A domestic violence arrest is not something to be taken lightly, regardless of whether you are innocent. A domestic violence arrest can lead to a conviction, which will have serious and far-reaching effects on your life. It can become a part of your permanent record, and the stigma of being convicted of domestic violence will follow you. You may end up with significant jail time or huge fines. A domestic violence conviction can ruin your reputation in your neighborhood and professional community, limit your employment and housing opportunities, prevent you from reapplying for some professional licenses, lose your right to vote, make it more difficult to get a loan or a mortgage, impose restrictions on access to or custody of your children, and prohibit you from owning a gun for life.
Domestic violence is a type of assault that encompasses a wide range of controlling behaviors.
According to the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, the definition of domestic violence is, “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner.” Many types of abuse are included in the definition of domestic violence, including:
The state of Ohio is one of 22 states in the United States that has a “preferred arrest” policy in cases of alleged domestic violence. When an officer responds to a call or witnesses an incident and finds that there are reasonable grounds (not necessarily proof) to believe that a domestic violence incident has occurred, the state of Ohio considers the arrest of the alleged perpetrator as the “preferred” course of action. An arrest can occur even if the only evidence is what the alleged victim is saying or if the alleged victim changes his/her mind and wants to withdraw the charges.
Most likely, after being arrested for a domestic violence incident, you will be taken to jail. You will remain in jail until you are seen by a judge, who may or may not set bail pending trial, depending on the seriousness of the violence and whether this is your first offense or you are a repeat offender. If you are arrested on a Friday, you will most certainly spend the weekend in jail.
It is extremely important that you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in domestic violence defenses as soon as possible.
Ohio domestic violence law is extremely complex. A skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience in domestic violence defenses knows the law, is knowledgeable about the Ohio statutes pertaining to the particular domestic abuse charges filed against you, and will ensure that your rights are protected. Often, the lawyer has connections in the courts and police department and has a reputation in the community to uphold.
Most criminal defense lawyers will provide a free consultation, speak with you about the charges, listen to and evaluate the circumstances of the charge and arrest, and recommend a course of action. A lawyer will help you navigate the complicated legal process, help you set realistic expectations, and be with you every step of the way.
Once you have retained a lawyer, they will first ensure that you understand the charges against you, what is needed to disprove the state’s case, and the options available to you. Your lawyer will scrutinize the evidence and the specific details of your case, and prepare a case strategy. They will evaluate the evidence, and determine if any is inadmissible. Your lawyer will begin talks with the prosecutor and initiate negotiations to get the case dismissed or have the charges reduced. If you are unhappy with what the prosecutor is offering, your lawyer will be prepared to take the case to trial and offer a strong, aggressive defense aimed at keeping you out of jail or getting the charges reduced. Your lawyer will subpoena witnesses, and try to undermine the credibility of witnesses called by the state.
Remember! If you are arrested on a domestic violence charge, get in contact with a criminal defense attorney who specializes in domestic violence defenses as soon as possible. Your life may depend on it.
Reach out today to schedule a free case consultation.