I often have people ask me 'what is an assault?'
There are a lot of misconceptions about what constitutes an assault. Assault is defined in Ohio as the following:
(A) No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical hard to another or another's unborn.
(B) No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to another or to another's unborn.
The basic example of an assault is where one person punches another. Other examples of assaults can be someone tripping another person, which causes them to fall, or shoving someone in a manner designed to hurt them or cause them to hit something.
Depending on who the victim of the assault is, the offense of assault can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. As a general rule, assault is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months of local incarceration and/or a $1,000 fine.
If the victim of the assault is a member of a protected class, such as a police officer or a school employee, assault can be a felony. The most common felony assault is assault on a police officer, which is a felony of the fourth degree. In these cases, a person convicted of assault risks imprisonment in a state prison.
While jail or imprisonment is a possibility, an offender can also be sentenced to a term of community control, or probation. The offender can also face court costs, fines, home incarceration and other measures, such as being made to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.
As each case is different, it is impossible to say what will happen in any specific case. As with any case, the outcome of an assault charge will largely depend on the legal strategies used and the facts of the case.
If you or a loved one is charged with assault, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Adam VanHo has experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney and has handled numerous assault cases at both the felony and misdemeanor levels.