The number of violent criminal offenses occurring throughout Ohio has decreased in 2013, according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, but the state still has harsh penalties for those convicted of a crime.
The FBI’s annual report released late last year shows Ohio’s violent crime rate in 2013 dropped more than 8 percent from the previous year. The state reported nearly 32,000 violent crime incidents, compared to the nearly 35,000 from the previous year.
Violent crime in this report is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. These offenses can carry some of the harshest punishments and can lead to severe consequences, including prison time.
Murder is one of the most serious violent crimes in Ohio. According to Ohio Revised Code § 2903.02, a person can be charged with murder if he or she causes the death of another person on purpose or if they cause the death of another person during the commission of a felony of the second or first degree.
For example, if a person commits an aggravated robbery and shoots and kills someone in the store while committing the crime, he or she also could face murder charges for the offense. This charge could mean life in prison, a fine up to $25,000 or both.
A person also could face life in prison for a rape offense, depending on the age of the victim. A person can be charged with rape in Ohio if he or she engages in sexual conduct with another person when the offender purposely makes the other person submit by force or threat of force, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02.
Rape charges also could apply if a person engages in sexual conduct with someone who is not a spouse, or is a spouse but lives separately, and:
• He or she substantially impairs that person’s judgment or control to prevent resistance through the use of drugs, controlled substances or intoxicant by force, threat of force or deception
• The other person is younger than 13
• The alleged offender knows or has reason to believe the other person’s ability to resist or consent is impaired by mental or physical condition or advanced age
Robbery can be a felony of the first, second or third degree, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2911.02. If a person commits a theft and has a deadly weapon, causes or threatens harm or uses force against someone during the crime, the charge could be upgraded to robbery.
Aggravated assault is a less serious violent crime, although it still is a felony offense. A person can be charged with the crime if he or she causes or attempts to cause harm to another person, with or without a weapon, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2903.12.
Violent crimes carry a strong social stigma. When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, often people in the community assume he or she is guilty. However, a charge does not have to mean a conviction. No matter the offense, a person facing criminal charges has the right to legal counsel. A skilled Dayton violent crime defense attorney can help fight the charges.
Brian Joslyn is the founder of the Joslyn Law Firm in Dayton, Ohio, and defends clients who are facing criminal charges throughout Central and South Ohio. Joslyn is an advocate for his clients, and he is adamant about helping people through the criminal justice system. He handles a variety of cases, including violent crimes, DUI/OVI, drug charges, marijuana offenses, domestic violence and theft.