What is a Felony?
A felony is the most serious criminal offense that can be committed. Both adults and juveniles may be charged with felonies in Ohio. Felony punishments in Ohio include three to ten years in prison, with a maximum fine of $20,000 for a first degree felony; two to eight years in prison with a maximum $15,000 fine for a second degree felony; one to five years in prison and a $10,000 maximum fine for a third degree felony, and six to 18 months in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine for a fourth degree felony. Conviction on a fifth degree felony can get you between six and 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Felony offenses, such as rape, murder and firearm specifications, carry specific prison terms.
Felony crimes include rape, murder, burglary and the sale of illegal drugs. A case can be elevated to a felony charge from a misdemeanor charge in the event of repeat offenses, particularly in the areas of DUI, serious traffic offenses, theft, and domestic violence. Additional prison time can be doled out for use or possession of a firearm; for repeat violent offenses and for major drug offenses and corrupt activity.
In Ohio, there are five ranges of felonies as well as “special felony” cases, which include murder. A felony five is the lowest or least of the charges.
In Ohio, a felony crime that is punishable by death is aggravated murder with at least one of the 10 aggravated circumstances listed in the Ohio Revised Code.
In Ohio, aggravated murder with death specification means that if convicted you will end up in prison for life without parole; or life with the potential of parole after 20-, 25- or 30 years, or you may receive the death penalty. If convicted of aggravated murder without death specification you can receive a sentence of life with eligibility for parole after 20 years or life without parole. A fine of $25,000 maximum can be imposed.
An aggravated murder charge indicates that a person has designed or calculated or purposely caused the death of another or the unlawful termination of someone’s pregnancy. An aggravated murder charge can result if the result of the crime causes the death of a person of the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy while attempting to commit or while committing or while fleeing immediately after committing or attempting to commit crimes including rape, kidnapping, arson, aggravated arson, robbery, aggravated robbery, burglary, aggravated burglary, escape or terrorism. In addition, if an individual purposely causes the death of someone under the age of 13 years at the time the individual commits another offense, this is considered aggravated murder.
Purposely killing a law enforcement officer is considered aggravated murder and killing someone who at the time that the offense was committed was engaged in duties that he was hired to do is also considered aggravated murder. Furthermore, anyone who is under detention as a result of pleading guilty to a felony or having been found guilty of a felony and who breaks that detention and causes the death of another on purpose can be charged with aggravated murder.
In Ohio, if convicted of a murder charge, you can receive anywhere from 15 years to life in prison. If the crime involved a sexual motivation or sexual predator specification, life without parole can be given. The maximum fine for a murder conviction is $15,000.
A traffic charge can become a felony in Ohio if it entails vehicular assault, vehicular homicide or any felony offense that is related to drunk-driving or the unlawful operation of a vehicle.
If an individual flees from the cops or has an unlawful blood alcohol concentration, a serious injury or even fatal accident that would have been treated as non-criminal negligence can become a felony vehicular offense.
Vehicular felony charges in Ohio can include aggravated vehicular manslaughter or vehicular assault if one or more of the following circumstances is present: the driver is under the influence; was driving recklessly; eluded a law enforcement officer; is driving on a suspended license; was racing on the highway or street; was operating an illegal modified vehicle or does not have authorization to use the motor vehicle in question.