Don't Fight Domestic Violence Charges Alone
Sometimes an argument is all it takes to end up facing allegations of domestic violence. If the police are called to your house in response to a domestic disturbance, you may be facing prison time, a lasting criminal record, restrictions on certain rights such as your ability to own a firearm, and even an inability to see your loved ones. You might even be forced to leave your home while the case is awaiting trial.
At Wolfe Law Group, LLC, we help people fight charges of domestic violence throughout central Ohio. With years of experience trying — and winning — criminal cases, we know how to force the prosecution to prove its case against you. We will protect your rights at every stage of your case.
Should I Talk To The Police?
When law enforcement officials respond to reports of domestic violence, they may ask you questions about what happened. They may say they're trying to get "your side of the story." However, keep in mind that anything you tell police may be used against you or twisted in later retellings.
Do not give a statement to the police without consulting a lawyer first. A simple mistake early in your case could have serious repercussions for your future and your freedom down the road. Our knowledgeable attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so you do not have to navigate these police encounters alone.
It Was Just a Misunderstanding, How Do We Drop the Charges?
People often get into arguments with their significant others, children, parents, or other family members. Sometimes these arguments escalate and someone calls the police. Once the police arrive, charges are ofted filed. In many situations, the person that called the police just wanted the situation to end, not for the other person to be arrested and prosecuted. We are frequently asked what that person can do to drop the charges.
In a criminal case, it is the State of Ohio, not the victim, against the defendant. Even though alleged victims might have initiated the action by calling the police, they are technically witnesses, not parties to the case, and thus they have no right to drop charges. Only the prosecutor can drop charges or dismiss a case. If an alleged victim wants charges dropped, the best thing that he or she can do is contact the prosecutor or victim's advocate and tell them that they do not wish to prosecute.
What Is a Protection Order?
A protection order is what most people refer to as a "restraining order." In Ohio, there are various types of protection orders that apply in different situations and vary in length.
- Temporary Protection Order - a "TPO" is associated with a criminal case. If you are charged with domestic violence, the prosecutor might request a TPO, which is typically served upon you at your arraignment when you plead not guilty. It is in effect while you are awaiting trial.
- Civil Protection Order - a "CPO" is issued by the Common Pleas Domestic Relations Court. It is separate from any pending criminal charges. Poeple who had a domestic relationship can request a CPO. It requires going before a Domestic Magistrate and presenting evidence (usually in the form of testimony) as to why the petitioner needs it. If it is initially granted, a full hearing is set with an opportunity for the respondent, or person against whom the order is filed, and opportunity to come to court and say why it should not be granted. They can last for 1 to 5 years.
- Stalking Protection Order - a "CSPO" or "SSOOPO" is issued by the Common Pleas General Division Court. It, too, is separate from pending cirminal charges. It is for peple who did not have any domestic relationship and thus would not qualify for a CPO. The process is similar to that of a CPO, just in a different court. They also last for 1 to 5 years.
- Stay Away Order - a stay away is not actually a protection order, it is a term of bond. In any criminal case, the Judge can order you to stay away from the victim as a term of your bond. Unlike an actual protection order, violation of a stay away typically will not result in a new charge being filed, but it can lead to bond being revoked and incarceration while the case is awaiting trial. A stay away can remain in effect not only while the case is pending, but throughout any probation that results from a plea deal or conviction.
Violation of a protection order will often result in an additional charge. The first offense is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine. Subsequent charges can be felonies.
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We know that disagreements and arrests don't always happen during business hours. That's why we respond to inquiries immediately, giving you peace of mind that your rights are always protected.