Domestic violence may include one or more of activities and behaviors such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, online stalking, physical abuse and threats. Domestic violence can happen to anyone and may compromise the safety of children and adults in the home. In Ohio, the courts may issue a wide range of penalties depending on the scope and extent of the domestic problems.
In most instances of domestic violence in the state, the court issues a penalty that is consistent with a crime of a misdemeanor in the fourth degree. However, if the act of domestic violence was against a family member, the crime is considered a felony of the third degree. If the perpetrator knew that the victim was pregnant at the time the crime occurred, then the court will impose a penalty consistent with a crime of a felony of the fifth degree.
According to the state's family law statutes, the penalty a conviction on those grounds includes a minimum six-month sentence of imprisonment. If an act of domestic violence in the state causes injury to an unborn baby or termination of a woman's pregnancy, the court may impose a prison sentence of 12 months.
Domestic problems may result in long-lasting effects for the victims and any children in the household. However, Ohio statutes provide for penalties against such behavior. Legal representation may help the victims of domestic violence ensure their safety and the best interests of the children. Victims may also seek assistance with gaining a restraining order or bringing the perpetrator into court.
Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, "2919.25 Domestic violence.", October 15, 2014