, we invite you to contact us today for a confidential consultation.