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Ohio Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse

In Ohio, domestic violence victims have the backing and protection of civil as well as criminal laws. Domestic violence in Ohio is intricately designed to constitute physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. Harassment of all kinds is considered domestic abuse in Ohio. This also includes all kinds of communication like written, telephone, fax, email.

Domestic Violence Examples

Domestic Violence is an act of physical violence committed against another person living together in a relationship. It may be a spouse, partner or family member. The Ohio State Domestic Laws also state that domestic violence need not be violent. Offenders who resort to emotional and psychological abuse will be also considered as domestic abuse.

There Are Some Specifications to Domestic Violence in the State of Ohio such as follows:

Domestic Violence That Results in Harm: Using violence to harm a person who is in a relationship with the offender is considered a 1st-degree Misdemeanor. However, if the offender has one or more prior charges of domestic violence, the charges will acquire a more serious conviction as the offense will be categorized as a 3rd, 4th or 5th Felony depending on the nature and the degree of seriousness of the committed violence.

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Domestic Violence as a Threat: Verbally threatening a person with violence is also considered as domestic violence and will be charged with a 4th-degree misdemeanor. The possibility of a prior conviction or prior violation exists in this clause too. Any prior convictions can change the course of the case to the tune of 1st, 2nd or 3rd-degree Misdemeanor depending on the number of prior convictions.

Domestic Violence Involving Family

Family members as victims of domestic violence include:

  • A spouse or former spouse or a member of the household who has lived with the victim for more than 5 years.
  • The victim can be a parent or foster parent. The victim can be a child also.
  • An extended member of the family.
  • The victim can be the child or parents of the spouse or partner.

Domestic Violence Penalties in Ohio

Possible penalties when convicted of domestic violence may vary from case to case. Some penalties are as follows:

  • A first-degree Misdemeanor will attract a jail term of 6 months with a fine of up to $1000.
  • A second-degree Misdemeanor will attract a 90-day jail term and/or a fine of up to $750.
  • A third-degree Misdemeanor will attract up to 60 days of jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
  • A fifth-degree Felony will mean an imprisonment term of 6 to 12 months and a fine up to $2500.
  • A four-degree Felony will correspond to 6 to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5000.
  • A third-degree Felony will correspond to 9 months to 3 years in prison and fine that may go up to $10000.

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Apart from the fines paid to the court, a person convicted of domestic violence will be ordered to pay restitution to the victim. The offender is required to pay the victim for any hospital bills, counseling fees and replacement of damaged property as per the court's order.


For fear of a repeat, victims of domestic violence can request the court to issue a temporary restraining order against the offender that will keep him or her at bay.

How to Get Help?

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network is a great place to seek help in case of domestic violence. It has a toll free referral and information line (800) 934-9840 where a victim can get the telephone numbers of various domestic violence shelters. The information line can also provide telephone numbers of other state coalitions against domestic violence. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network also helps counsel victims of domestic abuse and help traumatized victims come out of the fear and live normal lives.

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