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When is Theft a Felony in Ohio?

Home|Blog|Criminal Defense|When is Theft a Felony in Ohio?

Theft charges in Ohio can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on various factors. It is essential to understand the different degrees of theft and the criteria used to classify theft charges to navigate the legal landscape effectively. In this blog post, we will break down the three degrees of theft in Ohio, discuss the main differences between them, and explore the factors that determine whether a theft charge is considered a felony or a misdemeanor.

Three Degrees of Theft in Ohio

  • Petty Theft: Petty theft is a misdemeanor of the first degree in Ohio. It occurs when the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000. The penalties for petty theft can include a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.
  • Felony Theft: Felony theft in Ohio is classified into five degrees, ranging from fifth-degree to first-degree, based on the value and nature of the stolen property. The severity of the penalties increases with each degree.

Criteria for Classifying Theft Charges as Felonies

Apart from the value of the stolen property, Ohio considers other factors to determine whether a theft charge should be classified as a felony. These factors include:

1) Nature of the Stolen Property: Certain types of stolen property, such as firearms or anhydrous ammonia, can automatically elevate the theft charge to a felony, regardless of the value of the property.

2) Repeat Offenses: If an individual has prior theft convictions, subsequent theft charges may be classified as felonies, even if the value of the stolen property falls within the misdemeanor range.

Defenses Against Theft Charges

Individuals facing theft charges in Ohio have the right to defend themselves. Some common defenses against theft charges include:

  • Lack of Intent: If the accused can prove that they did not have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, it can be a valid defense.
  • Mistaken Identity: If the accused can provide evidence that they were not the person who committed the theft, mistaken identity can be a defense.
  • Consent: If the accused can demonstrate that they had the owner’s consent to take the property, it can be a valid defense.

Legal Proceedings

Once a person is charged with theft in Ohio, the legal proceedings typically involve the following steps:

  1. Arrest: The accused may be arrested if there is sufficient evidence to support the theft charge.
  2. Arraignment: The accused appears in court, enters a plea, and is informed of their rights.
  3. Pretrial Proceedings: This stage involves negotiations between the prosecution and defense, including the possibility of plea bargains.
  4. Trial: If a plea agreement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where the prosecution presents evidence and the defense has the opportunity to present their case.

The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for Theft Charges

The importance of hiring a criminal defense attorney when facing theft charges in Ohio cannot be overstated. The experienced attorneys at The VanNoy Firm understand the complexity of theft laws and can provide invaluable guidance through the legal process. With extensive knowledge of legal defenses, we can challenge the prosecution’s evidence, possibly leading to reduced charges or even a complete dismissal. Furthermore, we can negotiate plea bargains effectively, aiming to minimize potential penalties. By protecting your rights and advocating for your interests, a criminal defense attorney plays a crucial role in the outcome of your case.

Contact The VanNoy Firm

Understanding the different degrees of theft in Ohio and the criteria used to classify theft charges as felonies is crucial for individuals facing such charges. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney like those at The VanNoy Firm to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us fight for your rights.

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About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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