Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges
When a person is arrested for a crime of domestic violence in Ohio, the prosecutor will still need to prove the alleged offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. Many domestic violence cases involve disputes between spouses or other family members in which alleged victims and alleged offenders have two different versions of how actions played out.
In such cases, judges and juries often tend to err on the side of caution and take whatever steps are necessary to protect the alleged victims. In order to avoid the serious penalties that can accompany a conviction for domestic violence, an alleged offender will need to present a strong, thoughtful defense that exposes flaws in the prosecutor’s case or at least presents reasons for the average person to have a reasonable doubt about the credibility of the charges.
Lawyer for Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges in Cincinnati, OH
If you were arrested for domestic violence in Hamilton County, you will want to be sure that you retain legal counsel capable of presenting the best possible defenses in court to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case. Joslyn Law Firm can investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and fight to possibly get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn represents clients in Anderson, Delhi, Harrison, Springfield, Sycamore, Forest Park, Springdale, Montgomery, Bridgetown, and surrounding areas of southwest Ohio. Call right now to take advantage of a free initial consultation that will allow our lawyers to review your case and discuss all of your legal options.
Ohio Domestic Violence Defenses Information Center
- How can an alleged offender prove that the alleged victim lied?
- Are alleged offenders able to claim that their actions were done in defense of themselves or others?
- What does it mean to recklessly cause harm to a family or household member?
- How does the quantity or quality of evidence impact criminal charges?
- Where can I find more information about domestic violence defenses in Cincinnati?
It is an unfortunate truth that some accusations of domestic violence in Ohio are either tremendously exaggerated or outright fabricated by alleged victims. In such cases, alleged victims are often attempting to have alleged offenders convicted in order to gain leverage in contested child custody or divorce proceedings.
A criminal defense attorney can review the testimony of the alleged victim and call out any inconsistencies in his or her story. When there are issues with the accuracy of an alleged victim’s story, it becomes incredibly difficult for an alleged offender to be convicted of any crime.
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2901.05, “a person is presumed to have acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.”
Simply put, if an alleged victim was the party that initiated an altercation, the other people involved in the incident are legally allowed to take whatever actions were necessary to protect themselves. Alleged offenders who have been arrested for domestic violence may be able to get criminal charges thrown out if their lawyers can demonstrate that any injuries they caused were only the result of having to protect themselves or other people (such as children).
In order for an alleged offender to be convicted of domestic violence under Ohio Revised Code § 2919.25, the prosecution will need to prove that the alleged offender knowingly caused or attempted to cause physical harm to a family or household member, or, by threat of force, knowingly caused a family or household member to believe that the alleged offender would cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member. An alleged offender could also be convicted if the prosecutor can prove that an alleged offender recklessly caused serious physical harm to a family or household member.
It will be very difficult to convict a person of knowingly causing an injury if the alleged offender claims he or she had no intention of harming the alleged victim. Ohio Revised Code § 2901.22(C) states, “A person acts recklessly when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, the person disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the person's conduct is likely to cause a certain result or is likely to be of a certain nature.”
When the harm that resulted from an alleged offender’s actions was truly the result of an accidental action with no intent to injure the alleged victim, it may still be possible for an alleged offender to argue that he or she believed there was no substantial and unjustifiable risk to his or her conduct.
Many people are placed under arrest for domestic violence even when there is little to no evidence to support the criminal charges. Cases that are based solely on the testimony of an alleged victim can often be susceptible to numerous inconsistencies.
Even when there is supposed evidence of harm caused by an alleged offender, not all injuries may have been the result of an alleged offender’s actions. A criminal defense attorney can review all of the evidence that prosecutor has and determine the strongest ways to challenge the authenticity of such evidence.
State v. Pepin-McCaffrey — On October 28, 2008, Chantal Pepin-McCaffrey was arrested for domestic violence after punching her husband in the groin. She was convicted and sentenced to 180 days in jail, but Pepin-McCaffrey appealed after the trial court “improperly believed that the affirmative defense of self-defense was not available.” The Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case for a new trial.
The Ohio Domestic Violence Benchbook — The Ohio Family Violence Prevention Center was established at the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) in 1999 and serves as an information clearinghouse for public and private organizations providing assistance to domestic violence victims. In this guide for judges and magistrates, you can find quick references to numerous legal issues in domestic violence cases. The guide covers numerous self-defense issues as well as bond, pretrial release, and sentencing considerations for domestic violence crimes.
Joslyn Law Firm | Cincinnati Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Were you arrested in Hamilton County for an alleged crime of domestic violence? It is in your best interest to immediately contact Joslyn Law Firm for help exploring all of your possible legal defenses.
Brian Joslyn is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Cincinnati who represents clients all over southwestern Ohio, including Miamitown, Colerain, Green, Miami, Symmes, Norwood, Blue Ash, Reading, Harrison, and many other nearby communities. You can have our lawyers provide an hoenst and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (513) 399-6289 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.