Columbus Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic violence charges affect people in Central Ohio everyday. With an experienced defense lawyer, they don’t have to define you.
“The professionalism you both have shown since I started interacting with your firm is no doubt the best I have ever seen. You guys are simply the best.”
Luftman, Heck & Associates client
Being charged with domestic violence does not mean you are guilty. However, these charges range from a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail to a first-degree felony punishable by years in prison if convicted. The need to be taken seriously and handled by defense lawyers who know how to get results.
Arrested for domestic violence in Columbus, Franklin County, or the surrounding areas? Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates right away. We will get you released, explain your options, walk you through the process, and protect you from the harsh penalties of a conviction.
Domestic Violence Explained
Ohio Revised Code 2919.25 lays out what is meant by domestic violence.
Essentially, domestic violence prohibits any act of violence or attempted violence against a family or household member. This is regardless of whether the alleged victim suffers injuries or needs medical attention.
Some examples of domestic violence typically seen in Franklin County are kicking, choking, slapping, pushing, throwing objects, sexual assault, physical restraint, or any harmful touching. However, domestic violence does not have to be physical.
Certain types of harassment, menacing, or emotional abuse are also prohibited because any threat of force that knowingly causes a family or household member to believe that you will cause them harm is also considered domestic violence.
Who is Considered a Family or Household Member?
Individual protected under Ohio’s domestic violence law is anyone residing or has resided with the alleged offender. This includes but not limited to:
- Spouses, former spouses or individuals living as a spouse
- Parents, guardians, or other relatives
- The child or children of the alleged offender, a spouse, an individual living as a spouse, former spouse, or another relative.
Assault vs. Domestic Violence
In most cases, when a person is charged with domestic violence, they are also charged with assault. On the other hand, if you are charged with assault and the alleged victim is not a family or household member, you will not be charged with domestic violence.
What Happens if I’m Arrested for Domestic Violence in Columbus?
People in Franklin County and throughout Central Ohio come to be charged with domestic violence in various ways. Maybe a neighbor called the police during a heated argument with your spouse or your partner alerted law enforcement themselves. Whatever the case, the police will arrive and try to asses the situation.
Many times, the police make domestic violence arrests based on little evidence, relying heavily on what they observe and the statements of those present. This is not a foolproof system, and innocent people are sometimes unnecessarily charged.
If you are arrested, you will likely be taken into custody, fingerprinted, photographed, processed, and booked into jail. If you are looking for someone currently being held in Franklin, County, you can search here.
Before your release, you may need to appear before a judge to secure a bond and placed under a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) that limits or bars you from contacting the alleged victim.
This TPO could even prohibit you from returning to your own home. Violating a protection order can also result in additional criminal charges. Also, you might be required to surrender any firearms in your possession while domestic violence charges are pending.
Generally, you will be arrested when charged with domestic violence. If not, the charge(s) will be filed as a warrant and you will have to turn yourself in. We will represent you at your initial bond hearing and look to secure a favorable bond and your release from jail.
Domestic Violence Penalties
A person convicted of domestic violence in Ohio faces the following potential criminal penalties. In addition, if the victim was pregnant at the time, the court will impose a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six months to a year in jail.
Domestic Violence Misdemeanors
1st-degree misdemeanor: Six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1000
2nd-degree misdemeanor: 90 days in jail and/or fines up to $750
3rd-degree misdemeanor: 60 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500
Domestic Violence Felonies
5th-degree felony: Six to 12 months in prison and a fine up to $2500
4th-degree felony: Six to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5000
3rd-degree felony: Nine months to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
Aside from your criminal sentence, if you are convicted of domestic violence, some additional potential outcomes include:
- Difficulty Maintaining or Securing Employment
- Revoked Professional Licenses
- Child Custody & Visitation Issues
- Possible Denial in Immigration Proceedings
- Loss of Your Firearm Rights Even at the Misdemeanor Level
Simply put, if you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, it will be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you run the risk of being considered a violent offender for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is critical that you give your domestic violence charge the level of importance it deserves.
What a Columbus Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Do for You
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our Columbus Defense team takes a two-pronged and highly – aggressive approach to all domestic violence cases.
First and foremost, you need a bond. Generally, you will be arrested when charged with domestic violence. If not, the charge(s) will be filed as a warrant and you will have to turn yourself in. We will represent you at your initial bond hearing and look to secure a favorable bond and your release from jail.
Thereafter we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made, whether the prosecuting witness is fabricating the charges and what other legal issues can be raised on your behalf.
We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor and interviewing witnesses. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, pictures, and recorded interviews. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.
Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.
If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.
Arrested for Domestic Violence in Columbus? LHA Can Help
For nearly ten years, our domestic violence attorneys have successfully represented clients on domestic violence and/or charges across the region. That level of skill and experience lets us give you the best possible chance of avoiding conviction or reducing the negative impact on your life.
Contact LHA 24/7
If you have any questions or need a premier domestic violence attorney right away, we ahre here for you. Please contact Luftman, Heck & Associates either by calling (614) 500-3836 or email us via [email protected].
For over a decade, the Columbus criminal defense lawyers at LHA have successfully represented in situations a lot like yours, from minor misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. Let us be there for you too.