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Domestic Violence

Skilled Lawyer Defends Clients Against Domestic Violence Charges in Ohio

Proven Lebanon firm asserts the rights of those accused by family members

Being accused of domestic violence doesn’t just put you in legal jeopardy; it also carries a stigma that could destroy your reputation and relationships. These cases are charged with emotion and governed by rules that can lead authorities to start a case against someone without a true understanding of what occurred. Ernst & Associates in Lebanon challenges questionable charges and protects the fundamental rights of southwest Ohio residents. These prosecutions can include felony or misdemeanor counts and could lead to limits on parental visitation and weapons ownership. Trying to work things out on your own or pleading guilty so you can put the situation behind you might be a big mistake. Attorney Dave Ernst has more than 25 years of experience as a defense attorney and will work tirelessly to bring you the best possible result.

Thorough advocate outlines the laws governing domestic violence cases

Whenever police officers are called to the scene of a domestic argument or fight, they are usually required to take one of the parties involved into custody, regardless of what has happened or who might be at fault. Many minor disagreements, even when no one is hurt, can result in a domestic violence arrest. The police are trained to arrest first and sort out the facts later. Under Ohio law, domestic violence prosecutions can be brought if the alleged perpetrator and victim are spouses, have any other type of family relationship or have lived together within the previous five years.

Three types of alleged domestic violence behavior trigger criminal charges under state law:

  • Knowingly causing physical harm — Causing or attempting to cause injury to a family or household member is a first-degree misdemeanor, which for a first offender can carry a sentence of up to six months in jail in addition to a fine as high as $1,000.
  • Recklessly causing serious harm — During arguments, a person might take actions that lead to a serious injury though they were not intending to strike someone else in the room. If a victim is hurt seriously due to a recklessly thrown object or slammed door, charges could be brought.
  • Threatening imminent harm — Even if contact is never made, an individual can be convicted of domestic violence if he or she threatens imminent physical harm. This is charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. For these cases, the fine runs up to $250 and you could be incarcerated for 30 days.

These laws are similar to the general assault provisions, and a felony assault charge can be brought if a deadly weapon is involved. In addition to triggering a criminal charge, a domestic violence allegation might also trigger a civil protection order that prevents someone from seeing or contacting the purported victim. The additional and sometimes enhanced penalties associated with these matters highlight the fact that domestic violence accusations are very serious and not something you want to face without a qualified attorney.

Skillful litigator protects the rights of people charged with assault

The events that precede a domestic violence arrest are often complicated and not apparent to reporting officers. Our firm thoroughly reviews the situation and relevant factors within the relationship to determine if the actions at issue were made in self-defense or were legally justified for some other reason. When possible, we work to help clients avoid incarceration and pursue alternatives that alleviate the potential for conflict between the parties.

Contact a proven Ohio lawyer for a free consultation on a domestic violence charge

If you are charged with domestic violence, you want a skillful attorney on your side who will fight for your rights. Located in Lebanon, Ernst & Associates represents southwestern Ohio clients accused of misconduct involving someone they know. Please call 513-970-6200 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.

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Office Location
  • Lebanon Office
    11 S. Broadway St.
    Suite 200
    Lebanon, Ohio 45036
    Phone: 513-932-2214
    Fax: 513-932-2285