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Domestic Violence § 2919.25


Domestic violence is essentially assault on a family or household member. One of the main differences between the crime of assault and domestic violence is the victim. Ohio's domestic violence statute shows that while a first-time offender's punishment will remain in the misdemeanor category, having multiple domestic violence or violent crimes convictions will elevate the punishment to a much higher level.


For this statute, anyone who:

  1. Knowingly caused,
  2. Attempted to cause,
  3. Recklessly causes, or
  4. By threat of force, knowingly cause that family member to believe that the offender will cause any type of harm or serious physical harm,

—will be charged with some form of domestic violence.


Usually, if the domestic violence charge is a first-time occurrence, the offender will be given anywhere from a lower-level misdemeanor to a higher-level misdemeanor.

On the other hand, § 2919.25(D)(3) states that if an offender has previously either been convicted or pleaded guilty to one of the crimes below, the punishment will be elevated from a misdemeanor to a 4th degree felony.

  1. Prior conviction of domestic violence,
  2. One of the enumerated offenses[1], or
  3. An offense substantially similar to domestic violence or one of the enumerated offenses.

However, if an offender has plead guilty to or has been convicted of two or more of the crimes listed above, § 2919.25(D)(4) allows the Prosecutor to elevate the punishment to a 3rd degree felony—a huge jump from a misdemeanor. As you can see, the Ohio Legislature looks down upon repeat offenders—Ohio simply does not want people to repeat his or her mistakes, so it ups the ante to deter people from committing the crimes again. NOTE: Remember that in all of the crimes above, it has to be coupled with a family or household member.


The aspect of domestic violence that separates it from assault is the exact same aspect that is litigated the most—is the victim a family or household member? Sometimes, a husband and a wife, or life-partners get into a fight and someone gets charged with domestic violence. However, what result when the two people involved are merely in an on-and-off relationship, they do not live with each other, do not share anything outside of the non-conjugal visits with each other every week? This makes the case very grey in nature, and this is where litigation comes into play.

If you have been charged with domestic violence, do not hesitate to call The Meranda Law Firm, LTD., where our legal defense team of dedicated professionals will work with you in the most amicable way to resolve your domestic violence case.

[1] 2909.06 Criminal damaging or endangering; 2911.211 Aggravated trespass; 2919.22 Endangering children; 2909.06 Criminal damaging or endangering; 2909.07 Criminal mischief; safety device defined; 2911.12 Burglary; trespass in a habitation when a person is present or likely to be present