Offenses against the family include domestic violence, child endangering, and the violation of a protection order. These cases are often emotionally charged, and can involve everything from a couple trying to reconcile a misunderstanding that police took too far to a bitter custody fight leading to false accusations. Often involving a “he said, she said” situation, these charges can be difficult for the state to prove.

Domestic Violence & Family Crimes

Domestic crimes can be devastating—not only do they involve criminal allegations, but they also involve family members and loved ones. Perhaps more than other offenses, family crimes suffer from false allegations due to attempted leverage in custody cases, misunderstanding, or simple malice. The types of offenses and their potential penalties vary significantly.

These offenses can difficult for the state to prove due to many reasons, including a lack of evidence, obvious bias from the alleged victim, or a self-defense claim. Further, while the prosecutor does not have to adhere to the accuser’s wishes, they will often take them into account—and if the case involves a misunderstanding or the alleged victim wishes to reconcile, prosecutor’s often take that into consideration when considering offering a lower offense or a dismissal of the case. Prosecutor’s may also recognize that treatment or counseling is in everyone’s best interest, and we have utilized parenting, family, and anger management classes to secure favorable deals and dismissals for our clients.

Most family offenses involve a unique dynamic, and each demands careful attention and a specific strategy for success. Within the context of your specific needs and goals, we apply our legal acumen and trial skill to obtain the best outcome possible. Our efforts have resulted in numerous family crimes dismissed and acquittals at trial. We can help—contact us for a free case evaluation.

Domestic Violence & Family Crimes Defense Attorneys in Columbus, OH | Sabol | Mallory

Are you or your loved possibly under investigation or were you already arrested for an alleged crime of domestic violence in the Columbus area? Even if you are completely confident in your innocence, you should still avoid saying anything to authorities until you have legal representation.

Sabol | Mallory aggressively defends clients arrested for various domestic violence offenses in communities throughout Franklin County. You can have our lawyers answer all of your legal questions when you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.  

Domestic Violence Definitions in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 3113.31(A)(1)(a) defines domestic violence as any of the following acts committed against a family or household member:

  • Attempting to cause or recklessly causing bodily injury;

  • Placing another person by the threat of force in fear of imminent serious physical harm or committing a violation of section 2903.211 or 2911.211 of the Revised Code;

  • Committing any act with respect to a child that would result in the child being an abused child, as defined in section 2151.031 of the Revised Code;

  • Committing a sexually oriented offense.

Under Ohio Revised Code § 3113.31(A)(1)(b), the occurrence of one or more of the acts listed above against a person with whom the alleged offender is or was in a dating relationship is also domestic violence. A dating relationship is defined in Ohio Revised Code § 3113.31(A)(8) as meaning “a relationship between individuals who have, or have had, a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. "Dating relationship" does not include a casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.”

Ohio Revised Code § 3113.31(A)(3) defines a family or household member as any of the following who is residing with or has resided with the alleged offender:

  • A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or former spouse

  • A parent, a foster parent, or child of the alleged offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity  

  • A parent or a child of a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the alleged offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the alleged offender.

It is important to understand that Ohio has a preference for an arrest as opposed to a summons in a domestic violence case, as this policy helps ensure a situation does not escalate immediately.

Types of Domestic Violence & Family Crimes

Ohio Revised Code § 2919.25 establishes that a person commits the crime of domestic violence when they knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member, recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member, or, by threat of force, knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the alleged offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member. Knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family or household member or recklessly causing serious physical harm to a family or household member is a first-degree misdemeanor and knowingly causing a family or household member to believe that the alleged offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.  

When an alleged offender has been previously convicted of domestic violence, a repeat offense is a fourth-degree felony, and a third or subsequent offense is a third-degree felony. When an alleged offender knew that an alleged victim was pregnant, then a violation is a fifth-degree felony but violations that cause serious physical harm to the mother or her unborn can result in third-degree felony charges.

Some of the other kinds of offenses against the family listed under Chapter 2919 of the Ohio Revised Code include:

  • Terminating or attempting to terminate human pregnancy after viability — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.17

  • Nonsupport or contributing to nonsupport of dependents — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.21

  • Parental education neglect — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.222

  • Interference with custody — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.23

  • Interfering with action to issue or modify support order — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.231

  • Contributing to unruliness or delinquency of a child — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.24

  • Motion for and hearing on protection order — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.26

  • Violating protection order — Ohio Revised Code § 2919.27

Some of the crimes listed above are misdemeanors, but others are felony offenses. Convictions can carry very steep consequences.  

Ohio Domestic Violence & Family Crimes Penalties

The possible sentence a person receives if convicted of a domestic violence crime will depend on how the offense has been graded. Misdemeanors are generally punishable as follows:

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 90 days in jail and/or fine of up to $750

  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 60 days in jail and/or fine of up to $500

  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of up to $250

A felony offense in Ohio typically is much more serious, and convictions can result in the following sentences:

  • First-Degree Felony — Three to 11 years in prison and/or fine of up to $20,000

  • Second-Degree Felony — Two to eight years in prison and/or fine of up to $15,000

  • Third-Degree Felony — Nine months to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000

  • Fourth-Degree Felony — Six to 18 months in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000

  • Fifth-Degree Felony — Six to 12 months in prison and/or fine of up to $2,500

It is important to understand that domestic violence convictions cannot be expunged or sealed. The conviction could prohibit you from possessing a firearm, and it may also lead to the loss or denial of a professional license, housing, or employment.

Columbus, OH Domestic Violence & Family Crimes Resources

Domestic Violence Program — The Supreme Court of Ohio provides provides technical assistance and specialized resources to strengthen courts’ and justice system partners’ responses to domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. You can access domestic violence protection order forms, juvenile civil protection order forms, and stalking and sexually oriented offenses protection order forms. You can also find information about domestic violence courts, teen dating violence, and batterer intervention program and selected research.

The Supreme Court of Ohio

65 S. Front St.

6th Floor

Columbus, Ohio 43215

(614) 387-9408

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) — The NCADV has the mission “to lead, mobilize and raise our voices to support efforts that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy privilege, racism, sexism, and classism.” Visit this website to find statistics, signs of abuse, and what to do when you think you are being abused. You can also learn about a personalized safety plan, financial education, and cosmetic support.

ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women — ACTION OHIO’s mission is to promote quality programs, services, and resources to survivors of domestic violence. On this website, you can view numerous statistics, a calendar of events, and find helpful links. You can also find different publications.

Contact a Columbus Domestic Violence & Family Crimes Defense Lawyer Today

If you or your loved were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation for an alleged family crime or domestic violence in Columbus, you will want to retain legal counsel right away. Make sure that you call Sabol | Mallory as soon as possible.

Our firm understands the complexity of the situations that lead to domestic violence arrests, and we can conduct a thorough investigation to preserve all of the evidence that is most beneficial to you. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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