Why You Should Hire an Attorney When Charged with Assault
Ohio law defines assault as: knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn; or recklessly causing serious physical harm to another or to another’s unborn. This is known as “simple assault,” and it is the least serious assault charge.
The first thing you need to do if you’re charged with assault is to find an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney to help you through this situation in the best way possible. Not only are assault charges in Ohio complex, but Ohio judges tend to take this charge very seriously. A conviction for this charge is enough to earn you significant jail time and high fines.
You do not need to make physical contact in order to commit an assault according to Ohio law. You also do not have to intend or cause harm in order to face the criminal charges of assault. Here’s a snapshot of the charges and penalties associated with various levels of the crime of assault:
3rd degree misdemeanor
1st degree misdemeanor
Assault against a protected class
5th degree felony
4th degree felony
1st or 2nd degree felony
Up to 8 years
Though assault may be charged as a misdemeanor, in certain cases it may be charged as a felony if the assault is on someone in a protected class, such as a functionally impaired person, emergency medical personnel, school employee, police officer, firefighter, corrections employee, or public children services agency employee. The intent and method of assault can also raise the assault to the category of a felony. Negligent assault is defined as occurring when physical harm is caused through the negligent use of a deadly weapon or dangerous ordinance. Aggravated assault occurs if a person knowingly commits felonious assault under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden rage incited by the victim through “serious provocation.” Felonious assault means either knowingly causing serious physical harm to another, or using a deadly weapon to knowingly cause physical harm to another.
In addition to fines and jail time, you may be required to pay the victim restitution if you are convicted. This could include paying for any of the victim’s medical expenses, counseling, and property damage.
Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbus, Ohio?
If you are being accused of assault, you need the representation of a skilled and experienced attorney to help you through this. This is a very serious charge and you need the assistance of a trusted law firm. Your future is at stake. To help make sure your rights are protected and you have the best opportunity for a positive outcome, call The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation at 614-205-2208 or contact us online.