What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is physical or verbal abuse that occurs within a family or intimate relationship. Incidents of domestic violence may happen only once, or over an extended period time. Violence of this nature may occur between spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, or siblings. In most domestic violence cases, physical force and/or verbal abuse is used to instill fear in the victim. For this reason, many domestic violence incidents are not reported to law enforcement.

Domestic violence cases can manifest themselves in patterns of abuse. These patterns can spiral downward and get progressively more violent and dangerous. Often times the victims refuse to cooperate with law enforcement–resulting in the dismissal of the charge. Many times the victim’s reluctance is based on the dynamic of the relationship. As such, both the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Prosecutors Offices take these cases very seriously. They will always strongly encourage victims to pursue these charges. If the prosecutors are able, they will attempt to prove a case without the victim’s cooperation.

The domestic violence laws in Ohio have been promulgated to protect the victim. If a domestic violence incident is reported, at least one of the participants is going to be arrested and jailed. This ensures that there will be no more difficulty between the parties until a bond hearing is held and a temporary protection order is placed into effect. The law is intended to prevent the escalation of violence; its purpose is to subvert the potential for serious injury or even death.

While the domestic violence laws are well intentioned, they can easily be abused. The investigating officers have little discretion in domestic violence cases. When they respond to a call and allegations are levied, someone is going to jail. There are no standard bonds for domestic violence cases. The defendant is jailed until the next available bond hearing.

The system can be manipulated by people with ulterior motives. Domestic violence can be alleged vindictively. These charges can be used as leverage in divorce proceedings and/or custody battles. The collateral consequences of domestic violence convictions can be devastating.

Ohio Domestic Violence Legal Penalties:
Domestic violence is usually classified as a misdemeanor offense. However, if an individual has a prior domestic violence conviction, the successive incidents are charged as felonies. Domestic violence convictions are non-expungable. The conviction will remain on an individual’s record forever. Due to the life‑altering legal consequences that are involved, it is always in a person’s best interest to obtain the services of a criminal defense attorney who has the legal background and knowledge it takes to successfully fight domestic violence charges. Additionally, it is important that people charged with domestic violence seek guidance from a lawyer as they may be subject to the strict terms of a restraining order or an order of protection, which may prohibit them from having contact with the alleged victim or entering their own residence.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a domestic violence offense, do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Scott A. Rubenstein at (513) 241‑7460. He can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.