Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases

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Ohio Caregiver Screening of Patients

Domestic violence falls into three categories: physical abuse or violence, sexual abuse or violence, and psychological or emotional abuse. Due to the growing concern over the increasing number of incidents, the Ohio Domestic Violence Network developed “The Ohio Domestic Violence Protocol for Health Care Providers, Standards of Care” which contains the guidelines for health care providers to screen victims of domestic violence crimes. Victims include a family member or household member. A spouse, sibling, parent, child, live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, or foster child would be examples of possible recipients of domestic violence or abuse.

Reporting by Caregivers

A caregiver who suspects or sees clear indications of abuse is required by The Ohio Revised Code (ORC Section 2921.22) to document or provide a written assessment in the patient’s medical record although not required to report to law enforcement except in certain circumstances or at the request of the patient. The caregiver would report a patient shot or stabbed, with 2nd degree burns, a serious injury or any instances of elder or child abuse. The reports whether turned over to the police or not, can be used against the accused in a criminal or civil case.

Protect Your Rights

Law enforcement will take swift action in domestic violence situations in order to protect the victim from further harm. They will arrest first, and then sort out the details. The alleged offender may receive a temporary restraining order that remains in effect until a future court appearance. The charges are serious and may have wide ranging collateral consequences from removal from the family home, limitations on visitation in future custody arrangements and exclusion from eligibility to adopt children. It is critical to have an attorney by your side throughout the legal process to protect your constitutional rights and represent your side of the case. A conviction can mean jail time, payment of fines, probation and issuance of a protective order against you. Even threatening or causing a household member to fear for their safety is a fourth degree misdemeanor with a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail and $250 in fines. An attempt or actual infliction of bodily harm is a first degree misdemeanor with potential penalties of a jail sentence of up to 6 months and $1,000 fine. An incident resulting in serious bodily harm can increase your exposure with additional assault charges and 8 years in prison and large fines if guilty.

Typically, domestic violence cases are highly emotional and require the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer is there to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

For further information on domestic violence and defense of your criminal case, call The Law Office of Brian Jones today for a consultation.

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