Criminal charges and penalties in Ohio can be confusing and overwhelming for anyone who is accused of committing a crime. The laws and statutes in Ohio are complex, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. If you are facing criminal charges in Ohio, it is important to understand the charges you are facing and the potential penalties you may be facing.
Types of Criminal Charges in Ohio
In Ohio, criminal charges are divided into two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses and are generally punishable by a fine, community service, or up to six months in jail. Felonies are more serious crimes and are punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility. Felonies are further divided into five categories, with first-degree felonies being the most severe and fifth-degree felonies being the least severe.
Common Misdemeanors in Ohio
- Disorderly conduct
- Petty theft
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Criminal mischief
- Domestic violence
Common Felonies in Ohio
- Drug trafficking
- White-collar crimes such as embezzlement and fraud
Penalties for Criminal Charges in Ohio
The penalties for criminal charges in Ohio vary depending on the severity of the offense and whether the offender has any prior criminal history. In general, the penalties for a conviction in Ohio can include fines, community service, probation, jail time, and imprisonment in a state correctional facility.
For misdemeanors, the penalties can include:
- Up to six months in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
For felonies, the penalties can include:
- First-degree felony: Three to eleven years in prison, fines up to $20,000
- Second-degree felony: Two to eight years in prison, fines up to $15,000
- Third-degree felony: One to five years in prison, fines up to $10,000
- Fourth-degree felony: Six to eighteen months in prison, fines up to $5,000
- Fifth-degree felony: Six to twelve months in prison, fines up to $2,500
It is important to note that certain crimes in Ohio carry mandatory minimum sentences, meaning that a judge must impose a certain minimum sentence if the defendant is convicted of that offense.
Defense Strategies for Criminal Charges in Ohio
If you are facing criminal charges in Ohio, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges against you and develop a strong defense strategy. Some common defense strategies for criminal charges in Ohio include:
- Challenging the evidence against you
- Arguing that your constitutional rights were violated
- Negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution
- Presenting evidence in your favor
- Questioning the credibility of witnesses
If you are looking for sophisticated legal counsel, but want to hear it all explained to you in plain terms, you’ve landed in just the right place. As you can imagine, there are several degrees of offenses in Ohio that each call for related levels of punishments. These often harsh penalties are upheld through state statutes and/or local ordinances and apply to all offenses from simple social indiscretions like trespassing or vandalism to malicious deeds like murder. Whatever charges you are up against, we’d love to talk to you. Call or click today to start your free consultation.