Cleveland Assault Lawyer
Heated situations can quickly get out of hand, leading to serious criminal charges. If you caused harm to another or someone felt that you were trying cause harm, there is a strong chance that you will be charged with an assault-related crime. This is especially true if a weapon was involved. If you find yourself under arrest for assault in Ohio, you should seek help from a skilled Cleveland assault attorney.
If you are accused of hurting or trying to hurt another person, contact The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC as soon as possible. As a former prosecutor, attorney Dan Margolis knows situations can quickly escalate and onlookers may misinterpret your words or actions. He will thoroughly review your situation, advise you regarding the penalties you could face, and prepare an aggressive defense.
Assault Crimes in Ohio
Under Ohio law, there are various types of assault offenses, which are considered violent crimes. Depending on the specific assault charge filed against you and the circumstances involved, you may face serious penalties, either as a misdemeanor or felony.
Simple Assault – Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2903.13 states that you can be charged with simple assault if you knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm, or recklessly cause physical harm to another or to an unborn child. This includes behavior that demonstrates a wanton disregard for someone’s safety. Under this statute, you could be charged even if you fail to make physical contact, the alleged victim is not injured, or does not display any sign of the contact. Simple assault is typically a first-degree misdemeanor, but it can be escalated to a felony based on your relationship to the alleged victim. For instance, if you are accused of assaulting a teacher, bus driver, law enforcement official, or firefighter while they are performing their duties, you may face felony assault charges. Additionally, it is a felony assault if a caregiver assaults a person under their care, or if a prisoner assaults a corrections officer.
Felonious Assault – ORC Section 2903.11is the most severe assault offense in Ohio. This refers to knowingly causing serious physical harm to another person or an unborn child, or trying to cause physical harm to another or an unborn child with a deadly weapon. Typically, this is a second-degree felony. However, if the victim is a police officer, the offense is a first-degree felony and carries a mandatory prison sentence of at least three years. You may also be charged with felonious assault if you engage in sexual conduct with another person, despite knowingly testing positive for HIV under the following circumstances:
- Without disclosing your positive status, or
- If you know or have reason to believe that the other party lacks the mental capacity to understand the significance of your condition, or
- If the other party is under 18 years old
Aggravated Assault – ORC Section 2903.12 makes it is illegal for anyone, while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, to knowingly cause serious physical harm to another or their unborn child, or cause or attempt to cause harm to another with a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault is considered a “crime of passion” in Ohio because the court considers that your actions were probably the result of your amplified mental state. Aggravated assault is normally a fourth-degree felony, unless the victim is a law enforcement officer. This can enhance the offense to a third-degree felony, which includes a mandatory prison sentence.
Vehicular Assault – ORC Section 2903.08 prohibits causing physical harm with a vehicle. This includes operating a vehicle under the influence, reckless or unsafe operation in construction zones, and covers automobiles, motorcycles, watercraft, and snowmobiles. Vehicular assault can range between a first-degree misdemeanor and varying felony levels, depending on the circumstances. If you are intoxicated and cause an accident resulting in injuries, you may be charged with aggravated vehicular assault. This is at least a third-degree felony. If there are other aggravating factors, such as if your license was under suspension, you may face a second-degree felony. If you are charged with vehicular assault unrelated to an OVI, then the charge may be pursued as a fourth-degree felony.
Negligent Assault – ORC Section 2903.14 addresses the reckless use of weapons, like firearms and explosives. Negligent assault charges often result in relation to hunting accidents or other accidental shootings. Specifically, it states that no one shall negligently cause physical harm to another person or an unborn child by means of a deadly weapon. To be negligent under the law means to act carelessly. Therefore, you do not have to intentionally try to cause anyone harm to be charged with negligent assault. Negligent assault is typically charged as a third-degree misdemeanor.
Penalties for Assault in Ohio
Ohio assault charges fall into several classifications. The specific offense level and any contributing factors will largely determine the penalties you may face if convicted. The information below outlines the potential assault penalties:
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor – Up to 30 days in jail, and fines reaching $250
- Third-degree misdemeanor – Up to 60 days in jail, and fines reaching $500
- Second-degree misdemeanor – Up to 90 days in jail, and fines reaching $750
- First-degree misdemeanor – Up to 180 days in jail, and fines reaching $1,000
- Fifth-degree felony – Six to 12 months in prison, and a fine up to $2,500
- Fourth-degree felony – Six to 18 months in prison, and a fine up to $5,000
- Third-degree felony – Nine months to five years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony – Two to eight years in prison, and a fine up to $15,000
- First-degree felony – Three to 11 years in prison, and a fine up to $20,000
Other Punitive Consequences to Assault Offenses
While common penalties for an assault conviction are time in custody and fines, other consequences include:
- Electronic monitoring
- Community service
- Driver’s license revocation
Even after serving your sentence, you may still encounter significant challenges with an assault conviction on your permanent criminal record. Some of these collateral consequences include:
- Trouble getting college, university, or graduate programs
- Difficulty or an inability to obtain certain professional licenses
- Ineligibility for some government positions
- Difficulty maintaining steady employment
- Difficulty renting housing
- Visa and immigration issues
- Child custody and visitation issues
- Loss of voting rights during incarceration
- Loss of gun ownership rights
- Protection/restraining orders against you
Let a Cleveland Assault Attorney Defend You
If you have been charged with an assault-related crime in Ohio, attorney Daniel M. Margolis is here to protect your rights, guide you through the Ohio criminal justice system, and fight for the best outcome in your case. He will thoroughly investigate and analyze the circumstances of your situation and formulate the strongest possible defense.
Contact Dan Margolis Today
Facing assault charges in Ohio is difficult, and a lot is on the line for the accused. However, you do not have to resign yourself to a guilty verdict and a harsh punishment. There are ways to fight for your exoneration and other favorable results. To learn more, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 to schedule a free case consultation.