What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony?

Ohio has a misdemeanor and felony offenses. Misdemeanors are classified as lower level crimes. They range from a minor misdemeanor, which doesn’t carry any jail time and has no fine or a very low fine, to a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Felonies are more serious crimes. They start at the lowest felony level, which is a felony of the 5th degree, and they range to a felony of the 1st degree. Typically, felonies can carry anywhere from 6 months to 11 years in prison. However, higher level felonies carry an indefinite range in sentencing which could increase your prison time buy up to 50% depending on your behavior while incarcerated. There are also unclassified felonies in Ohio, which can range anywhere from life in prison to the death penalty. It is important to consult an attorney that can explain Ohio’s complex sentencing laws.

How Does The Bail Process Work After I Have Been Arrested? How Is It Set? How Do I Pay It?

Bail is different from case to case, depending on the defendant who’s in front of the court and what the charges might be. Bail is set by the judge at your initial appearance. Both the prosecutor and your defense attorney have an opportunity to argue for a higher or lower bail. The Court considers several factors in determining your bail. One of the major factors a court will consider is are you a flight risk; meaning are you going to show up to court hearings? They will also determine if you have failed to appear previously, or are you a repeat offender? Other factors include whether you are a danger to the public.

In some cases, you may not even need to post bond as part of bail. You may be placed on an own recognizance bond (OR Bond) or you may be placed on conditional own recognizance bond (COR Bond), which can carry house arrest (EHDP) sanctions or a curfew. You may just simply need to report more often before you go to your court hearings. When you want to post your bail, you have to either post the full cash amount or get a surety, which is a bail bondsman, to come in and post the bail on your behalf, if you can’t post the full amount.

What Typically Happens Once I Am Released From Jail?

There is a speedy trial timeline that applies to all cases, whether misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are 30 days, if you are in jail, and for felony cases it is 90 days, if you are in jail. If you are out of jail, that timeline gets multiplied by three, so approximately 90 days for misdemeanors and approximately 270 days for misdemeanor cases where you have to be brought to trial. When you get out of jail, you will want to consult with your attorney right away. You want to go over the discovery with your attorney that they have obtained from the state. You will review that line by line, talking about whether there are inconsistencies. You may need to give input to your attorney on why a certain event occurred. Once you go through that, you will have an appearance before the court.

If you haven’t already had an arraignment, you would go to an arraignment, which is where you would enter a not guilty plea, and then your criminal process starts. You will then have a pre-trial appearance. You are usually not required to go to that appearance if you have an attorney. Your attorney, the state’s attorney, and the judge will talk about the nature of your case and how it is going to proceed. Then, you would have what’s called a scheduling conference or a final pretrial conference, you are required to attend this hearing. At this hearing the attorneys will have time to discuss with the court whether we are going to file any particular motions in your case, whether we are going to set this case for trial, and when that trial is going to begin. That timeline varies based on how many motions are filed in a particular case and whether the person who is being charged is in jail or out of jail.

Should I Ever Throw Myself On The Mercy Of The Court If I Feel I Am Guilty?

Do not admit guilt without consulting with your lawyer. Talk to a lawyer about all the possible defenses that you have, the weaknesses in the state’s case, and how you can get the best outcome in your case. The goal of a defense attorney is to mitigate the punishment on behalf of their client as much as possible. You should never throw yourself at the mercy of the court by just going in and pleading guilty without putting up a fight. That’s why you hire a defense attorney; they are looking out for your best interests in these situations.

For more information on Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charges In Ohio, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (937) 888-2909 today.

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