One of the biggest legislative changes to the Ohio criminal code is the reclassification of strangulation as a felony under the newly enacted Ohio Revised Code § 2903.18.
This change reflects the state’s commitment to tackle domestic violence more aggressively and ensures better legal protections for victims.
At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, our criminal defense attorneys know that emotions run high in domestic violence cases, and everyone deserves to tell their side of the story.
In this blog, we’ll look at this shift in the law, as well as why partnering with Hiltner Trial Lawyers may give you the best shot at fighting felony charges of strangulation in Ohio.
Understanding the Changes In the Ohio Legislature
Until April 2023, Ohio was the only state that hadn’t classified strangulation as a felony, but the passage of Senate Bill 288 changed this, marking a significant step forward in criminal justice reforms.
Previously considered only a misdemeanor, strangulation has now been recognized as a felony due to its severe implications and its strong correlation with future domestic violence incidents. Research substantiates this, demonstrating that victims of strangulation are at significantly higher risk of severe injuries and even death.
Strangulation or suffocation, as defined in the Ohio Revised Code § 2903.18, involves any act that obstructs normal breathing or blood circulation by applying pressure to the neck or throat or covering the nose and mouth.
Offenses under this new statute can now lead to charges as a second, fourth, or fifth-degree felony, substantially impacting the legal landscape of domestic violence cases in Ohio.
Implications of the New Felony Strangulation Statute
The reclassification of strangulation as a felony presents several challenges and consequences.
- Police, in their efforts to maintain safety, may occasionally err on the side of caution, leading to potential misinterpretation of physical evidence or misunderstandings due to miscommunication.
- False accusations can also occur, with some individuals potentially leveraging these severe charges for manipulative purposes.
- Additionally, inadequate investigations due to limited resources can also contribute to wrongful arrests.
Being charged with felony strangulation carries increased penalties and long-term consequences not associated with misdemeanor charges.
Being convicted of a felony could result in a prison term of several years compared to a misdemeanor’s potential jail sentence of up to one year. It can also change how prosecutors approach the case, limiting plea bargain options, and potential resolutions.
Undoubtedly, this new law complicates matters for those wrongly accused, reinforcing the need for competent legal representation.
Why A Criminal Defense Attorney is Vital for Navigating the Ohio Legal System
The legal system in Ohio, much like any other state, can be complex and intimidating. From understanding the charges to making court appearances, negotiating pleas, and ensuring accurate communication with law enforcement officials, each step presents its unique challenges.
The stakes have been raised and additional complexity introduced by the new strangulation law, which means the importance of experienced legal representation can’t be overstated.
A qualified Ohio defense attorney will be able to offer comprehensive legal services rooted in a deep understanding of the intricacies of this law.
That’s where Hiltner Trial Lawyers comes in. Our team offers guidance throughout the entire process, assuring you aren’t alone in navigating these intricate legal waters.
Contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers Today
The reclassification of strangulation as a felony in Ohio represents a significant shift in domestic violence legislation, signaling a robust commitment to curbing such acts. While this change brings about stronger protections for victims, it also introduces higher stakes and complexities for the accused.
Everyone is entitled to due process and the right to consult a lawyer. Before trying to face the case on your own, contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers to make sure your rights as well as your freedom are protected.