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Violent Crime Defense

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Convictions for offenses of violence often have more severe consequences than nonviolent crimes. The majority of violent offenses are felonies potentially punishable by multiple years in prison. Further, jail terms can be more severe for offenses of violence in certain circumstances. For example, a conviction for a felony offense of violence committed while the offender wore or carried body armor is subject to a prison term of two years.

Records of conviction for offenses of violence that are Misdemeanors of the 1st degree or Felonies (except for Riot, in violation of R.C. 2917.03 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2917.03 ; Assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.13 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2903.13 ; Inciting to violence, in violation of 2917.01 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2917.01 ; and Inducing panic, in violation of 2917.31 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2917.31 that are Misdemeanors of the 1st degree) cannot be sealedSee, R.C. 2953.36(A)(3); State v. V.M.D., 148 Ohio St.3d 450, 2016-Ohio-8090, ¶ 1 (“We hold that attempted robbery is a crime of violence and that, pursuant to R.C. 2953.36, a person convicted of that crime is ineligible to have the record of that conviction sealed.).

This means that the record of conviction will be permanently accessible to the public, making it difficult for an offender to obtain employment and/or housing. Persons convicted of felony offenses of violence are also prohibited from possessing firearms. See, R.C. 2923.13(A)(2); State v. Cook, 83 Ohio St.3d 404, 412 (1998) (“[P]ersons previously convicted of felony offenses of violence are forever so prohibited [from acquiring, having, carrying, or using a firearm or dangerous ordnance].”).

Since the consequences of a conviction for an offense of violence are grievous, it is imperative that an individual charged with an offense of violence obtain counsel as soon as possible. The severe nature of an offense charged, including whether the offense is an offense of violence, is an aggravating factor that the court considers in setting bail. A bail hearing is set early in the judicial process and it would behoove the accused to have an attorney present at the hearing. If the court denies bail or bail is set too high, the accused will remain incarcerated pending trial and will be unable to work, take care of his/her family, and assist counsel with his/her own defense.


R.C. 2901.01(A)(9) http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2901.01 defines “offense of violence” as any of the following:

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