Assault is a serious crime resulting in a charge that can have a significant impact on your life. In Ohio, any type of assault is considered a violent crime; consequently, a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending people charged with assault is essential.
Felonious assault is a serious crime. To be charged with felonious assault, you must be suspected of having knowingly caused serious physical harm to another person or to an unborn child, or be suspected of causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm with a deadly weapon or firearm (known as “dangerous ordinance”). This is a second-degree felony, but if the victim is a law enforcement officer, you will face a first-degree felony charge.
In Ohio you can also be charged with felonious assault if you engage in sexual intercourse with another person if you are HIV positive – without informing the other person of your HIV status, or if the other person lacks the mental capacity to understand the risks involved, or if the other person is under 18 and they are not your spouse.
Aggravated assault is a fourth-degree felony and is similar to felonious assault in that you must be suspected of attempting to cause serious physical harm to another person or to an unborn child. However, to be charged with aggravated assault, you must be suspected of being in an emotional state or in a sudden rage when committing the offense, and the emotional state must somehow have been caused by the victim. If the victim is a law enforcement officer the aggravated assault is a second-degree felony
Other Forms of Assault
You can be charged with negligent assault if you negligently cause physical harm with a deadly weapon to another or to an unborn child. Domestic violence falls under the category of negligent assault in Ohio. If you knowingly or recklessly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member, or if you use or threaten force that causes a family or household member to believe they are in danger, you can be charged with this crime.
Penalties for Assault
The penalties for assault depend on the type of assault you are charged with and are as follows:
- First-degree felonious assault: the punishment is three to eleven years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
- Second-degree felonious assault: the punishment is two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Fourth-degree aggravated assault: the punishment is six months to eighteen months in prison with a fine up to $5,000.
- Simple assault: the punishment is up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Misdemeanor negligent assault: the punishment is up to sixty days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
The sentence for any form of assault can be even more severe if you knew that the victim was pregnant, if shots were fired nearby a school or residence, from a vehicle, or if body armor was used during the crime. You can also be responsible for paying restitution, meaning that you have to cover expenses for medical treatment, counseling, or property repairs of the victim(s).
If you are being charged with assault or other criminal charges, you need an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the criminal process. For more information and a free consultation, please contact Jeff Hastings, experienced Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney.