Are you being charged with menacing / stalking in Ohio? Throughout Ohio, there are many individuals who are charged with menacing/stalking on a daily basis.
Generally, menacing/stalking is when someone repeatedly behaves in a way that has convinced another person that you were going to cause them mental or emotional distress, physically harm or put them in danger or you urged someone else to engage in such behavior through electronic communication, or you had sexual motivations in addition to either of the previous stated behaviors. People often think of stalking as following someone or sneaking around spying on them while having them intent to harm or put them in danger. While this is true and can constitute stalking, stalking can also entail not being physically present or even having the intent to harm someone.
It is important to be aware that menacing/stalking in Ohio can occur over any mode of communication. Menacing / stalking can include but is not limited to e-mailing, texting, letters in the mail, phone calls, verbally threatening violence, trespassing into someone’s home, or frequently driving by the victim’s home, work or school.
A menacing / stalking conviction will either result in misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the severity of the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Both charges carry jail and potentially prison time in addition to hefty fines and fees. You will also face other negative consequences such as being known throughout your surrounding community as dangerous, difficulty keeping or finding a job and maintaining custody of your children.
Regardless of what happened in your case, it is understandable that you are probably scared and overwhelmed by the menacing / stalking charges that you are currently facing. You do not have to go through this experience alone. The Cincinnati domestic violence attorneys are here to provide their understanding and legal counsel to help you deal with the menacing / stalking charges that you are facing. The sooner you consult with a Cincinnati menacing and stalking lawyer, the better, as they will work diligently to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case. This could mean the difference between serving less jail or prison time to a complete dismissal of the menacing / stalking charges altogether.
Menacing / Stalking is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2903.211) as engaging in any of the following actions:
- Anyone who engages in a pattern of conduct that knowingly causes another person to believe that they, as the offender, will cause physical harm or mental distress to the other person.
- Anyone who uses any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to any computer, computer network, computer program, or computer system, that posts a message with the intention of urging or inciting another person to commit a violation of the previous statement.
- Anyone who has a sexual motivation that violates either or both of the previous statements.
Menacing / Stalking Penalties
If you are convicted of menacing / stalking in Ohio, you will face serious penalties including jail or prison time and hefty fines and fees. The specific penalties that you will face are dependent on the severity of the facts and circumstances of your particular case.
If you are convicted of menacing / stalking in Ohio, you will most likely be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This charge entails a maximum jail sentence of six months and up to $1,000 in fines.
If you are convicted of menacing / stalking in Ohio and engage in any of the following actions, then you will be charged with a fourth-degree felony.
- You threatened physical harm or danger to another person;
- You trespassed where the victim works, goes to school, or lives;
- You involved a victim in the offense that is a minor;
- You have a prior history of violence toward the victim, or someone else;
- At the time of the offense, you were in possession of or were in control of a deadly weapon;
- You were the subject of a protection order at the time you committed the offense;
- You physically harmed or damaged the property on which the victim lives, or to any of the victim’s personal property;
- Before the offense, you were determined to pose a substantial risk of harm or danger to other individuals which can be evidenced by homicidal or violent behavior, or threats placing someone in fear of violence or harm.
A fourth-degree felony conviction carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 18 months and up to $5,000 in fines.
Other Consequences of Menacing / Stalking
Menacing/Stalking in Ohio involves harsh and unforgiving consequences in addition to extensive prison time and exorbitant fines and fees. Due to the serious nature of menacing / stalking offenses, this charge could potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life.
One possible consequence of menacing / stalking in Ohio is that the victim may seek to file a Civil Protection Order. A civil protective order is filed separately from menacing / stalking charges. Someone file for a civil protective order if you make unwanted contact or threats against them and you are not married to them. A civil protective order will prohibit you from being within 500 feet of the individual who filed the order. If you violate the civil protective order, you will face further criminal charges and penalties as a result.
If you are convicted of menacing/stalking in Ohio, other areas of your life will likely be profoundly impacted in a negative way. You may face having a reputation in your community as a disturbed and dangerous criminal. You may also face difficulty keeping or finding a job, further your education, difficulty financially, obtaining loans, maintaining professional licensures and keeping custody of your children.
Every day in Ohio, there are many individuals who are charged with stalking / menacing. If you are facing stalking / menacing charges, it is imperative that you immediately contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys. A stalking / menacing charge can be an overwhelming and anxiety-inducing experience, and you do not have to go through it alone. Although every case is different, it is crucial that you obtain an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate attorney as soon as possible who will fight vigorously for your legal rights and best interest. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your options will be regarding your sentence. The Cincinnati domestic violence team has successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with stalking / menacing. Their knowledge, experience, and compassion for your case will help you receive the justice you deserve.