Being charged with domestic violence is a threat to your career, reputation, relationship with your family, emotional health, and much more. If found guilty, you may face jail time and fines, in addition to having to stay away from your loved ones.
Thankfully, these charges can be dropped in the state of Ohio – but only under very specific circumstances.
With the help of experienced trial attorneys like our team at Hiltner Trial Lawyers, you stand a much better chance of getting your domestic violence case dropped.
What are the penalties for domestic violence in Ohio?
Domestic violence charges refer to a range of offenses that have been committed against a member of your family or household. This includes physical harm as well as threats of violence.
The penalties from these charges depend on the degree of the charge, from misdemeanor to felony. Judges will determine the degree of the charge based on whether the defendant has had prior convictions, the circumstances around the event, whether the victim was physically harmed, and the severity of the evidence.
Here are some of the penalties for domestic violence charges in Ohio:
- Misdemeanor domestic violence charges:
- up to 6 months in jail
- up to a $1,000 fine, plus court fees
- Felony domestic violence charges:
- up to 3 years of jail time
- up to a $10,000 fine, plus court fees
With that in mind, is there a way to avoid domestic violence charges by having your case dropped?
Can a domestic violence case be dropped in Ohio?
It is possible to have your domestic violence case dropped in the state of Ohio.
However, this can only be done by the prosecuting attorney, or by the judge. The victim cannot drop the charge even if they withdraw their original statement or accusation.
Prosecuting attorneys can decide to proceed with the case, even if the victim wishes to drop the charges, for the following reasons:
- The prosecuting attorney believes that the alleged abuser is still a threat to the victim, their family members, or their community.
- There is evidence of physical harm to the victim.
- The victim is a minor or a vulnerable adult.
- The prosecutor believes that the victim has been coerced into withdrawing their accusation.
The case may even proceed if the victim is uncooperative and refuses to appear at trial. In certain circumstances they may be held in contempt of court, but the prosecutor can still use other evidence like police reports and 911 calls to make a case.
How can I get my domestic violence case dropped in Ohio?
As mentioned above, the only parties capable of dropping a domestic violence case in Ohio are the prosecuting attorney or the judge.
Prosecutors and judges may drop a domestic violence case if they do not believe a crime was committed, if there is not enough evidence to back up a conviction, or if there is a lack of probable cause.
Qualified defense attorneys can try a variety of methods to convince prosecuting attorneys and/or judges to drop the charges. In certain cases, defense attorneys are able to get the case dropped by challenging the prosecution’s evidence, negotiating for a lesser charge, reaching an agreement to drop the charges if the defendant agrees to certain acts (e.g. anger management counseling), or by other means.
Hire a criminal defense attorney in Ohio today
Domestic violence is a serious charge with lasting consequences. To get your domestic violence case dropped, you’ll need the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys. 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.
Work with Hiltner Trial Lawyers to get that kind of vigorous representation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.