Felonies are the most serious category of criminal charges. Felony convictions can result in a minimum of one year in state prison. In some cases, a conviction can result in decades or life behind bars. Felonies that involve sexual assault will typically also require the offender to participate in state sex offender registration.
Felony convictions can also end up on your public criminal record, which might be seen by prospective employers or landlords.
Ohio divides felonies into six general categories, including:
- Unclassified felonies
- First-degree felonies
- Second-degree felonies
- Third-degree felonies
- Fourth-degree felonies
Unclassified felonies are the most severe type of felony in the state of Ohio. Aggravated murder is an example of an unclassified felony. If you have questions about a felony charge, make sure to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
How Are Felonies Punished in Ohio?
As discussed above, a felony is a crime that can result in a year or more of state prison time.
In Ohio, the maximum penalties for felony convictions are as follows:
- Unclassified felonies: A conviction can result in mandatory prison terms of 20 or more years. Fines can be as high as $25,000.
- First-degree felonies: A conviction can result in a prison sentence between 3 to 11 years–and up to $20,000 in fines.
- Second-degree felonies: A conviction can result in a prison sentence between 2 to 8 years and up to $15,000 in fines.
- Third-degree felonies: A conviction can result in 9 to 36 months in prison (or more for certain felonies) and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Fourth-degree felonies: A conviction can result in 6 to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Fifth-degree felonies: A conviction can result in 6 to 12 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
If you are charged with a felony in Ohio, you can face an incredibly wide-ranging set of consequences from a judge. Judges have the authority to order a combination of jail, prison, probation, or other alternatives, depending on the type of felony.
What Are the Most Common Types of Felony Charges?
Below are some of the most common felony charges in the state of Ohio:
This is a partial list of felony crimes. There are many others. If you have specific questions about a criminal offense, make sure to speak to an experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney.
Statute of Limitations for Felonies
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 many felony charges is six years. Most homicide and manslaughter charges must be brought within twenty years under Ohio law. For murder charges, there is no statute of limitations.
Charges of rape and sexual battery must commence within twenty years, or they will be barred under the state’s statute of limitations. If prosecutors do not bring an appropriate criminal charge against you within the deadline, they can never bring the case against you. Ohio criminal statutes of limitations can be found here.
Can I Own a Gun if I Have a Felony Conviction?
No. If you have a felony conviction on your record, then you lose your constitutional right to own a gun. If you are caught with a gun, you can face new criminal charges.
What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction?
If you have a felony conviction on your record, then you lose your right to serve on a jury and join the military. Your conviction will also be visible to potential employers, landlords, and government authorities.
Is My Case Going to Trial?
The decision to go to trial is often based on several factors. This decision, however, is between you and the prosecution. Your criminal defense lawyer can advise you on the benefits or drawbacks of a plea deal. Nobody can force you to go to trial if you wish to resolve your case.
Can I Appeal My Felony Conviction?
Yes, if you have a legal basis for your appeal. You cannot appeal just because you lose your case.
Can I Get My Felony Conviction Expunged?
Possibly, it depends on what your felony conviction is. There are certain convictions that cannot be expunged. Make sure you speak to an attorney to confirm your eligibility.
What is the Biggest Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?
The biggest difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the amount of jail time. The most serious felonies can result in a life sentence.
Contact a Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer if You’ve Been Charged with a Crime
Felony charges are serious. They can result in burdensome financial penalties and hefty prison sentences. Even a misdemeanor charge can affect you for years after you complete your punishment. You need an aggressive Dayton criminal defense attorney to build your defense and head off any serious criminal convictions.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we are proud to offer free consultations to all prospective clients. If you have legal questions about a criminal case, call us or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation with a Dayton criminal defense lawyer.