Understanding how crimes are classified in the state of Ohio can be confusing, but is something that is especially important to know if you have been charged with a crime.
Crimes are primarily divided into two separate categories: misdemeanor and felony crimes. From there, there are distinct classes of misdemeanors and felonies, which speak to the severity of the crime and the intensity of the punishment. Here’s a brief overview of what you need to know:
Felonies: The Most Serious of Crimes
The more serious crimes that are committed in the state of Ohio are felony crimes. There are five degrees of felonies, including first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-degree felonies. Common felony crimes that most people are familiar with include burglary, rape, and robbery.
Some felony charges can carry life-in-prison sentences, or even the death penalty. Prison sentences are often accompanied by large fines, and of course, legal fees as well.
Misdemeanor Crimes: Less Serious, but Not to Be Taken Lightly
Less serious criminal offenses, such as those that carry incarceration sentences of less than one year that are to take place in local or county jails (and not prison) are misdemeanor offenses. Like felony offenses, misdemeanors are further classified into five sub-categories: first, second, third, and fourth-degree misdemeanors, and minor misdemeanors. Some examples of misdemeanor offenses include using a fake ID to obtain alcohol, writing a bad check, or stealing goods that are valued at less than $1,000.
Defending Yourself Against Misdemeanor or Felony Charges
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you may be thinking that you don’t need an attorney – after all, the consequences aren’t that bad, are they?
While it’s true that you won’t go to prison for years if convicted of a misdemeanor, the crime will still show up your permanent record, and could affect your ability to secure housing or employment in the future, as well as other opportunities. Further, even 30 days in jail can be a terrible experience, and nobody wants to have to pay a fine, regardless of how small it may be.
If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, you should work with an experienced attorney. An attorney will protect you from the worst of consequences by building your defense and working hard on your behalf.
Contact Our Experienced Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
At the law offices of The VanNoy Firm, we have the Dayton criminal defense attorneys with the skill set and experience you’re looking for. When you’re charged with a crime, we will be by your side to advocate for you. For a consultation, please call our law offices today or send us a message using the contact form on our website.