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Domestic Violence

Defending yourself against a domestic violence charge in Ohio

By June 18, 2024June 28th, 2024No Comments

Domestic violence charges are a serious matter in Ohio. Second or third offenses can result in sentences of up to three years in jail or fines of up to $10,000.

If you’re charged with domestic violence in Ohio, the first step you should take is to consult a domestic violence defense attorney to discuss your case and plan your defense.

Whether the accusations are accurate or not, you are entitled to an experienced defense attorney who is committed to representing your interests and defending your rights as a defendant. So, what are some of the ways that you can defend yourself against charges of domestic violence?

Read on for defense attorney Max Hiltner’s practical guide on some common ways to defend yourself against domestic violence charges in Ohio.

What Counts As Domestic Violence in Ohio?

In Ohio, “domestic violence” is defined by the Ohio Revised Code Article 3113.31 and can include any of the following acts:

These acts are considered domestic violence if they are committed against a “family or household member” who presses charges, which can include any of the following people:

  1. Current or former spouses
  2. A partner the defendant has lived with in the last five years
  3. Parents or foster parents
  4. Children
  5. Extended family members
  6. A parent or child of the defendant’s spouse, former spouse, or romantic partner
  7. An extended family member of the defendant’s spouse, former spouse, or romantic partner

To effectively address charges of domestic violence, it is crucial to understand your legal options and build a strong defense. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney who is knowledgeable of domestic violence law in Ohio is an essential first step.

What Are Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence in Ohio?

The state of Ohio takes domestic violence very seriously, and penalties can range from 60 days in jail with a $500 fine to three years in jail or a fine of up to $10,000. Plus, the accusation alone can lead to problems in your personal and professional life.

If you are charged with domestic violence, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself from these consequences. The most important action you can take is to contact a criminal defense attorney and discuss the details of your case.

Once you’ve hired a defense attorney, there are a number of common defenses that you and your attorney could pursue, depending on the details of your case. Common defenses include:

#1. Self-defense

In many cases, the instance of domestic violence wasn’t a clear-cut act committed by one person against another. If you claim that you were acting in self-defense, the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you weren’t defending yourself. In Ohio, the burden of disproving self-defense now lies with the State.

#2. False Allegations

It may be the case that what you are accused of simply didn’t happen or didn’t happen in the way that your accuser claims. If this is the case, you may be able to present evidence to prove that you didn’t do what you are accused of. You and your attorney might look for inconsistencies in your accuser’s testimony or a history of false allegations to support your case.

#3. Insufficient Evidence

In domestic violence cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that you did what you are accused of. If the prosecution has insufficient evidence to prove that the allegations are true, there could only be two possibilities:

This is also where inconsistent testimony and prior false allegations can be significant.

#4. Accuser Changes Their Mind

It’s common in domestic violence cases for the accuser to either not cooperate with the prosecution or change their mind about pressing charges. Although once charges are filed, the State controls whether or not to dismiss the case, the prosecution will likely not pursue the case further or may offer a plea to a lesser charge if the accuser changes their story or is reluctant to cooperate.

Statute of Limitation for Domestic Violence Charges in Ohio

The statute of limitations for domestic violence charges in Ohio varies depending on the type of crime committed. This includes specific categories such as murder and sex offenses, which have their own designated time limits. For domestic violence cases in Ohio, the statutes of limitations are as follows:

  • Two years for misdemeanors
  • Six years for felonies

The classification of a domestic violence incident as either a misdemeanor or a felony is determined by the specific circumstances surrounding the crime.

How Can An Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

Before you begin mounting your defense, you should reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your options. Max Hiltner is equipped to provide legal advice tailored to the specifics of your case.

Here’s how criminal defense lawyers can assist:

  1. Case Evaluation: An attorney evaluates the evidence and legal context to build a strong defense strategy.
  2. Legal Guidance: They provide insights into Ohio’s laws, explain your rights, and outline the judicial process.
  3. Defense Strategy: Your lawyer might employ various tactics, like demonstrating self-defense, identifying inconsistencies in the accuser’s testimony, or pointing out insufficient evidence.
  4. Negotiation Skills: They negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce or dismiss charges based on procedural issues or new evidence.
  5. Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will handle everything from jury selection to evidence presentation and making legal arguments on your behalf.

Contact Hilter Trial Lawyers Today!

With a deep understanding of Ohio law and a proven track record in defending against domestic violence charges, our team at Hiltner Trial Lawyers can assess your situation, explore potential defenses, and develop a strategic approach designed to achieve the best possible outcome that protects your future.

Whether you did commit an act of violence or not, we can represent your interests and make sure that the court comes to a conclusion that is best for everyone and respects your rights as a defendant.

Contact us at 330-475-3164 today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.

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