When you get a domestic violence charge, you face a number of consequences in addition to a potential jail sentence. A domestic violence charge immediately damages your reputation in your community.
Domestic violence charges can result from many types of situations. Because of the seriousness of domestic violence charges, you could face severe penalties if convicted. However, a lawyer may be able to help you dismiss domestic violence charges. In some cases, the state can remove domestic violence charges from your criminal record.
If you face domestic violence charges in Ohio, you should speak with a Columbus domestic violence attorney today to get started on your defense.
What Happens When You Get a Domestic Violence Charge?
When you get a domestic violence charge, you face a number of consequences in addition to a potential jail sentence. A domestic violence charge immediately damages your reputation in your community. The police arrest you and can put you in jail until your court hearing. The State of Ohio can revoke your right to own a firearm, and police can seize your guns for the duration of the case. Additionally, you will likely be subject to a Civil Protection Order (CPO) or Temporary Protective Order (TPO).
Civil Protection Order
To get a CPO, the accuser must show that it is more likely than not that you committed domestic violence. The evidence the accuser presents in CPO hearings often includes statements and any existing physical evidence, such as a bruise or cut.
A CPO can prevent you from contacting the alleged victim, order you to stay away from your home, and even temporarily award child custody rights to the accuser. A judge can issue a CPO on an emergency basis if he or she finds that a present and immediate danger to the victim exists.
Temporary Protective Order
A judge orders a TPO in connection with a criminal domestic violence case. A TPO can order the alleged offender to stay away from the victim’s home or place of business, not to commit any further harm to the alleged victim, and to refrain from other acts that could harm the victim.
However, a TPO cannot contain provisions for child support, child custody, or spousal support.
Can a Domestic Violence Case Be Dismissed?
Depending on the facts of your case, the prosecutor may move to dismiss a domestic violence case. After filing charges, the prosecutor speaks with the alleged victim to evaluate the strength of their case. The prosecutor is looking for whether the victim tells a story that is similar to the story he or she told to the police. The prosecutor is also looking for some physical evidence, such as a bruise, cut, or blood to make the victim’s story more credible.
If the victim tells a story that is consistent with what he or she told police and there is physical evidence to support their claims, the prosecutor is less likely to move to dismiss your case. However, if the victim’s story is not consistent with what he or she told police and there is no physical evidence to support their claims, then the prosecutor is more likely to move to dismiss your case.
Your attorney may also move for a dismissal if the evidence is insufficient to support the charged crime.
When Do Domestic Violence Cases Go to Trial?
While judges dismiss many domestic violence cases, some cases go to trial. If the victim is credible and there is corroborating physical evidence, the prosecutor will almost certainly pursue the case.
But a case can go to trial even when there are issues with the victim’s testimony. Sometimes prosecutors will bring a case to trial where he or she believes someone is forcing the victim to lie. In these circumstances, prosecutors look for admissions by the accused, police testimony supporting the victim’s initial story, and physical evidence to support their case.
Prosecutors also may proceed to trial where the victim tells a new, more credible story. In this situation, prosecutors tend to think that the victim is credible and their new story is more likely to hold up in court.
How Long Does a Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charge Stay on Your Criminal Record?
Generally, you can apply to have a misdemeanor charge expunged, or removed, from your criminal record beginning one year after completing your sentence and probationary period.
However, some violent crimes, including domestic violence, stay on your criminal record. For example, a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge stays on your criminal record forever. But, second-, third-, or fourth-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charges do not have to stay on your criminal record.
To find out whether your domestic violence charge must stay on your criminal record, you should speak with a domestic violence attorney today.
Hiring the domestic violence attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm increases the chances of getting your domestic violence charges dismissed. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of domestic violence cases in Columbus and Central Ohio. Through our experience, we have gained a deep knowledge of domestic violence law and know what to expect from judges and prosecutors.
By Brian Joslyn
Contact Joslyn Law Firm for legal assistance, questions, or representation.