Menacing & Stalking Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH
Facing criminal charges can be a frightening experience for many people. Under stress and uncertainty about what lies ahead, it can be challenging to know what to do and where to turn. Joslyn Law Firm leads the way in helping our clients face these tough situations with sound legal defense and a chance to have their day in court.
We are recognized as one of Ohio’s premier criminal defense firms, consistently earning for our work, dedication, and enduring commitment to representing our clients at trial. Brian Joslyn, principal attorney, has also earned the “Top Lawyer” designation from Columbus CEO Magazine, among many other honors.
With more than 20,000 cases under our belt, it is safe to say that we know our way around the courtroom, defending clients facing criminal charges of various kinds, including menacing by stalking.
Criminal charges related to menacing by stalking in Ohio are serious, and we recognize the seriousness of the situation that defendants face. Crime penalties can forever alter the course of someone’s life, so our criminal defense attorneys fully understand what is on the line.
For many people, stalking crimes involve a person lurking and following a victim around to multiple locations. A person can be charged with the offense of menacing or stalking in Ohio, however, through any type of communication or pattern of conduct that causes an alleged victim to fear physical harm.
Having a solid legal defense that can stand up to allegations is important, and this is what we focus on at Joslyn Law Firm. We believe that every defendant deserves a fair trial and that individuals are innocent until proven guilty.
When an alleged offender is accused of menacing or stalking another individual in the Cincinnati area, prosecutors will attempt to use any history of domestic violence as a reason to impose steep sentences. People accused of menacing or stalking offenses in Ohio should avoid trying to explain their actions to law enforcement until they have legal representation.
Lawyer for Menacing by Stalking Arrests in Cincinnati, OH
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Male (37%) and female (41%) stalking victimizations were equally likely to be reported to the police.”
A conviction on menacing or stalking in Cincinnati or the surrounding areas likely means spending time in jail and/or prison for some time. You will have a criminal record and might have to pay hefty penalties. There is a lot at stake, and you are at a point where you have some decisions to make.
A defense attorney can prepare you for the battles ahead, and you need look no further than Joslyn Law Firm. Our criminal defense attorneys will review the details of your situation, taking the time to understand the circumstances of your case from your perspective. If you hire us to represent you, we will protect your rights and work on a legal strategy that could bring an outcome in your favor.
If the menacing by stalking charges you face involves a domestic violence situation, Joslyn Law Firm’s attorneys have handled cases like these for clients in the Cincinnati area.
If you have been arrested in the Hamilton County, Ohio, area on charges of an alleged stalking or menacing crime, you may want to consider immediately retaining legal counsel. Joslyn Law Firm has tried more than 15,000 cases, so we believe we can help you, too. We have defended clients in Colerain, Forest Park, Miami, Montgomery, Reading, Springfield, Symmes, Blue Ash, and many surrounding areas in southwest Ohio.
Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn works tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcomes for people charged with these offenses. As a domestic violence lawyer, too, you can have him review your domestic violence case and answer all of your legal questions during a free and confidential consultation as soon as you call (513) 399-6289 today.
Ohio Menacing and Stalking Information Center
- Menacing Charges Overview in Cincinnati
- Menacing by Stalking Penalties in Cincinnati
- Defenses to Menacing by Stalking Charges in Cincinnati
- Ohio Menacing/Stalking Resources
- Related Ohio Menacing by Stalking News and Articles
- Menacing & Stalking Frequently Asked Questions
- Cincinnati Menacing by Stalking Defense Lawyer
Menacing Charges Overview in Cincinnati
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2903.22, an alleged offender can be charged with menacing if they knowingly cause another person to believe the alleged offender will cause physical harm to the alleged victim or property of the alleged victim, the alleged victim’s unborn, or a member of the alleged victim’s immediate family. A menacing offense is a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $250.
Menacing becomes a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2929.24, if the alleged victim is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child-placing agency, and the offense relates to the officer’s or employee’s performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties.
If the alleged offender has previously been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violent offense, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child-placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer’s or employee’s performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, then menacing becomes a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
When an alleged offender knowingly causes another to believe he or she will cause serious physical harm to the alleged victim or property of the alleged victim, the alleged victim’s unborn, or a member of the alleged victim’s immediate family, Ohio Revised Code § 2903.21 defines the offense as aggravated menacing.
Aggravated menacing is a first-degree misdemeanor, although the crime is classified as a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500 when the alleged victim is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child-placing agency and the offense relates to the officer’s or employee’s performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties.
When alleged offenders have been previously convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violent offense, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child-placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer’s or employee’s performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, aggravated menacing is also a fourth-degree felony.
Menacing by Stalking Penalties in Cincinnati
Ohio Revised Code § 2903.211 defines the offense of menacing by stalking as an alleged offender engaging in a pattern of conduct that knowingly causes another person to believe the alleged offender will cause physical harm or mental distress to a person or the person’s family or member of their household.
The statute explains that a “pattern of conduct” is two or more actions or incidents that occur closely related in time, whether there has been a prior conviction based on any of those actions or incidents.
A pattern of conduct can also be two or more related actions or incidents that occurred close in time, whether there has been a prior conviction based on any of those actions or incidents, directed at one or more persons employed by or belonging to the same corporation, association, or other organization.
The statute includes violations through the use of any form of written communication or any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, any computer, computer network, computer program, r-computer system, or telecommunication device.
Menacing by stalking is generally a first-degree misdemeanor offense, but the crime can be classified as a fourth-degree felony if:
- The alleged offender has been previously convicted of or pleaded guilty to menacing by stalking or aggravated trespass;
- In committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim, or as a result of committing the alleged offense, a third person induced by the alleged offender’s posted message made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim;
- In committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender trespassed on the land or premises where the alleged victim lives, is employed, or attends school, or as a result of committing the alleged offense, a third person induced by the alleged offender’s posted message trespassed on the land or premises where the alleged victim lives, is employed, or attends school;
- The alleged victim is a minor;
- The alleged offender has a history of violence toward the alleged victim or any other person or a history of other violent acts toward the alleged victim or any other person;
- While committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender had a deadly weapon on or about the alleged offender’s person or under the alleged offender’s control;
- At the time of the commission of the offense, the alleged offender was the subject of a protection order, regardless of whether the person to be protected under the order is the alleged victim of the offense or another person;
- In committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender caused serious physical harm to the premises at which the alleged victim resides, to the real property on which that premises is located, or to any personal property located on that premises, or, as a result of committing the alleged offense, a third person induced by the alleged offender’s posted message caused serious physical harm to that premises, that real property, or any personal property on that premises; or
- Before committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender had been determined to represent a substantial risk of physical harm to others as manifested by evidence of then-recent homicidal or other violent behavior, evidence of then-recent threats that placed another in reasonable fear of violent behavior and serious physical harm, or other evidence of then-present dangerousness.
Defenses to Menacing by Stalking Charges in Cincinnati
There are many defenses that could have the charges against you dropped, dismissed, or reduced. After reviewing the information present in your case, your lawyer will determine what course of legal action could protect your future.
Some defenses to menacing by stalking charges include:
You and the Plaintiff Shared a Routine
You and the plaintiff may have shared a daily routine that was misconstrued as stalking. For instance, suppose you and the alleged victim shared a commute on public transportation. Your legal team may be able to argue that you were not stalking the victim, but rather, you shared a daily routine. Routinely coming into contact with someone during the regular course of your day does not constitute stalking.
The Victim Mistook You for Someone Else
Suppose the plaintiff in your case really was being stalked, but you were not the perpetrator. Perhaps you were wrongfully identified in a police lineup or had an alibi for when the alleged stalking took place. Your lawyer may be able to assert that you were wrongly accused because the victim thought you were someone else.
The Victim Lied About What Happened
Your lawyer could examine the alleged victim’s testimony to see if they gave any contradictory information. For instance, they may have been inconsistent about certain events, the dates and times of the supposed stalking, and other details of the crime. Falsely reporting a crime is a punishable offense in Ohio, per Ohio Revised Code § 2921.01. If the plaintiff’s allegations are proven to be false, they could face civil penalties.
There Is No Evidence to Support a Conviction
In a criminal defense case, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. They will need to provide evidence to show you are guilty of menacing by stalking beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if there is insufficient evidence to charge you with a crime, your lawyer can move to have your case dismissed.
Your lawyer may be able to question the validity of other pieces of evidence. For instance, suppose there was security camera footage of the alleged victim being stalked, but the perpetrator’s face was obscured. This would not be enough to support a conviction. By questioning the evidence against you, your lawyer can work to protect your future.
A Lack of Motive
Many instances of stalking have a clearly defined motive. For instance, a stalker may target a former romantic partner or the estranged parent of their child. If there is no clear reason for why you would stalk the plaintiff, your lawyer may be able to argue that you did not commit the crime in the first place. They can use your relationship with the plaintiff to demonstrate your lack of ill-intent. If you did not know the plaintiff in any capacity or only had limited interactions with them, your lawyer could use this information to support your defense.
This is not meant to serve as an exhaustive list regarding the defense strategies that could work in your favor. Your lawyer may be able to defend your rights in ways not described here.
Ohio Menacing/Stalking Resources
The following are resources for victims of stalking and those who are interested in learning about stalking statistics.
National Center for Victims of Crime
The National Center for Victims of Crime is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that partnered with the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to create the Stalking Resource Center. The center’s mission is “to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking.” On this website, you can learn more about the Stalking Resource Center, how it helps victims, and read statistics about stalking.
Safe Horizon identifies itself as the largest nonprofit victim services agency in the United States. In this section of the organization’s website, you can learn more about stalking crimes, victims, and statistical outcomes. You can also download Safe Horizon’s “Stop the Stalker” Tip Card and Tech Safety Brochure.
Action Ohio offers information on stalking, such as statistics, its impact on victims, and what you can do if you are being stalked.
The United States Department of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice defines stalking, encourages victims to involve law enforcement, and lists resources.
Office for Victims of Crime
The Office for Victims of Crime shares facts on stalking, background information on the crime, what to do if you are a victim and where you can get help, and resources for assistance.
Related Ohio Menacing by Stalking News and Articles
Cincinnati Landlord Jailed for ‘Stalking’ Woman Tenant in Violation of Court Protection Order. News station WCPO reports that a Cincinnati-area man faces menacing by stalking charges after violating a court protection order involving a woman who rented from him. He also has been charged with violating the order. An assistant prosecutor with Hamilton County told the news station that the man had been charged in previous incidents concerning the same tenant.
BG Police Arrest Man for Assault and Aggravated Menacing. A Bowling Green, Ohio, man was arrested on charges of assault and aggravated menacing after an ex-girlfriend called the police on him, the BG Independent News reports. The woman said the man took her phone and car keys after expressing that she would not go to his home and that he followed her after she went to a local grocery store to call the police.
Menacing & Stalking Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I Lose Custody of My Kids if I Am Convicted of Stalking?
A: Yes. Depending on the nature of your offense, a stalking conviction could be a felony or misdemeanor charge. You may lose custody of your children if you are deemed to be a danger to yourself or others. This makes it even more important to consider how a criminal defense lawyer could help you.
Q: Could I Be Convicted of Stalking Even if I Didn’t Do It?
A: To secure a conviction, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that you meant to harm, intimidate, or threaten the plaintiff by means of stalking. If there is evidence to support a conviction, and the jury believes you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you could be convicted of stalking regardless of whether you actually committed the crime.
When you work with a criminal defense lawyer with Joslyn Law Firm, they can determine whether the charges against you are legitimate. From there, they can employ various legal measures to have the charges against you dropped, dismissed, or reduced.
Q: Does Stalking Have to Be in Person?
A: Many people hear the term “stalking” and associate it with being followed. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, stalking can come in the form of persistent phone calls, text messages, or emails. It can also involve sending gifts to the plaintiff, whether they be romantic, sinister, or sexual in nature. If the case against you is based on unwanted written communications with the plaintiff, your lawyer may be able to show that the plaintiff actively engaged you in conversation or did not ask you to stop contacting them.
Q: Can I Represent Myself in Court?
A: While you can represent yourself in court, you may not want to do this for many reasons. For instance, if you are not familiar with the criminal justice system, representing yourself could ultimately work to your disadvantage. Additionally, if you do not understand how to contest the charges against you, you could ultimately be convicted of a crime you did not commit. The decision to work with a lawyer is totally up to you. However, when facing accusations of stalking, you should consider every measure that could work to promote your prospects.
Cincinnati Menacing by Stalking Defense Lawyer
Were you recently arrested in the Hamilton County area for allegedly stalking or menacing another individual? You should not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation.
Brian Joslyn is a criminal defense attorney in Cincinnati who represents clients in Bridgetown, Delhi, Green, Harrison, Miamitown, Norwood, Springdale, Sycamore, Anderson, and other nearby communities in southwest Ohio.
Call (513) 399-6289 or submit an online contact form right now to receive a free, confidential consultation that will let a member of our team provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.