Understanding Misdemeanor Crimes in Ohio
When you are arrested in Ohio, it is important to understand the nature of the crime for which you are being charged. Not every crime is the same under state law. While certain crimes are classified as serious felonies and come with heavy potential penalties, others are classified as misdemeanors, which are typically considered less serious. However, the consequences may still alter your life.
Misdemeanor crimes range in level of severity, from first to fifth degrees, with the most serious class being first degree. These include offenses like petty theft and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Common second-degree misdemeanors are crimes like obstructing official business and unlawful transactions in weapons. These crimes continue down in severity to minor misdemeanors, which are considered the least serious in nature. Examples of crimes for which you could be charged a minor misdemeanor include public gaming and disorderly conduct.
Despite the fact that misdemeanors are generally not are serious as felonies, the consequences can still be quite severe. Offenders face not only fines, but also possible jail time. A first-degree misdemeanor, for example, comes with a maximum penalty of $1,000 in fines and up to 180 days in jail. Every type of misdemeanor includes the possibility of jail time, except minor misdemeanors, for which only up to $150 in fines may be levied. For the most part, the penalties are up to prosecutors and judges.
When you are facing a misdemeanor charge, it’s important you take proactive steps toward your defense. Consult a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Cleveland for the guidance and support you need.