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The Law Office of Stephen W. Wolf, LLC

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North Olmsted, Ohio  44070


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Domestic Violence:  Sometimes the defendant is actually the victim

The charges against my client were dismissed on the morning of the jury trial.

Prior to my involvement, my client was charged with domestic violence which was plead down to disorderly conduct.  She was not represented by an attorney.  Big mistake.  She indicated to anyone who would listen that she was the victim, not the boyfriend who had brought the domestic violence charges.  No one believed her.  She had to do anger management, mental health assessments, probation meetings, pay a fine, pay costs, etc.

She was again arrested.  This time she hired me.  I was able to prove to the city that her boyfriend was abusing her.  The abuse was horrific.  By the time the case was brought to trial everyone involved either believed she was the victim or, unable to actually say that, stated "we can't win this case so we are dismissing it".


It is vital that you keep records, recordings, photographs and whatever other documents you can come up with to PROVE your claim.  Most cellular phones will record and in Ohio you can record any discussion as long as you are part of that discussion.

Ongoing attack by ex-wife

After my client was able to plea down a domestic violence in Texas, he and his ex-wife were divorced.  He returned to Ohio.  His ex-wife followed.  She filed a request for a domestic violence protection order.  My client went to the hearing but was unable to navigate the legalese and properly defend himself.  He hired me and we returned to show the wife could not provide any reason she should fear harm.  We were able to show JS just wanted to get on with his life.  The order was lifted and they both went their separate ways.

Is it domestic violence when two brothers push at each other over who has the next turn at the Nintendo?

Is it domestic violence? Probably. Is it just?

Here the state attempts to assign to one brother a serious crime of violence with significant life-long consequences. Here two young brothers pushed at each other. There were no injuries. Neither wanted the police, or charges, or the arrest and weekend in jail.

The charge was dismissed on the day of trial.

Father threatens mother -- son gets arrested for domestic violence

When a drunken father threatened the mother, the son came between the mother and father.  I was able to show the father instigated the fight and with the help of the mother and two of his brothers, demonstrate that it was the father who should have been charged.

Cops can sometimes act against a child!

Cops can sometimes miss the underlying issues of a domestic violence, keying in on a son or daughter and deciding that person is guilty because the parent must be right.  This is very bad police work!

My client was found not guilty.


Ohio Domestic Violence Law

There are significant ramifications involved with a charge of Domestic Violence. The first time an individual is charged with domestic violence it is generally a misdemeanor of the first degree. This means that the person faces a possible county jail time of six months and a fine of up to $1000. However, if the person is charged with a second, third, or fourth domestic violence charge the person faces a felony count of domestic violence which can range from a felony of the fifth degree to a felony of the third degree. This means you could go to prison for up to five years.  You could face a fine of up to $10,000.

If you are charged with domestic violence and plead to any crime under those facts then Federal Law prohibits you from owning or possessing a firearm. This means that if you have a career in law enforcement or security, you have essentially ended your career.

This area of law is much more complicated than one expects.  I have years of experience handling these kinds of cases. I know how to properly approach and interview witnesses, police officers and prosecutors. I will look into all of the evidence that the prosecutor alleges to be ready to use against you. I will look into and interview each and every witness that you might have.

The below give some information on typical issues that come up in a domestic violence arrest.  PLEASE!  YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY TO DETERMINE ISSUES THAT PERTAIN TO YOUR CASE.  CALL ME!  The below is just a sampling of the involved issues!

Brady Disqualifier

Because of recent court decisions, going to trial may be your only option.  Not going to trial, making a plea bargain, regardless what that plea bargain is, will almost certainly result in a "Brady Disqualifier".  A "Brady Disqualifier" means that you can no longer possess weapons.  You cannot hunt.  You cannot become a police officer.  For this reason many people charged with domestic violence must fight the charge.  Please see the weapons page below.

Maybe.  Sometimes.

There is another case that suggests Ohio law won't disqualify.  See the weapons page below.

Felony Domestic Violence

Many prior convictions can result in domestic violence being escalated to a felony.  See below!  Call me!


About the arrest

Beware the domestic violence advocate

Bond-related Mental Health Assessment

Temporary Protection Orders

What is a family or household member?

Domestic Violence as a Felony

Domestic Violence Penalties - click here

Domestic Violence and Weapons

Withdrawing a complaint - click here

My friend was arrested - click here

Text messages WILL be made public

About Civil Protection Orders

Domestic Violence:  Keeping a couple together

I spent a great deal of time in numerous pretrials laying the groundwork for a husband and wife to come back together as a couple. Ohio's domestic violence laws work well when violence is an issue. Otherwise it works to keep couples apart; providing protection but splitting marriages. Married forty years, K.W. and J.W. never realized the problems that would occur when they called the police. I managed to convince the court they belonged together. From a possible six months in jail and a $1000 maximum fine, K.W. had to do forty hours of community service and pay $122 in court costs.  Afterward, I worked to seal the record.

Enabled daughter brings domestic violence charges against Father

Dad provided well for his 21 year old daughter. He provided her with room and board, paid for her college, paid for her car, paid for the daughter's 2 year old child's room and board, diapers, clothes and other items. Daughter was collecting over $500.00 in child support that Dad never saw. Dad's pay-back? An allegation of domestic violence that cost him three days in jail until he could be arraigned. Dad hired me. Dad had the support of the entire family and I used that support to describe to the prosecutor why the case should not be tried. The case was dismissed at the first pretrial.

Jury:  Not guilty of assault

My client was attacked by her boyfriend's aunt.  There was a cultural component to this case as the aunt wanted someone of her own descent dating her nephew.  I was able to convince a jury that between the aunt's changing story and the horrible police work, my client was not guilty.  It was only a few minutes in the jury room before they all agreed my client should go free.