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Assault vs. Domestic Violence in Ohio

Assault

Assault & DVAssault and domestic violence charges are similar but not the same. The Ohio Revised Code defines assault as knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn or recklessly causing serious physical harm to another or to another’s unborn. An assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge in Ohio depending on the circumstances of the case. The varying degrees of an assault depend on the type of victim and aggressor and also the location of the action. An assault is typically a first degree misdemeanor. If the situation involves a caretaker and a functionally impaired victim, the offense is a felony of the third degree. When the offense occurs in a state or federal correctional facility, with the aggressor being in custody and the victim being a peace officer, it is a felony of the fifth degree. An offense taking place at a school with the victim being a teacher or administrator is also a felony of the fifth degree. An assault against a peace officer, not at a correctional facility, is a felony of the fourth degree.

Aggravated assault is defined as causing serious physical harm to another or another’s unborn or causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or another’s unborn by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force. Aggravated assault is a felony, the degree of which depends on the circumstances of the case. An aggravated assault is usually a felony of the fourth degree, unless the victim is a peace officer or state investigator. Aggravated assault against a peace officer of state investigator is a felony of the third degree. An assault charge should not be taken lightly as the penalties for the offense can include imprisonment, probation, fines, counseling, anger management programs, and restitution to the victim.

Domestic Violence in Ohio

Domestic violence is essentially an assault against a family or household member. Ohio Revised Code defines domestic violence as:

  1. Knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family or household member;
  2. Recklessly causing serious physical harm to a family or household member, or;
  3. By threat of force, knowingly causing a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.

A family member can include a spouse, children, stepchildren, a former spouse, and other relatives. Non relatives such as boyfriends and girlfriends can also be considered family or household members depending on the living situation.

In Ohio, domestic violence charges are enhancable, meaning that the offense becomes more severe with each previous conviction. If you are facing an assault or domestic violence charge, contact a licensed Ohio attorney to discuss your options.