Ohio Misdemeanor Charges and Penalties

The Hemminger Law Firm supports clients in Franklin, Delaware, and Surrounding Counties in Ohio.

Misdemeanor charges and penalties in the state of Ohio depend on the nature of the crime. State law categorizes misdemeanor violations by degree of severity, with minor misdemeanor crimes being the least serious and 1st degree misdemeanor crimes being the most serious. The state criminal code dictates the appropriate classification and available penalties that can be imposed for a misdemeanor conviction.

Misdemeanor Convictions

When the presiding judge sentences a criminal defendant as a consequence of an Ohio misdemeanor conviction, the following penalties may be imposed:

1st Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000

2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $750

3rd Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500

4th Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250

Minor Misdemeanor

A maximum fine of $150

Alternative Sentencing

The judge will consult the applicable Ohio criminal justice statute prior to sentencing a defendant that has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation. If the judge concludes that a defendant does not pose a risk to society, the sentence prescribed by law may be suspended and a period of probation ordered instead. Technically, this means that any potential jail sentence is suspended until a suitable period of probation has been served. If the defendant violates the terms of probation, probation may be revoked and the suspended sentence imposed.

The presiding judge and the probation officer that is assigned to the case decide the terms of probation. Retaining an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney can greatly increase the odds of receiving probation rather than being sentenced to jail. Legal representation is also crucial when dealing with a probation violation.

Ohio Sentencing Process

Once a criminal defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a misdemeanor offense, the defendant is eligible to be sentenced by the presiding judge. The judge can either set a later date for sentencing, or the judge can immediately proceed to sentencing. The judge will typically consider several factors before pronouncing sentence in a misdemeanor case including oral statements from the prosecutor, defense counsel, the defendant and the victim. An experienced criminal defense attorney is an invaluable resource when facing misdemeanor charges and penalties in the state of Ohio.