En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Legal Statutes: Ohio

UPDATED October 12, 2012

Back to Ohio overview

Domestic Violence

back to top2919.25 Domestic violence

(A) No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member.

(B) No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member.

(C) No person, by threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.

(D)(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of domestic violence, and the court shall sentence the offender as provided in divisions (D)(2) to (6) of this section.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (D)(3) to (5) of this section, a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, and a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4) of this section, if the offender previously has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of domestic violence, a violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially similar to domestic violence, a violation of section 2903.14, 2909.06, 2909.07, 2911. 12, 2911.211, or 2919.22 of the Revised Code if the victim of the violation was a family or household member at the time of the violation, a violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially similar to any of those sections if the victim of the violation was a family or household member at the time of the commission of the violation, or any offense of violence if the victim of the offense was a family or household member at the time of the commission of the offense, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree, and, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(4) If the offender previously has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of two or more offenses of domestic violence or two or more violations or offenses of the type described in division (D)(3) of this section involving a person who was a family or household member at the time of the violations or offenses, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree, and, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(5) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(3) or (4) of this section, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree, and the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(6) If division (D)(3), (4), or (5) of this section requires the court that sentences an offender for a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section to impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to this division, the court shall impose the mandatory prison term as follows:

(a) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth or fifth degree, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(6)(b) or (c) of this section, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of at least six months.

(b) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of twelve months.

(c) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of at least twelve months.

(d) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(6)(e) of this section and notwithstanding the range of prison terms prescribed in section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for a felony of the third degree, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of either a definite term of six months or one of the prison terms prescribed in section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for felonies of the third degree.

(e) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, notwithstanding the range of prison terms prescribed in section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for a felony of the third degree, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of either a definite term of one year or one of the prison terms prescribed in section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for felonies of the third degree.

(E) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no court or unit of state or local government shall charge any fee, cost, deposit, or money in connection with the filing of charges against a person alleging that the person violated this section or a municipal ordinance substantially similar to this section or in connection with the prosecution of any charges so filed.

(F) As used in this section and sections 2919.251 and 2919.26 of the Revised Code:

(1) “Family or household member” means any of the following:

(a) Any of the following who is residing or has resided with the offender:

(i) A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender;

(ii) A parent, a foster parent, or a child of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to the offender;

(iii) A parent or a child of a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender.

(b) The natural parent of any child of whom the offender is the other natural parent or is the putative other natural parent.

(2) “Person living as a spouse” means a person who is living or has lived with the offender in a common law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the offender, or who otherwise has cohabited with the offender within five years prior to the date of the alleged commission of the act in question.

(3) “Pregnant woman's unborn” has the same meaning as “such other person's unborn,” as set forth in section 2903.09 of the Revised Code, as it relates to the pregnant woman. Division (C) of that section applies regarding the use of the term in this section, except that the second and third sentences of division (C)(1) of that section shall be construed for purposes of this section as if they included a reference to this section in the listing of Revised Code sections they contain.

(4) “Termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy” has the same meaning as “unlawful termination of another's pregnancy,” as set forth in section 2903.09 of the Revised Code, as it relates to the pregnant woman. Division (C) of that section applies regarding the use of the term in this section, except that the second and third sentences of division (C)(1) of that section shall be construed for purposes of this section as if they included a reference to this section in the listing of Revised Code sections they contain.
2010 S 58, eff. 9-17-10; 2010 H 10, eff. 6-17-10; 2008 H 280, eff. 4-7-09; 2003 S 50, eff. 1-8-04; 2002 H 548, eff. 3-31-03; 2002 H 327, eff. 7-8-02; 1997 H 238, eff. 11-5-97; 1997 S 1, eff. 10-21-97; 1995 S 2, eff. 7-1-96; 1994 H 335, eff. 12-9-94; 1992 H 536, eff. 11-5-92; 1990 S 3; 1988 H 172; 1987 S 6; 1984 H 587; 1980 H 920; 1978 H 835