An assault conviction in Dayton, Ohio can lead to harsh penalties, including hefty fines and lengthy prison terms. You are likely to have a criminal record that will follow you around for the rest of your life. You could also be banned from owning firearms. Like a sex crimes or domestic violence charge, an assault conviction could change your life forever.
Before you can be convicted, however, the state prosecutor must first prove that you are guilty of the crime. It is in your best interest to make their job as difficult as possible. To accomplish this, you will need to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side.
The knowledgeable attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC have years of experience assisting people with their assault and DUI defense – and we would love to help you too. A member of our law office will provide you with legal advice, help you to build a defense, and work diligently to reduce or dismiss your charges.
Contact our Dayton criminal defense team today to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can help you protect your future.
Understanding Assault in Dayton and Montgomery County
To effectively defend yourself against a criminal charge of assault, you must first understand what you are being accused of. Generally speaking, your charge is likely to fall into one of the following categories.
Assault and Negligent Assault
Section 2903.13 of the Ohio Revised Code states that you may be charged with assault if you knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to another individual. Unlike most violent crimes, you do not need to cause the other person any serious injuries to be charged with this crime.
The next section of the Ohio Revised Code (§ 2903.14) explains that you can be charged with negligent assault if your negligent use of a deadly weapon or dangerous object leads you to physically harm another person. This is the section that you are most likely to be charged under if you hurt someone but “didn’t mean to hit them.”
Section 2903.12 of the Ohio Revised Code says that you may be charged with aggravated assault if you cause physical harm to another individual after you have been angered, provoked, or enraged. Assaults that occur during fits of passion may also be charged under this code.
There are numerous different reasons why you may be charged with felonious assault. They are all covered under section 2903.11 of the Ohio Revised Code, and include:
- Causing serious physical harm to another individual
- Causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm to another individual with a deadly weapon or dangerous object
- Engaging in sexual contact with another individual without disclosing a positive HIV/AIDS diagnosis
- Engaging in sexual contact with an individual who does not have the mental capacity to understand the ramifications of a positive HIV/AIDS diagnosis
- Engaging in sexual contact with a minor after receiving a positive HIV/AIDS diagnosis
Felonious assault is typically a second-degree felony. If the victim is a police officer, it is a first-degree felony.
Section 2903.08 of the Ohio Revised Code states that you can be charged with vehicular assault if you use a vehicle to cause physical harm to another person. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and watercraft are all classified as “vehicles” under this section of the law.
Under section 2903.31 of the Ohio Revised Code, you can be charged with hazing if you coerce an individual to perform a task which has the potential to cause them physical or mental harm. This crime is most often charged on the campuses of colleges and universities and is considered a form of assault.
What Should I Do If I Do Not Know Why I Am Being Charged with a Crime?
When you are arrested, the police have a duty to explain the crime that they are charging you with. If you do not understand the charge or if they have neglected to provide you with a reason for your arrest, you should immediately ask to speak to your criminal defense attorney.
Your lawyer will be able to seek answers from the police department regarding the reasons for your arrest. If the charge is not valid, they may even be able to have your case dismissed.
Penalties for Assault Charges in Dayton, Ohio
Punishments for assault charges in Dayton and Montgomery County are outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. The severity of the penalty usually depends on factors such as:
- The degree of the assault,
- Previous criminal convictions, and
- Who the offense was committed against.
Assault punishments can be best categorized as follows:
A hazing conviction is classified as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. It carries a maximum jail term of 30 days and a maximum fine of $250.
Third-degree misdemeanors are often handed out to individuals who are charged with negligent assault. If you fit into this category, you may be looking at up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
If you are arrested on a standard assault charge, you could be convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor and punished with a maximum of 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
If you are convicted of a fifth-degree felony, you can receive a punishment of up to one year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine. Fifth-degree felonies are most often handed out if the assault is against a school employee on school grounds or against a corrections officer while imprisoned at the facility.
Felonies of the fourth degree are punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. You may be convicted of a fourth-degree felony if your assault was aggravated, committed against an officer of the peace, or committed against a mentally impaired individual whom you are the caretaker or guardian for.
If you are charged with an aggravated assault against an officer of the peace or aggravated vehicular assault, you may be convicted of a third-degree felony. A crime of this nature is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.
Felonious assault charges often lead to second-degree felony convictions. Punishments for second-degree felonies max out at eight years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
If your felonious assault was against an officer of the peace, your conviction is likely to be upgraded to a first-degree felony. Punishments for crimes as severe as this may be as high as ten years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
Potential Defenses to Your Assault Charge
All criminal cases vary, and every assault is different than the last. As such, the best defense techniques will vary from case to case. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we’ll carefully investigate your case and determine which defense(s) might be best suited for your situation.
Defenses might include:
Self-Defense: If your actions were an attempt to defend yourself self or someone else, our lawyers may be able to get your case dismissed. Video evidence and eyewitness testimony are often the best ways to prove that you acted in self-defense.
Mistaken Identity: Assaults often happen at busy or crowded events. As such, it can be difficult for the authorities to accurately determine who was involved in the altercation. If your assault charge is a case of mistaken identity, we’ll fight to have it dismissed fairly quickly.
Consent: In some instances, if the other party provided you with consent to act as you did, you cannot be charged with assault. However, you should be aware that if your actions exceeded the limits of the consent that was provided, you may be charged and eventually convicted.
Intent: If you are charged with an intentional assault, we may be able to argue that it was actually an accident. If they are successful, they may be able to have the charge reduced or dismissed entirely.
Insufficient Evidence: The police may have an accurate idea of what you did, but if they cannot prove it then they do not have a case. It can sometimes take weeks or months to have a charge dismissed based on a lack of evidence, but if you can remain calm and patient, your record could potentially be cleared.
Rights Violations: When making an arrest, the police must respect your constitutional rights. If your rights are violated during a search or while the police are detaining you, we’ll point that out and try to have the case dismissed entirely – or at least have a portion of the evidence against you thrown out.
Our Experience, Your Assault Defense
When the people of Dayton and Montgomery need a skilled and experienced criminal defense or DUI attorney, they know they can turn to the experts here at the law firm of Suhre & Associates, LLC. For years, our team of lawyers has fought diligently on behalf of our clients to have their charges reduced or dismissed entirely. We would love to do the same for you.
To set up a free consultation with a lawyer in Dayton, just give us a call or contact us online.