Ohio Assault and Battery Laws

Definition of Assault

Ohio assault laws include the offenses of both “assault” and “battery.” Causing or attempting to cause harm to another person or to an unborn child is an assault in Ohio. To commit "battery" is to intentionally or negligently cause offensive physical contact or bodily harm. The crime of assault is broken down into two separate degrees: "simple" and "aggravated." Simple and neglient assault are misdemeanor crimes. Aggravated assault is a felony depending upon who is the victim.

The following table highlights the main provisions of Ohio's assault and battery laws. See Assault and Battery Defenses, Assault and Battery Penalties and Sentencing, Other Crimes Against Persons and Assault and Battery as a Tort for more information.

Code Sections

Assault: Ohio Revised Code Section 2903.13

Prohibited Conduct

Simple Assault:

  • Knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn.
  • Recklessly causing serious physical harm to another or to another’s unborn.

Negligent Assault: Negligent assault occurs when physical harm is caused through the negligent use of a deadly weapon. A common example of negligent assault is hunting accidents.

Felony Assault:

  • Causing serious harm to someone or an unborn child, or
  • Causing or attempt to cause harm through the use of a deadly weapon.

Aggravated Assault:

  • Causing serious harm to someone or an unborn child, or
  • Causing or attempt to cause harm through the use of a deadly weapon
  • And does this while in “under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage.”
Penalty

Simple Assault: In most cases assault is considered a first degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000. May include restitution to the victim.

Negligent Assault: Negligent assault is considered a 3rd degree misdemeanor and is punishable by jail time up to 60 days and fines up to $500. May include restitution to the victim.

Felony Assault: A second degree felony typically carries a potential sentence of 2-8 years in prison and fines up to $20,000. May include restitution to the victim.

Aggravated Assault:Fourth degree felony and is punishable by a prison term of 18 months to 6 years and fines of up to $5,000.

Who Prosecutes this Crime?

Ohio District Attorney Office

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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If you are facing assault and battery charges in Ohio, you should take your case seriously. Even if it is just a simple assault or simple battery, you could still get some jail time. Therefore, you should hire a criminal defense attorney who can help assess your options and mount a solid defense on your behalf. Take an initial first step by pairing up with an Ohio attorney with a free attorney match.

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