September 26, 2015

Ohio Criminal Sentencing

Written by Erb Legal LLC

Category: Criminal Defense

Criminal defendants need to understand all possible penalties and repercussions related to criminal allegations in Ohio. The Law Office of Erb Legal LLC located in Medina, Ohio advises and defends criminal defendants in an effort in order to prevent criminal convictions or reduce sentences.

When a criminal defendant pleads guilty or is convicted of a criminal offense, the court determines the appropriate sentence, which is the official punishment imposed by the court. The sentence is determined by the judge who has the option of either sentencing the defendant immediately, or scheduling a pre-sentence investigation and sentencing hearing.

Ohio Pre-Sentencing Investigations and Hearings

In Ohio, pre-sentencing investigations are typically conducted by a probation department which will prepare a report on the defendant’s history for the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney. The report may include:

  • The defendant’s criminal history,
  • The defendant’s background,
  • The defendant’s character, and
  • Any other relevant information regarding the defendant’s history that may assist in the determination of a criminal sentence.

At the sentencing hearing, both the prosecutor and defense attorney have the opportunity to make their arguments and recommendations. After hearing and reviewing the information presented, the judge then makes a sentencing determination.

Types of Ohio Criminal Punishments

The judge may decide to impose one or a combination of a number of criminal sentencing options, including but not limited to:

  • Fines

Fines for criminal conduct are usually reserved for misdemeanors and less serious crimes, but may also be imposed in addition to jail or prison sentences.

  • Restitution

Restitution requires the criminal defendant to pay money to the victim, the amount of which is generally based upon the defendant’s gain or advantage from committing the crime.

  • Probation

Probation involves the court ordering the defendant to be conditionally released into the community as an alternative to a jail or prison sentence.

  • Educational/Counseling programs

Educational or counseling programs intended to rehabilitate criminal offenders are sometimes ordered in conjunction with probation.

  • Community Service

Community service is unpaid community work to repay a debt to society for having committed the offense and is often imposed as a requirement for probation.

  • Substance abuse treatment programs

Substance abuse treatment programs assess and treat an offender’s drug or alcohol addiction and can be ordered in addition or as an alternative to a jail or prison sentence.

  • Jail or Prison

Jail or prison terms may be imposed for any degree of felony or misdemeanor offense with the exception of minor misdemeanors.

  • Death Penalty

The death penalty may only be imposed for homicide convictions.

Ohio General Sentencing Guidelines

While the Ohio Criminal Code allows judicial discretion in sentencing, certain guidelines must be followed. Imposed criminal penalties and sentencing in Ohio will depend on the degree of the offense. Greater penalties are imposed upon repeat offenders, offenders who use or threaten to use violence, or those who commit a crime using a weapon.

The punishments for misdemeanors under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.24(A) are:

  • Misdemeanor 1

Maximum jail term up to 180 days; maximum fine up to $1,000;

  • Misdemeanor 2

Maximum jail term up to 90 days; maximum fine up to $750;

  • Misdemeanor 3

Maximum jail term up to 60 days; maximum fine up to $500;

  • Misdemeanor 4

Maximum jail term up to 30 days; maximum fine up to $250;

  • Minor Misdemeanor

No jail term; maximum fine up to $150.

The punishments for felonies under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.13 are:

  • Felony 1

Prison term ranging from 3 to 11 years; maximum fine up to $20,000;

  • Felony 2

Prison term ranging from 2 to 8 years; maximum fine up to $15,000;

  • Felony 3

Prison term ranging from 9 to 36 months or 1 to 5 years (depending on the crime) ; maximum fine up to $10,000;

  • Felony 4

Prison term ranging from 6 to 18 months; maximum fine up to $5,000;

  • Felony 5

Prison term ranging from 6 to 12 months; maximum fine up to $2,550.

Mandatory Sentencing in Ohio

Mandatory prison terms are required by law in certain cases. However, for most circumstances involving a mandatory prison sentence, judges have discretion in deciding the duration of the term. Consult a Medina Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss your mandatory sentencing options.

Criminal Defense Representation

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the Brunswick, Medina, and Wadsworth Ohio area, experienced criminal defense attorney Thomas Erb Jr. will provide you with the best legal representation possible.

The Law Office of Erb Legal LLC offers a variety of convenient payment options for criminal cases including flat fees and retainer agreements. Flat fees are offered on a case by case basis. For more information, contact the Law Office of Erb Legal LLC at {P:P3:SUB:PHONE}.

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