Columbus Domestic Violence Lawyer

Defending Clients Charged With Domestic Abuse in Franklin County

With an increasing media awareness of domestic violence within homes, law enforcement and courts alike are working tirelessly to put offenders behind bars, pursuing the strictest penalties available. Domestic violence is the knowing and willful attempt to cause harm to those within their immediate family or another household member. This can include physical harm or threats to induce fear of imminent harm.

As domestic violence usually occurs within the walls of a home, other than the alleged victim, there is usually never a witness to the crime. Litigating crimes of this nature is difficult as it often falls into a gray, murky area of the law. Incidents of supposed domestic violence often happen in the heat of the moment and can even be used as a weapon.

Are you facing a domestic violence charge? Call Koffel Brininger Nesbitt today at (614) 675-4845 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our domestic violence attorney in Columbus!

What Constitutes an Act of Domestic Violence?

In Ohio, domestic violence is threatening violence against a family or household member. Under Ohio law, a family or household member is defined as:

  • A spouse or former spouse
  • A person who shares a child with the alleged perpetrator
  • A person who is currently living with or has lived with the alleged perpetrator
  • A person who is related to the alleged perpetrator by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A person who is the alleged perpetrator's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, or child-in-law

Acts of domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Some examples of behaviors that can constitute domestic violence in Ohio include:

  • Physical violence, such as hitting, kicking, or choking
  • Threats of violence, such as threatening to harm the victim or their children
  • Emotional abuse, such as manipulating or controlling behavior or isolating the victim from friends and family
  • Sexual abuse, such as forced sexual contact or rape
  • Stalking or harassment, such as repeatedly following or contacting the victim
  • Economic abuse, such as withholding money or access to financial resources

It's important to note that each case is unique, and not all behavior within a domestic relationship constitutes domestic violence under Ohio law. If you have been accused of domestic violence, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options and defend your rights is essential.

What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Ohio?

In Ohio, domestic violence is a serious offense with significant legal penalties. The penalties for domestic violence depend on the specific circumstances of the offense and the defendant's criminal history. Here are some of the penalties that can result from a domestic violence conviction in Ohio:

  • Misdemeanor domestic violence: If a person is convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge, they can face up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. In addition, they may be required to attend counseling and complete community service.
  • Felony domestic violence: If a person is convicted of a felony domestic violence charge, they can face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. In addition, they may be required to attend counseling and complete community service.
  • Protective orders: A person convicted of domestic violence may be subject to a protective order, which can restrict their contact with the alleged victim and require them to stay away from certain locations.
  • Loss of firearm rights: In Ohio, a person convicted of domestic violence is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for a period of time, which can have significant consequences for hunters, law enforcement officers, and others who rely on firearms for their work or hobbies.
  • Immigration consequences: A domestic violence conviction can also have significant immigration consequences for non-citizens, including deportation or denial of naturalization.

Recantations In Domestic Violence Cases

It is common for victim-spouses to recant in the days leading up to a trial. In this instance, prosecutors must evaluate the evidence from the date of the arrest and compare it to the alleged victim’s “new” version of events. This is a phenomenon that troubles courts and prosecutors.

So, what happens to a domestic violence case when the alleged victim changes his/her story in an effort to exonerate their family member? Normally, the prosecution is left with a crippled case and may need to reduce the charges or dismiss the case outright. If it is a felony domestic violence (due to a prior conviction for an offense of violence against a household member), then the prosecutor is likely to evaluate the case as “battered spouse syndrome”. The prosecutor may not need the testimony of the alleged victim. The responding officers can often prove the case via eyewitness testimony of fresh injuries, body-camera video footage, photos of injuries, and the initial statements made by the alleged victim. Also, the prosecutors can cross-examine their own victim at trial with prior inconsistent statements given to the police.

Just because the alleged victim tries to recant does not always result in a case being dismissed.

If you are in a situation such as this, it is vitally important that you do not hesitate to contact a Columbus domestic violence attorney as quickly as possible.

Contact Our Columbus Domestic Violence Attorney Today

At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, they understand the severity of charges of this nature and are completely dedicated to offering our clients the best protection possible. By working tirelessly to research and prepare for trial, they are never caught off guard but rather cover their bases. If you choose to work with a lawyer from the legal team at their firm, you can be confident that your future will be in trustworthy and capable hands.

Contact Koffel Brininger Nesbitt today to get started with our domestic violence lawyer in Columbus!