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Ohio Assault Defenses

Ohio assault laws provide for several different types of assault charges. These charges range from misdemeanors, which are punishable by less than a year in jail, to felonies, which can land you a year or more in prison.

If you are charged with assault in Ohio, you will want to educate yourself on Ohio assault laws. In addition, you will want to reach out to an Ohio criminal defense attorney. An Ohio criminal attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and create a customized defense strategy.

Ohio Assault Laws

In Ohio, there are two main definitions for assault.

The first is when someone knowingly causes or threatens to cause physical harm to another person. The second is when someone recklessly (meaning with extreme disregard for danger or harm) causes serious physical injury to another person.

This second definition means that, in Ohio, assault can be committed on accident. For example, say you have been drinking and are lighting off fireworks in a crowd of people. If one of these fireworks injures another person, you may be charged with assault even though you did not mean to injure anyone. This type of assault is sometimes referred to as negligent assault.

If you assault someone and cause serious harm or you use a deadly weapon, you may be charged with felonious assault, which is a more serious assault charge. Slightly less severe than felonious assault is aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is similar to felonious assault but is committed while in a fit of passion or rage.

Penalties under Ohio Assault Law

Basic assault in Ohio is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and forced to pay up to $1,000.

Negligent assault is a less serious crime. It is considered a third-degree misdemeanor under Ohio assault laws and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500.

Aggravated assault is a much more serious crime, however. It is a fourth-degree felony and can carry a six-year prison sentence and fines of up to $5,000.

Worse still is felonious assault, which is a second-degree felony. Felonious assault is punishable by up to eight years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.

Ohio Assault Defenses

The types of assault defenses available to you will depend on the facts of your case. However, in general, there are several defenses available to you under Ohio assault law.

You may attempt to prove that the alleged assault victim consented to the assault. This means that he or she gave you permission to peform the act that resulted in the charge. This defense is most applicable in negligent assault cases.

Another common defense is self-defense. Self-defense is when you use or threaten force to protect yourself or someone else from a physical attack. To use the self-defense defense, you will have to show that the amount of force you used was reasonable in proportion to the amount of force that was being used or threatened against you.

You and your attorney may also try to engage the prosecution, which is the party trying to prove you committed the crime, in plea bargaining. A plea bargain is when you agree to pleading guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.

If you have further questions about assault or assault defenses, you should contact an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney in your area.