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Willoughby Domestic Violence Attorney

Violent crimes are among the most serious offenses, and they carry severe penalties. If you have been accused of a violent crime, you need Fortress Law Group in your corner.
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Domestic Violence Attorney in Willoughby, OH

A conflict at home that might start off as a simple argument could quickly spiral into a violent situation. Anger is a powerful emotion, and in the heat of these moments, it can be difficult to act rationally. Regardless of an incident’s context, once you are placed under arrest for domestic violence, serious consequences become a potential reality.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Northeast Ohio, your future, reputation, and relationships could be at stake. When an individual is found guilty of domestic violence in Ohio, it will stay on their record forever with no possibility of expungement. It is essential that you find an experienced criminal defense attorney who will listen to the facts of your case, protect your rights, and prove your defense.

What is Domestic Violence in Ohio?

Domestic Violence is charged in Ohio when law enforcement has collected evidence that:

  • (A) A person knowingly caused or attempted to cause physical harm to a family or household member
  • (B) A person recklessly caused serious physical harm to a family or household member
  • (C) A person, by threat of force, knowingly caused a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member

In terms of the law, when a person knowingly causes physical harm when they are aware that their conduct will probably cause a certain result. A reckless act of violence means that the person committed the crime with “heedless indifference” to the consequences. Threatening to harm a household member is also considered domestic violence.

It is important to note that domestic violence is a charge in which the alleged victim is a family or household member. These individuals must reside or have previously resided at the household where the offense took place. Possible victims of domestic violence include:

  • Spouses or ex-spouses
  • Romantic partners who have resided at the home
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Any persons related by blood or marriage
  • Any persons related by blood or marriage to the offender’s spouse, ex-spouse, or romantic partner

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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.


Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.


Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.


Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Ohio

There are several factors in domestic violence cases that can alter the penalties. Depending on the circumstances, domestic violence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor Domestic Violence typically involves first time offenders and carries a punishment up to 6 months in jail and $1000 in fines. One or more prior Domestic Violence convictions will escalate the charge to a felony matter. Fourth-degree felonies are punishable up to 3 years jail time, with a 6 month mandatory sentence, and up to $5000 in fines.

In any domestic violence felony case, if the offender harmed the victim while knowing they were pregnant at the time, they will receive a mandatory 6-month minimum sentence if found guilty. Additionally, if the unborn child was harmed during a domestic violence incident, the mandatory jail time jumps to a year. Other factors that could escalate a domestic violence charge to a felony would include the use of a firearm, or if serious physical harm was inflicted upon the victim.


Taking Action After a Domestic Violence Arrest in Ohio

Criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and to be found guilty, the Government must meet its burden of proof. This means that the prosecution is entirely responsible in proving your guilt.

After a Domestic Violence arrest, the very next step you need to take is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to get your questions answered and explore your options. Even if you believe the odds are against you, a qualified attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to try to get you a better outcome. Domestic violence is considered a violent crime, and in Ohio, violent crimes with first degree misdemeanors or felony convictions cannot be expunged from your record. It is imperative that you take action immediately; a conviction of this severity is detrimental to a person’s life.

Our legal team at Fortress Law Group has extensive experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue domestic violence cases. This means that as a client, our attorneys will provide you with expert insight into the mind of a prosecutor and work directly alongside you to develop a solid defense strategy. At Fortress Law Group, your voice will be heard, and your best interest will be honored. If you are facing a domestic violence charge, do not wait, contact our legal team today.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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