Columbus Domestic Violence Attorneys
Being charged with domestic violence does not mean you are guilty. They need to be taken seriously and handled by defense lawyers who know how to get results.
“The professionalism you both have shown since I started interacting with your firm is no doubt the best I have ever seen. You guys are simply the best.”
Luftman, Heck & Associates client
Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates. We will explain your options, walk you through the process, and work to protect you from the harsh penalties of a conviction.
Domestic Violence Charges in Columbus, Ohio
Ohio Revised Code 2919.25 lays out what is meant by domestic violence.
Domestic violence is any act of violence or attempted violence against a family or household member, regardless of whether the alleged victim suffers injuries or needs medical attention.
Is Domestic Violence Always Physical?
Some examples of domestic violence typically seen in Franklin County are kicking, choking, slapping, pushing, throwing objects, sexual assault, physical restraint, or any harmful touching. However, domestic violence does not have to be physical.
Certain types of harassment, menacing, or emotional abuse are also prohibited because any threat of force that knowingly causes a family or household member to believe that you will cause them harm is also considered domestic violence.
Who is a Family or Household Member?
Individuals protected under Ohio’s domestic violence law include anyone residing or who has resided with the alleged offender. This includes but is not limited to:
- Spouses, former spouses, or individuals living as a spouse
- Parents, guardians, or other relatives
- The child or children of the alleged offender, a spouse, an individual living as a spouse, former spouse, or another relative.
Assault vs. Domestic Violence
Someone who is charged with domestic violence can also be charged with assault. However, someone accused of assaulting an individual who is not considered a household member will not face domestic violence charges.
Domestic Violence Penalties
A person convicted of domestic violence in Ohio faces the following potential criminal penalties. In addition, if the victim was pregnant, the court will impose a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six months to a year.
Domestic Violence Misdemeanors
- 1st-degree misdemeanor: Six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1000
- 2nd-degree misdemeanor: 90 days in jail and/or fines up to $750
- 3rd-degree misdemeanor: 60 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500
Domestic Violence Felonies
- 5th-degree felony: Six to 12 months in prison and a fine up to $2500
- 4th-degree felony: Six to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5000
- 3rd-degree felony: Nine months to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
Aside from your criminal sentence, if you are convicted of domestic violence, some other potential outcomes include:
- Difficulty maintaining or securing employment
- Revoked professional licenses
- Child custody & visitation issues
- Possible denial in immigration proceedings
- Loss of your firearm rights, even at the misdemeanor level
Simply put, if you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, it will be on your criminal background for life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you risk being considered a violent offender for the rest of your life. Therefore, you must give your domestic violence charge the level of importance it deserves.
Common Domestic Violence Offenses
There are several types of domestic violence offenses and domestic violence-related offenses that you could face in Columbus, Ohio. Here are the most common:
- Domestic Assault or Battery
- Menacing by Stalking or Stalking
- Violating a Protective Order
- Child Abuse or Neglect
- Sexual Battery
What if I’m Arrested for Domestic Violence in Columbus?
People in Franklin County and throughout Central Ohio come to be charged with domestic violence in various ways. Maybe a neighbor called the police during a heated argument with your spouse, or your partner alerted law enforcement.
Whatever the case, the police will arrive to assess the situation.
Many times, the police make domestic violence arrests based on little evidence, relying heavily on what they observe and the statements of those present. This is not a foolproof system, and innocent people are sometimes unnecessarily charged.
Generally, you will be arrested when charged with domestic violence. If not, the charge(s) will be issued as a warrant for your arrest.
What to Expect When You’re Arrested in Franklin County
You will likely be taken into custody, fingerprinted, photographed, processed, and booked into jail. If you are looking for someone currently being held in Franklin County, you can search here.
Temporary Protective Orders
Before your release, you may need to appear before a judge to secure a bond and placed under a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) that limits or bars you from contacting the alleged victim.
This TPO could even prohibit you from returning to your own home. Violating a protection order can also result in additional criminal charges. Also, you might be required to surrender any firearms in your possession while domestic violence charges are pending.
What a Columbus Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Do for You
The Columbus defense team at Luftman, Heck & Associates takes a highly aggressive approach to all domestic violence cases.
Getting Released on Bond
First and foremost, you need a bond. We will represent you at your initial bond hearing and look to secure a favorable bond and your release from jail.
Investigation and Discovery
We will investigate what mistakes the police or detectives made, whether the prosecuting witness is fabricating the charges, and what other legal issues can be raised on your behalf.
We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor and interviewing witnesses. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, pictures, and recorded interviews. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.
Plea Options and Trial
Based on the legal weaknesses in the State’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider.
If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would proceed to a motion hearing (where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial, depending on the circumstances.
Challenging Domestic Violence Allegations in Columbus
There are many ways to approach the domestic violence allegations against you. However, choosing the right approach to your defense strategy is key if you hope to obtain an acquittal. Here are some of the most common defenses used to challenge Columbus domestic violence accusations:
Defense of Yourself or Others
The most common defense used to challenge domestic violence allegations is the defense of yourself or others. This defense option may be appropriate when you exercise reasonable force to defend yourself, someone else, or a property, preventing them from serious bodily injury or harm.
False allegations of domestic violence are more common than you might think. These are often seen in messy divorces, child custody cases, and instances where one family member wants to get revenge against the other.
Lack of Intent to Harm or Cause Fear
There must be an intent to cause fear or harm in many domestic violence cases. If you lacked this intent, you should be acquitted of the charges against you.
Arrested for Domestic Violence in Columbus? LHA Can Help
For nearly ten years, our domestic violence attorneys have successfully represented clients on domestic violence and/or charges across the region. That skill and experience let us give you the best possible chance of avoiding conviction or reducing the negative impact on your life.
Contact LHA 24/7
If you have any questions or need a premier domestic violence attorney right away, we are here for you. Please contact Luftman, Heck & Associates by calling (614) 500-3836 or email us at [email protected].
For over a decade, the Columbus criminal defense lawyers at LHA have successfully represented people in situations like yours, from minor misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. We’ll be there for you too.