What Is “Simple” Assault Under Ohio Law?

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.