If you knowingly cause or threaten to cause physical harm or, through reckless actions, cause physical harm to a person or a person’s unborn child, you can be charged with domestic assault. This charge becomes part of your criminal record and can affect your relationships and negatively impact your opportunities for gainful employment. Penalties for conviction include large fines, imprisonment, court-ordered anger management, or counseling. If you believe you have been falsely accused or misunderstood, retain the services of a criminal defense attorney to work in your best interests.
Consequences of Domestic Assault
The penalties meted out for the conviction of a domestic assault charge vary depending on the facts surrounding each case and the severity of the offense.
- Misdemeanor of the First Degree is typically first-time domestic assault that involves stalking or child endangerment. It can lead to imprisonment of up to 180 days and fines of up to $1000. If the victim was pregnant – and you were aware at the time of the offense – then a felony charge with harsher penalties could apply.
- Felony of the Fifth Degree involves violations of a protection order issued by the court. If convicted, you may face imprisonment of up to a year and fines of up to $2,500.
- Felony of the Fourth Degree encompasses domestic assault, child endangerment, and stalking and usually applies to persons with previous domestic assault convictions. Penalties include imprisonment for up to 18 months and fines of up to $5,000. The judge typically awards the maximum sentence if the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense.
- Felony of the Third Degree charges are for violations of protection orders, endangering children, and sexual battery for offenders with two or more prior convictions related to domestic assault. This conviction can incur prison sentences of up to five years and fines of up to $10,000.00
- Felony of the Second Degree involves sexual battery and child endangerment. Convictions lead to imprisonment for up to eight years and fines of up to $15,000.
The collateral consequence of conviction transcends the time served for the crime and can permanently affect your life. These consequences include difficulty finding employment, as employers often avoid hiring people with domestic assault convictions; restriction from certain professions, such as nursing; and a negative impact on your relationship with your children if you seek custody or visitation rights.
Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic assault charges can be very complex, and false accusations are common. A criminal defense attorney interviews all witnesses and analyzes the evidence against you to verify the validity of your charge. They also look for viable defense strategies that apply to your case.
In some instances of domestic assault, the use of force was necessary to prevent a crime, prevent physical injury to oneself, or protect an individual’s property. Domestic assault charges can even arise from sporting competitions, though such charges may be dropped if the person consented to potential harm.
An experienced criminal defense attorney is equipped with the knowledge to accurately evaluate your case files and evidence to determine if your charges can be dropped or reduced.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Ohio
Hiring a criminal defense attorney can potentially change the outcome of your domestic assault charge. Domestic assault charges can carry severe and lasting repercussions. A criminal defense attorney builds a strong strategy for protecting your rights and increases the odds of a favorable outcome. If you or a loved one is accused or charged with domestic assault, contact Mark Wieczorek 24/7 at 513.317.5987 or book a free consultation online.