Ohio’s Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence affects a large number of Americans every year. Domestic violence is the violence or threat or apprehension of violence by one person against a family or household member. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people suffer physical abuse every minute by a partner in the United States. The data further suggests that approximately 1 in 7 men and 1 in 4 women have suffered severe physical abuse by an intimate partner in the United States.
Defining Domestic Violence
It is a common misconception that physical harm to the victim is necessary to constitute an offense of domestic violence. However, according to Ohio law, domestic violence is defined as committing a sexually oriented offense, committing any act that may cause child abuse, or causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a household or family member. This wide definition means that domestic violence allegations can arise out of almost any activity and physical harm is not necessarily required to constitute an offense.
Common Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic violence usually involves abusive behavior wherein one person gains power over a family or household member. Although each situation may be different, the dynamics of abusive relationships may be very similar. Some of the domestic violence and related offenses include:
- Domestic Assault or Battery- This includesknowingly causing or threatening to cause physical harm or recklessly causing serious physical injuries to a family or household member.
- Child Abuse- This includes a wide array of acts that may lead to an abused child including sexual activity, endangering a child, causing physical or mental harm, and causing death by accident.
- Stalking- This may include any conduct or pattern that would cause another person to believe that the offender may cause him or her physical harm or mental distress. Stalking can also be committed through electronic means or via the internet.
- Rape- This is defined as engaging in sexual conduct by using force against the free will of the victim.
- Violation of Protection Orders- This offense is caused when a person does not comply with the terms of a restraining order or a domestic violence protection order. Protection orders usually contain prohibitions necessary to safeguard a person against abuse or domestic violence.
If you or a family member have suffered domestic violence, an experienced Ohio domestic violence attorney will provide you with the support and legal representation necessary to protect yourself and your family members from the abuser. An attorney may be able to obtain a civil protection order in your favor to protect you from further abuse. Contact our team of seasoned domestic violence attorneys at xxxx law firm to learn more about your rights and legal remedies.
Wrongfully Accused of Domestic Violence?
In many cases, an individual may be wrongly accused of domestic violence. Sometimes an allegation may not actually constitute an offense of domestic violence.The following defenses may help a person wrongly accused of domestic violence:
- Defending Others- In some cases, it may be necessary to use force against one family member to prevent them from causing physical harm to another family member or person.
- Lack of Intention-In many domestic violence offenses, it is necessary to establish intention on part of the offender. The charges could be reduced to lesser charges or may even be dismissed if the statutory requirement of intention is not established.
- Self-Defense-In some cases, the person who initiated an offense of domestic violence may accuse the other person of domestic violence when he or she acts in self-defense. If the alleged victim himself or herself initiated the offense, self-defense can be used as a valid defense in court by the accused.
- False Allegations- There are several reasons why a false allegation of domestic violence may be leveled against a person. Some common factors includedamaging the reputation of the accused, gaining a favorable position in a divorce case, and gaining custody of a child.
If you have been falsely accused of an offense of domestic violence, consider reaching out to our team of experienced domestic violence defense attorneys at Ziccarelli & Martello law firm. Our seasoned attorneys will help you to identify applicable defenses and will passionately fight for your rights.