Assault charges arise when one person causes harm to another and even in situations in which someone feels that another person is trying to harm him or her, but has not yet done so. For individuals facing these charges, it is often essential to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney. It also can help those facing assault charges in Ohio to understand some of the basics of how the state pursues assault offenses.
Ohio Law Related to Assault
In the state of Ohio, assault actually encompasses several different offenses which, based on their severity, can either be a felony or misdemeanor. Assault in Ohio is broken into the following categories:
- Aggravated assault: Aggravated assault in accordance with Section 2903.12 of the Ohio Revised Code occurs if a person, while during a period of rage or sudden passion, causes serious physical harm to another individual or unborn child. The charge can also arise if a person causes harm or tries to cause harm with a deadly weapon. In the state of Ohio, aggravated assault is a fourth degree felony with the exception of cases in which a law enforcement officer is the victim, which elevates the crime to a third degree felony.
- Felonious assault: The most severe type of assault in Ohio, this offense occurs when a person tries to cause physical harm to another person or an unborn child through the use of a deadly weapon.
- Negligent assault: Law in the state of Ohio prohibits reckless use of weapons, which are classified as negligent assault when the deadly weapon is negligently used in a manner that causes physical harm to another individual or unborn child. This offense is classified as a third degree misdemeanor.
- Simple assault: Section 2903.13 of the Ohio Revised Code states that simple assault occurs when a person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm or recklessly causes physical harm to another individual or unborn child. A person can face a simple assault charge even if he or she did not touch another person or the person initiating the charge was not injured. While simple assault is often classified as a first degree misdemeanor, the offense can be escalated to a felony in certain circumstances, including the assault of a teacher, bus driver, firefighter, or law enforcement officer. A person can also be charged with a felony if he or she assaults a person who is under his or her care or a if prisoner commits assault against a correctional officer.
- Vehicular assault: Ohio law prohibits using a vehicle to cause physical harm to another individual or unborn child. These offenses include operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reckless operation of a vehicle in construction zones. For the purposes of this law, a vehicle can be a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, and watercraft. Vehicular assault is classified as a third degree felony, but aggravating factors can result in the offense being prosecuted as a second degree felony.
Contact an Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with any type of assault offense in the state of Ohio, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal lawyer who will fight for the best possible outcome for your case. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to speak with one of our criminal attorneys.