Have you been arrested for making criminal threats against another person in Columbus, OH?
If so, you need to take immediate steps to make it difficult for the prosecution to turn your charge into a conviction. You can begin by calling and hiring a seasoned Columbus criminal threats defense lawyer from James D. Owen, LLC.
- 1 Why James D. Owen, LLC, Should Be Your First Call After You’re Arrested For Making Criminal Threats in Columbus
- 2 Understanding Ohio’s Criminal Threats Laws
- 3 Consequences of Criminal Threats Convictions in Ohio
- 4 Defenses Against Ohio Criminal Threats Charges
- 5 Your Trusted Columbus Criminal Threats Defense Lawyer
Why James D. Owen, LLC, Should Be Your First Call After You’re Arrested For Making Criminal Threats in Columbus
When the people of Columbus need a legal team to help them fight back against their criminal charges, they know they can always rely on James D. Owen, LLC, LLC. Our Columbus criminal defense attorneys have the experience and skill required to handle even the most complex cases.
Should you hire our law firm to assist you with your criminal threats defense, we will:
- Stand up for your rights as a U.S. citizen or resident
- Conduct an investigation into your criminal charge
- Guide you through the complicated Ohio legal system
- Put together an effective defense strategy
- Help you understand your potential legal options
- Provide you with reliable legal advice as needed
- Look for and request relevant evidence to help your case
- Hammer out a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution
- Argue on your behalf in criminal court, if necessary
Are you ready to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer from James D. Owen, LLC, help you fight back against the accusations of the state of Ohio? If so, please do not hesitate to give us a call and set up a free consultation at our offices in Columbus. We have been handling criminal cases like yours for years, and we are always here to battle for you.
Understanding Ohio’s Criminal Threats Laws
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants every Columbus resident the right to free speech. However, states can still choose to pass laws that restrict the things an individual may say to certain people under specific circumstances.
The state of Ohio has many laws on its books that make it a crime to utter threats that may make another person fear for their safety, like:
Section 2903.22 of the Ohio Revised Code states that it is illegal for an individual to cause another person to believe that they are going to inflict physical harm upon them or their family members.
The victim may base their beliefs on the offender’s words or general conduct.
When Ohio law enforcement officers find someone violating this law, they may arrest them on a menacing charge.
The Buckeye State typically classifies criminal offenses of this type as misdemeanors of the fourth degree. However, prosecutors have the authority to upgrade them to misdemeanors of the first degree or felonies of the fourth degree in some situations.
Section 2903.21 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for an individual to cause a person to believe that they are going to inflict serious physical harm upon them or their family members.
As with the lesser charge of menacing, victims may base their beliefs on the offender’s words or conduct.
Individuals who violate this statute are guilty of aggravated menacing.
Under Ohio law, aggravated menacing is usually punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree. However, the state may opt to upgrade it to a felony of the fourth or fifth degree under certain circumstances.
Intimidation of an Attorney, Victim, or Witness
Section 2921.04 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for a person to threaten to harm any of the following persons:
- The victim of a crime, while they are filing charges
- A witness to a criminal act
- A lawyer, because they are involved in a criminal case
When police officers catch people violating this statute, they may charge them with the intimidation of an attorney, victim, or witness.
The state of Ohio almost always classifies this offense as a third-degree felony.
Section 2905.11 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful for a person to carry out any of the following actions for the purpose of obtaining a valuable service or good:
- Threaten to commit a felony
- Threaten to commit an act of violence
- Threaten any calumny against a person
- Threaten to expose material that may subject a person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule
- Threaten to expose material that may damage a person’s business repute or impair their credit
People who violate this statute are guilty of extortion – a felony of the third degree.
Every criminal defense attorney at our law firm is well-versed in all aspects of Ohio criminal law. So, if a Franklin County prosecutor is accusing you of committing one of these offenses, please contact our team as soon as you can. We may be able to help you get your charge dismissed or reduced.
Consequences of Criminal Threats Convictions in Ohio
When courts in the state of Ohio find Columbus residents guilty of issuing threats, they almost always send them to jail or prison and hand them a hefty fine. In doling out these penalties, judges must pay close attention to the following sentencing guidelines:
- Felonies of the Third Degree: A prison term of up to 60 months and a fine of as much as $10,000
- Felonies of the Fourth Degree: A prison term of up to 18 months and a fine of as much as $5,000
- Felonies of the Fifth Degree: A prison term of up to 12 months and a fine of as much as $2,500
- Misdemeanors of the First Degree: A jail term of up to 180 days and a fine of as much as $1,000
- Misdemeanors of the Second Degree: A jail term of up to 90 days and a fine of as much as $750
- Misdemeanors of the Third Degree: A jail term of up to 60 days and a fine of as much as $500
- Misdemeanors of the Fourth Degree: A jail term of up to 30 days and a fine of as much as $250
Courts in Ohio usually dole out the most severe sentences to repeat offenders. People who have never been in trouble with the law in the past tend to get smaller fines and shorter terms of imprisonment.
Collateral Consequences of a Misdemeanor or Felony Conviction
Of course, the negative consequences of criminal threat convictions in Central Ohio do not stop at fines and prison sentences. Anybody who commits one of these offenses also gets a permanent criminal record.
Having a record of this nature can make daily life more difficult. It is not at all unusual for convicted criminals to experience the following collateral consequences of their actions:
- Trouble Landing a Job: Many companies in the Columbus area have strict policies that forbid the hiring of criminals.
- Loss of Privacy: The friends, family, and work colleagues of convicted criminals can easily find out about their offense by searching for their name online.
- Professional Licensing Issues: People with criminal records regularly have trouble getting professional licenses approved and renewed.
- Immigration Difficulties: The federal government regularly deports non-citizen felons when they serve out their time in state prison.
- Difficulties Getting Student Loans: The federal government makes it quite challenging for felons to secure student loans.
- Problems Finding Housing: Many apartment communities in Central Ohio reject applications from convicted criminals.
- Loss of Gun Ownership Rights: People with criminal records do not have the right to buy, use, or carry guns in Ohio.
Would you like to have a skilled attorney from James D. Owen, LLC, help you with your battle to avoid the negative consequences of a criminal threats conviction? If so, please pick up the phone and call our law office in Columbus, OH, today. We know what it takes to win cases like yours, and we are ready to fight tirelessly on your behalf.
Defenses Against Ohio Criminal Threats Charges
Criminal threat charges do not have to become convictions. Ohioans can often get their cases dropped and secure not guilty verdicts by:
- Arguing that the prosecuting attorney has not brought forth enough evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt
- Claiming that their messages to the victim were unrelated to any ongoing legal proceedings
- Proving that they were not responsible for the threats received by the victim
- Claiming that they did not say anything threatening and that the victim misunderstood or misinterpreted their words
At James D. Owen, LLC, we have been devising customized defense strategies for the people of Columbus for many years. Our attorneys know which tactics work and which ones do not. To have us analyze your case and let you know how best to tackle it, all you have to do is send us a message online.
Your Trusted Columbus Criminal Threats Defense Lawyer
If you are currently facing accusations of criminal threats, do not hesitate to call James D. Owen, LLC, for immediate legal assistance. Our Columbus menacing defense attorneys are ready to help you fight to protect your future. To get started, all you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call.