If you look it up in the dictionary, a misdemeanor is defined as a “minor wrongdoing.” In criminal law, the penalties for a misdemeanor conviction may not feel minor. They can include a jail sentence of up to one year. Convictions can also end up on your criminal record for potential employers, neighbors, and police to see.
Ohio divides misdemeanors into five classes, including:
- First-degree misdemeanor
- Second-degree misdemeanor
- Third-degree misdemeanor
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor
- Minor misdemeanor
The seriousness of your misdemeanor charge will determine what your potential maximum sentence can be. If you have legal questions, make sure you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What Are the Punishments for a Misdemeanor Conviction?
A misdemeanor in Ohio can result in up to six months in jail. You can also be sentenced to probation, community service, and drug testing, among other things.
In Ohio, the maximum penalties for misdemeanor charges are as follows:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $750
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor: Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250
- Minor misdemeanor: No possible jail, and a fine of up to $150
If you are charged with a misdemeanor in Ohio, you can face various potential sentences under the state’s criminal law structure.
What are the Most Common Types of Misdemeanors?
Below are some of the most common misdemeanor charges in the state of Ohio:
- Drunk Driving
- Domestic Violence
- Disorderly Conduct
Many other crimes are also classified as misdemeanors in Ohio. If you have questions about a specific criminal offense, contact an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney for advice.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanors?
A statute of limitations is how long someone has to file a claim in court for an alleged harm. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for most misdemeanor charges is two years. If law enforcement believes you committed a misdemeanor offense, prosecutors have two years to bring a case against you.
If they do not file charges within that time period, they lose their opportunity to bring a case against you. If you are alleged to have committed a minor misdemeanor, then the prosecutor has six months to file criminal charges against you.
Can I Own a Gun if I Have a Misdemeanor Conviction?
Possibly, unless you have a domestic violence conviction. If you have a domestic violence conviction, then you are ineligible to own a gun. If you are caught with a gun, you can face felony charges.
What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction?
A misdemeanor conviction can end up on your public criminal record. This can prevent you from getting jobs, housing, and even some federal funding. Any new criminal charges can be enhanced to treat you more harshly as well.
Is My Case Going to Trial?
The decision to take a case to trial is between you and the prosecution. Nobody can force you to go to trial if you wish to take a plea deal of some kind.
Can I Appeal My Misdemeanor Conviction?
Yes, but you must have a legal basis for your appeal. Not every case can be appealed because a defendant dislikes the outcome.
Can I Get My Misdemeanor Conviction Expunged?
Possibly. However, not all misdemeanors can be expunged. For example, drunk driving charges cannot typically be expunged from your criminal record.
What is the Biggest Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?
The biggest difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the seriousness of the potential penalties. A misdemeanor can only result in jail time, while a felony can result in a state prison sentence.
You may have other questions that only apply to you. If you have further questions about misdemeanors, contact a criminal defense attorney for help.
Contact an Attorney for Help with Your Misdemeanor Charges
Do not treat your misdemeanor charge lightly. It can result in jail time and serious collateral consequences that can affect you for years to come. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and zealously defend your charges.
Contact a Cincinnati criminal defense attorney for help with your misdemeanor charge.