Cleveland Assault And Battery Lawyer
If you are facing assault charges in Ohio, you need a Cleveland assault and battery lawyer with the experience and track record to build a strong defense.
Assault charges are serious, and a conviction can change your life. It’s important to understand the types of assault crimes in Ohio and their penalties.
Understanding Assault and Battery Crimes in Ohio
The State of Ohio doesn’t technically have battery charges like many other states do. Assault covers all assault and battery-related charges in the state.
There are several types of assault, and they can vary from misdemeanors to felonies.
Under Ohio law, you can be charged with simple assault if:
- You knowingly cause or intend to cause physical harm to a person or unborn child, OR
- You recklessly cause harm to another person or unborn child.
You can be charged with simple assault even if no physical contact is made and there are no injuries.
Simple assault is generally charged as a misdemeanor. It can be charged as a felony if the assault is directed at:
- A law enforcement officer, EMT, firefighter, health care provider or hospital staffer
- A prosecutor, judge, or courthouse employee while on the job
- A volunteer, staff member or visitor at a correctional facility by an incarcerated person
- A school teacher or employee while on the job
- An impaired person by his/her caregiver
- An employee of a public child services agency while on the job
In Ohio, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly cause serious physical harm to another person or unborn child in a fit of rage or sudden passion. You can also be charged with aggravated assault if you cause or attempt to cause harm with a deadly weapon.
The State of Ohio considers aggravated assault to be a crime of passion. This charge is largely based on your mental state at the time of the crime.
Aggravated assault is typically a fourth-degree felony, but it can be escalated to a third-degree felony if the assault is direct at a police officer.
The most serious of assault crimes in Ohio. You can be charged with felonious assault if:
- You knowingly cause serious physical harm to a person or unborn child, OR
- You attempt to cause physical harm using a deadly weapon
Felonious assault is usually charged as a second-degree felony. The charge can be escalated to a first-degree felony if the assault is directed at a law enforcement officer.
In Ohio, you can also be charged with felonious assault if you engage in sexual conduct with a person while knowingly tested positive for HIV if:
- You do not disclose your HIV status
- The other party is under the age of 18
- You know or believe the other party does not have the mental capacity to understand your condition
Ohio law prohibits the reckless use of firearms, explosives and other weapons. Accidental shootings and hunting accidents can result in a negligent assault charge.
The term “negligent” simply means that you acted carelessly but did not cause intentional harm.
Negligent assault is considered a third-degree misdemeanor.
If you cause physical harm with a vehicle, you can be charged with vehicular assault in Ohio. This includes reckless operation of a vehicle in construction zones and driving while under the influence.
Vehicular assault can apply to:
- Boats and other watercraft
Depending on the circumstances, the crime can range from first-degree misdemeanor to felony-level charges. If you are driving while under the influence and cause an accident that leads to injuries, you can be charged with aggravated vehicular assault, which is a third-degree felony.
What are the Penalties for Assault in Ohio?
Assault charges have serious penalties and potentially life-altering consequences. The penalties depend on the type of assault and the victim:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail
- Fifth-degree felony: Fines up to $2,500 and up to one year in prison
- Fourth-degree felony: Fines up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in prison
- Third-degree felony: Fines up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison
- Second-degree felony: Fines up to $15,000 and up to eight years in prison
- First-degree felony: Fines up to $20,000 and up to eleven years in prison
It is also important to remember that there is a presumption of a prison sentence if you’re convicted of a first or second-degree felony. This means that if you are convicted of either of these felony types, it is presumed that you will be required to serve a prison sentence. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney will give you the best chance at either avoiding or greatly reducing any prison time you might be required to serve.
In addition to fines and potential jail or prison time, an assault conviction can also have other consequences, including:
- The loss of your driver’s license
- Community service
An assault conviction can follow you for the rest of your life and may make it difficult to find a job, go to college, rent an apartment or obtain a professional license. You may also lose your gun ownership rights and your ability to vote while incarcerated.
Call a Cleveland Assault and Battery Lawyer
If you are facing assault charges, call a Cleveland assault and battery lawyer right away. An experienced lawyer will fight on your behalf and help you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Should I get a lawyer for an assault charge?
If you have been charged with assault in Ohio, you should seek the services of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Assault charges can have serious consequences, and the best way to protect yourself is to have someone with the necessary legal knowledge on your side fighting for your rights.
What is the punishment for assault in Ohio?
The penalties for assault in Ohio will depend on the severity of the charges and the type of assault that was committed. Possible penalties could include:
- Jail time
- Criminal charges on your record
Can an assault charge be dropped?
Dropping assault charges can be very difficult, and in some cases impossible. If someone wants to drop assault charges, they should actually reach out to the criminal defense attorney representing the individual whom they originally had the charges against. This attorney can help advise whether dropping the charges is even possible and if so, they can help facilitate the necessary conversations to get this accomplished.