Note: If you are in an emergency situation, call 911.
Domestic Violence in Ohio
In Ohio, victims of domestic violence are protected by both civil and criminal laws. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Certain types of harassment or emotional abuse can happen through different types of communication, including written, telephone, fax, e-mail, or voicemail.
What does domestic violence look like?
It can be any act of physical violence or attempted physical violence against a family or household member, regardless of whether the victim suffers any visible injuries or requires any medical attention.
Examples of Domestic Violence Include:
- throwing physical objects at a person
- pointing a weapon at a person
- sexually assaulting a person
- physically restraining a person
- tearing a person’s clothing
- any other type of hitting or harmful touching
Domestic Violence Penalties
A person convicted of domestic violence faces the following possible penalties.
Additionally, if the offender knew the victim was pregnant, the court is required to impose a minimum sentence between six (6) months to a year in jail.
- 1st-degree misdemeanor: Maximum of six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1000
- 2nd-degree misdemeanor: Maximum of 90 days in jail and/or fine up to $750
- 3rd-degree misdemeanor: Maximum of 60 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500
- 5th-degree felony: Six to 12 months in prison and a fine up to $2500
- 4th-degree felony: Six to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5000
- 3rd-degree felony: Nine months to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
What Protections Are Available in Addition to Criminal Prosecution?
There are several remedies and legal protections available for victims of domestic violence in Ohio. These may include:
- Protective Orders: Victims of domestic violence can apply for a temporary restraining order, a court order signed by a judge that offers protection to victims.
- Civil lawsuit: The victim may file a civil lawsuit to recover losses and expenses such as medical bills or pain and suffering damages
- Custody/child or spousal support orders: These may be modified to prevent any further incidence of violence between spouses, children, or other persons
The following table highlights the main provisions of Ohio’s domestic violence laws.
|Code Sections||Ohio Revised Code Section 2919.25|
|What Protections are Available?||Civil and criminal|
|What is Prohibited?||
|Family/Household Member Relationship Requirement||A person who is residing or has resided with the offender and any of the following:
|Definition of “Person Living as a Spouse”||
|Penalties||*Factors such as prior offenses or history of domestic violence help determine the severity of the punishment. Sentence may also include a restraining or protective order.
Physical violence or attempted physical violence: first conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Penalties go up from there include possible prison time for a felony conviction.
Threatening to use physical force: first conviction is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and/or a $250 fine. Penalties go up from there include possible prison time for a felony conviction.
|Types of Protective Orders Available||Criminal Protective Order: Temporary Protective Order (TPO)
Civil Protective Order: Civil Protective Order (CPO)