What Is “Simple” Assault Under Ohio Law?

December 25, 2011

The least serious assault offense under Ohio law is “simple” assault.   There are two ways “simple” assault is committed in Ohio. A person either knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm to another; or, the person recklessly causes serious physical harm to another.

Misdemeanor Assault

Simple assault is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of up to 180 days in jail. However, if the alleged victim of the assault is a police officer, firefighter, or emergency medical official while in the performance of their official duties, then the “simple” assault offense is a fourth degree felony. This felony is punishable by a definite term of imprisonment of either up to 6, 12, or 18 months.

Common defenses to a “simple” assault charge are misidentification, self-defense, mistake, and in some cases, a parent may assert the defense of domestic authority, which allows a parent to use reasonable force to discipline a child.

If you or a loved one is under investigation for assault in Columbus or central Ohio, immediately contact one of our Columbus criminal defense attorneys. Our attorneys have a proven record of trying and winning cases for assault charges.