Misdemeanors in Ohio
According to the state of Ohio, misdemeanor offenses include traffic violations as well as other criminal charges punishable by up to one year in a county jail. Misdemeanors in Ohio are classified into five types. These offenses range from one to four, with one being the most serious, and include minor misdemeanors as well. Minor misdemeanors are offenses typically charged for traffic violations such as red light violations and speeding. Most minor misdemeanors are punished with license probation, license suspension, community service, treatment programs, and counseling programs.
Certain offenses, such as driving while suspended or under the influence, are punishable by jail time and license suspension. Penalties vary according to jurisdiction and whether the person is charged with violating a municipal ordinance or state law. Because Ohio’s legal systems are complex, those charged with misdemeanors are frequently advised to consult with local criminal defense attorneys. Despite the complexities of the law, felony offenses are always more serious than misdemeanor offenses.
Misdemeanor Levels in Ohio
Those charged with misdemeanors in Ohio face either county jail time or a fine of several hundred dollars. Certain crimes may result in both confinement and fines. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of one hundred eighty days in jail, with or without a $1,000 fine. Class 2 misdemeanor offenses are punishable by up to ninety days in jail with or without a fine of no more than $7,500. Class 3 misdemeanor offenses can result in jail sentences of no more than sixty days, with or without a fine of up to $500. Class 4 misdemeanor offenses can result in up to thirty days in jail, with or without a fine of $250. Minor misdemeanors do not carry jail time and are instead punishable by a fine of up to $150.
Charges involving driving while suspended, drugs, or driving under the influence almost always result in the maximum sentence under each classification. In addition, almost every drug offense in Ohio is punishable by a mandatory license suspension ranging from six months to three years. This can happen even if the offense does not involve a vehicle. Repeated charges of driving while suspended may result in vehicle forfeiture. If convicted of theft involving a vehicle, the offender may be required to pay for towing and storage fees in some cases.
Expungement in Ohio
Expungement is the legal process of sealing criminal records so that they are no longer accessible to the public. Expunction is not available for every criminal conviction. Charges that have been dismissed, those found not guilty, and whether or not a criminal conviction was applied are all eligible. If a person has pending criminal charges against him or her, he or she is ineligible for expungement. The majority of the time, anyone who has been convicted of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, will be ineligible for expungement.