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Domestic Violence

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ZLM Client’s wife (from an arranged marriage), accused Client of tying her to a chair, taping her mouth shut, and being verbally and physically abusive to her. Client was charged with felony kidnapping and abduction. ZLM persuasively convinced prosecuting attorney to dismiss charges. Client was not a United States citizen and would have been subject to removal from the United States if he was convicted of any of the charges that he was indicted for.


A charge of domestic violence occurs when an individual causes or attempts to cause physical harm to a family or household member.

Although domestic violence is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense, such a conviction carries with it devastating collateral consequences, including the inability to possess a firearm and to work for various government agencies and learning institutions.


The crime of “Domestic Violence” is committed when: (1) a person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm to a family or household member, (2) a person recklessly causes serious physical harm to a family or household member, or (3) a person, by threat of force, knowingly causes a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member. R.C. 2919.25 is the “Domestic Violence” statute in Ohio. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2919.25

Generally, Domestic Violence is a Misdemeanor of either the 1st or 4th degree. Domestic Violence committed knowingly or recklessly (as described above in (1) and (2)) is a Misdemeanor of the 1st degree.

Domestic Violence in which the offender, by threat of force, causes a family member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm (as described above in (3)) is a Misdemeanor of the 4th degree.

However, Domestic Violence can be a Felony if the offender has previously been convicted of Domestic Violence or of a crime substantially similar to Domestic Violence. If the offender commits Domestic Violence knowing that the victim is pregnant, the crime is punishable by a prison term.

As can be seen, there are several ways to charge an offender with Domestic Violence. Depending on the circumstances, Domestic Violence can range from Misdemeanors of the 4th degree to Felonies of the 3rd degree.


  • A conviction of Domestic Violence can lead to imprisonment, a protective order prohibiting the offender from seeing his/her children, or being in his/her own home, as well as a loss of livelihood.
  • Federal law prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm if that individual is subject to a restraining order or has been convicted of domestic violence. See, 18 U.S.C. 922(g) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 . State law prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm if formally charged with or convicted of felony domestic violence. See, C. 2923.13 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.13 .


If you have been accused of, or charged with, Domestic Violence, the collateral consequences of such a charge and/or conviction are enormous – loss of your constitutional right to bear arms and restrictions on where you can live, who you can communicate with, and who you can see are all potential consequences. It is vital that you retain the services of aggressive counsel. Contact Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., L.P.A. immediately.

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