We remind our criminal attorneys this morning that amendments to Ohio's assault statute (ORC 2903.13) brought about by the passage of HB 62 last year went into effect last Friday, March 22, 2013.
The Legislative Service summarizes that "Preexisting law, unchanged by the act, prohibits a person from knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another's unborn or recklessly causing serious physical harm to another or to another's unborn. A violation of the prohibition is the offense of "assault." Under preexisting law, assault generally is a first degree misdemeanor (unchanged by the act), but it is a felony in specified circumstances. Formerly, assault was a fifth degree felony if committed in specified circumstances against an employee of or visitor to a state or local criminal or juvenile correctional facility, a fourth degree felony if committed in specified circumstances against a person performing emergency medical service or against a peace officer or investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, and a third, fourth, or fifth degree felony in a number of other specified circumstances."
"HB 62 retained the preexisting penalty provisions for the offense of assault but adds two new sets of circumstances in which assault either is a first degree misdemeanor with special penalty provisions or is a fifth degree felon:
• expands the penalty enhancement provisions in the offense of assault to include an enhanced penalty if the victim of the offense is a "health care professional" of a "hospital," a "health care worker" of a hospital, or a security officer of a hospital whom the offender knows or has reasonable cause to know is such a professional, worker,
• expands the penalty enhancement provisions in the offense of assault to include an enhanced penalty if the victim of the offense is a "judge," "magistrate," "prosecutor," or "court official or employee" whom the offender knows or has reasonable cause to know is a judge, magistrate, prosecutor, or court official or employee and if the victim is engaged in the performance of the victim's duties
"With regard to Community control sanctions for fourth and fifth degree felonies, HB 62 specifies that assault, when committed against hospital personnel or justice system personnel in circumstances in which the act makes the offense a fifth degree felony, is now a "qualifying assault offense" and then modifies the community control provisions previously described, so that they apply to those qualifying assault offenses and so that a court cannot "override" the provisions based on the offense resulting in harm to a victim unless the harm is serious physical harm."
ORC 2903.13 [Effective Until 3/22/2013] Assault.
Text of HB 62