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Violent Crimes

A conviction for a violent crime could have a detrimental impact on a person’s life. Even if allegations of a violent crime are untrue, inaccurate, or the result of an accident, the alleged offender could face negative effects on educational opportunities, be ineligible for certain scholarships, have limited job prospects, and be ineligible for some kinds of governmental assistance.

Additionally, a violent crime conviction could immediately lead to imprisonment and/or fines. Some of the most commonly prosecuted violent crimes charges in Ohio are:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Abduction
  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Felonious Assault
  • Involuntary Manslaughter
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Murder / Homicide
  • Robbery
  • Burglary

Columbus Violent Crime Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a violent crime in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Joslyn Law Firm. Brian Joslyn will make every effort to help you avoid harsh punishments and find mitigating factors or defenses to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Call the Joslyn Law Firm for a consultation about your violent crime offense at (614) 444-1900 in Franklin County and the surrounding counties in Ohio.


Information on Ohio Violent Crime Laws


Statutes for Violent Offenses

    • Kidnapping- Ohio Rev. Code § 2905.01:
        This offense occurs if a person, through force, threat or deception, or by any means if the victim is under 13 or mentally incompetent, restrains the liberty of another person in order to:
        • Hold the person for ransom, or as a shield or hostage;
        • Commit any felony;
        • Terrorize or inflict serious physical harm on the victim or another person;
        • Engage in sexual activity with the victim against their will;
        • Obstruct a governmental functional; or
        • Keep in involuntary servitude.
        Kidnapping can be a felony of the first or second degree.

    • Assault- Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.13:
        This offense occurs when a person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm, or serious physical harm, to another person or a person’s unborn child.
        Assault can be a misdemeanor of the first degree, or felony of the third, fourth or fifth degree, depending on the victim of the offense and where the offense occurred.

    • Aggravated Assault- Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.12:
        This offense is defined as causing serious physical harm to another or to another’s unborn, or causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn by using a deadly weapon, when provoked or in the heat of passion or rage.
        Aggravated assault is either a felony of the third or fourth degree, depending on the victim.

    • Voluntary Manslaughter- Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.03:
        A person can be charged with this offense if they knowingly cause the death of another person or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy by:
        • Heat of passion or rage, or
        • Serious provocation by the victim.
        Voluntary Manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.

    • Involuntary Manslaughter - Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.04:
        This offense can occur if a person causes the death of another or unlawfully terminates the pregnancy of another by:
        • Committing or attempting to commit a felony, or
        • Attempting to commit or committing a misdemeanor or other regulatory offense.
        This offense is a felony of the first degree if it occurred during a felony, or a felony of the third degree if it occurred during a misdemeanor.

    • Murder / Homicide- Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.02:
        A person commits this offense if they purposefully cause the death of another person or unlawfully terminate another person’s pregnancy. A person can also commit this offense if they cause the death of another person from the commission of a first or second degree felony.

  • Robbery- Ohio Rev. Code § 2911.02:
      A person can be charged with this offense if:
      • They have a deadly weapon on their body or under their control,
      • They inflict, attempt to inflict, or threaten to inflict physical harm on another person, or
      • They use or threaten immediate force against another while attempting or committing a theft offense, or while immediately fleeing after the attempt or commission of a theft offense.
      Robbery can be a felony of the third, second or first degree, depending on whether a deadly weapon was used or if the offender actually inflicts harm on the victim.

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Penalties for Ohio Violent Crime Charges

Violent crimes in Ohio can lead to harsh punishments and severe sentences if the alleged offender is convicted; even misdemeanor violent crime offenses can result in jail or prison time and/or fines. Many violent crimes also require a mandatory prison sentence. The following list describes the basic sentencing guidelines for alleged violent crime offenders according to the Ohio Revised Code, but penalties can vary depending on the victim, degree of the offense, and whether the offender has a previous criminal history.

  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – A conviction for this degree of misdemeanor can lead to 180 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.

  • Felony of the Fifth Degree – A person convicted of this degree of felony could face imprisonment from six months to one year and/or fines not more than $2,500.

  • Felony of the Fourth Degree – A conviction for a felony in this degree can result in imprisonment from six to 18 months, and/or fines up to $5,000.

  • Felony of the Third Degree – Violent offenses in this degree can result in a prison sentence from one to five years, and/or fines not exceeding $10,000.

  • Felony of the Second Degree – These offenses can lead to imprisonment from two to eight years, and/or fines no more than $15,000.

  • Felony of the First Degree – A person who is convicted for violent offenses in this degree can result in imprisonment from three to ten years, and/or fines not exceeding $20,000.

  • Penalties for a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to an aggravated murder offense can be sentenced to death or life in prison and/or a fine of $25,000. A person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to murder can be imprisoned for 15 years to life and/or a fine up to $15,000. If the murder involved a victim under 13 years old or was a sexually motivated offense, the alleged offender can be sentenced to a mandatory prison sentence.


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Potential Defenses

Often, when someone has been accused of a crime of violence in Ohio, there are defenses or other factors that can reduce your charge to a lesser offense, or even result in a dismissal of the charges against you. It is important to discuss the facts of your case with a criminal defense attorney who may be able to help you identify any mitigating factors, and any possible defenses to the charges in your particular situation.

Lack of Knowledge – Knowingly causing an injury to another person or knowingly committing the offense is required for many violent crimes. If the alleged offender does not have the required knowledge when committing the offense, their charges could be dismissed or reduced to a less serious charge since knowledge is a required element of many violent crimes.

Justification - This defense is applicable to certain actions that would normally be considered criminal offenses, but are not because the conduct was required or authorized by law. Justification for committing a violent crime may also apply if the action is necessary in an emergency to prevent immediate public or private injury.

Self Defense - A person can use deadly force against a person who first uses force against them if they reasonably believe the person’s conduct was about to cause death or serious bodily injury. A person can also use non-deadly force to defend against another person’s use of force against them.

Defense of Others – A person may use physical force against a person to defend a third person if they reasonably believed the third party was about to be harmed. Deadly force may be used if death or serious bodily injury is imminent to the third party.

Defense of Property – A person may also be able to use force against a person if they reasonably believed the other person was committing or about to commit damage to property. Deadly force is justifiable against an intruder if a person reasonably believed the intruder was going to commit a crime after unlawfully entering a home, residence or occupied vehicle.


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Violent Crime Resources in Ohio

The National Center for Victims of Crime – The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) is an organization seeking to help crime victims rebuild their lives after they have suffered a crime of violence. The organization serves individuals, families and communities who have been harmed by violent crimes. This web site also provides resources and information for those who have been victims of violent crimes.

The Innocence Project – This organization is dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent injustices in the system, and exonerating those wrongfully convicted of violent crimes through DNA testing.

Ohio Attorney General – The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for Ohio, and protects Ohio citizens through its enforcement authority. The Attorney General’s office provides compensation for victims of violent crimes. This site provides more information for those who have been victims of violent crimes. Ohio’s Attorney General can be contacted at:

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 466-4986

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Joslyn Law Firm | Defense Lawyer for Violent Crimes in Ohio

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today for a consultation about your assault or violent crime charge in Columbus, Ohio. It is important to hire an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you find the best possible outcome for your situation.

Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your violent crime charges in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.