Property Crimes

Property crimes can be a wide variety of offenses in Ohio, and a conviction can result in serious penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Sometimes the degree of the property offense may vary simply from the alleged offender’s intent or lack of intent in committing the crime. A few of the most common property offenses in Ohio can include:

Misdemeanor and felony property offense convictions can result in serious repercussions and punishments, including jail or prison sentences, fines, a criminal record, loss of an ability to possess or use a firearm, and other long-term personal consequences.

Columbus Property Crime Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a property offense in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Joslyn Law Firm to discuss the facts of your particular case. Attorney Brian Joslyn is knowledgeable and experienced with Ohio’s property laws, and will make every effort to fight the charges against you. Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a free consultation about the property crime allegations against you.


Ohio Property Crimes Information Center


Ohio’s Property Laws and Statutes

    • Arson(Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.03) - An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly cause or create a substantial risk of physical harm to any of the following through the use of fire or explosion:
        • The property of another without their consent,
        • The property of the offender or another with the purpose to defraud,
        • Any building or structure used for public purposes that is owned or controlled by the state, political subdivision, agency or department,
        • Any park, preserve, woods, land or other real property that is owned by the alleged offender, another person, the state or a political subdivision, including for the purpose to defraud
        This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony of the fifth, fourth or third degree.

    • Burglary(Ohio Rev. Code § 2911.12) – A person commits this offense if they, through force, stealth or deception:
        • Trespass in an occupied structure when another person is present and they intend to commit any criminal offense in the structure,
        • Trespass in an occupied structure that is a permanent or temporary residence when another person is present and they intend to commit any criminal offense in the residence,
        • Trespass in an occupied structure with the intent to commit any criminal offense in the structure,
        • Trespass in a permanent or temporary residence (habitation) when any person is present or likely to be present.
        This offense is punishable as a felony of the fourth, third, second or first degree.

    • Robbery(Ohio Rev. Code § 2911.02) – An individual commits this offense while fleeing from, committing or attempting to commit a theft offense if they:
        • Have a deadly weapon on them or under their control,
        • Inflict, attempt or threaten to inflict physical harm on another person, or
        • Use or threaten the immediate use of force against another person.
        This offense is punishable as a felony of the third, second or first degree.

  • Breaking and Entering(Ohio Rev. Code § 2911.13) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they trespass into an unoccupied structure with the purpose of committing any theft or felony offense inside or if they trespass on the land or premises of another with purpose of committing a felony.
      This offense is punishable as a felony of the fifth degree.

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Penalties for Property Offenses in Ohio

The punishments and sentencing for property crimes can vary depending on the type of crime committed, whether a weapon was used, and the circumstances surrounding the offense. The list below includes Ohio’s suggested penalty guidelines.

  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – Jail sentence up to 180 days and/or fines not more than $1,000;
  • Felony of the Fifth Degree – Prison sentence ranging from six to 12 months and/or fines not exceeding $2,500;
  • Felony of the Fourth Degree – Sentence from six to 18 months in prison and/or fines up to $5,000;
  • Felony of the Third Degree – Sentence in Ohio prison from one to five years and/or fines up to $10,000;
  • Felony of the Second Degree – Prison sentence ranging from two to eight years in prison and/or fines not more than $15,000; and
  • Felony of the First Degree – Prison sentence from three to 10 years and/or fines not exceeding $20,000.

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Defenses to Ohio Property Crimes

Your criminal defense attorney will listen to the circumstances surrounding your case, and determine if there are any potential defenses to your alleged property offense. Some common defenses to property crimes in Ohio include, but are not limited to:

  • Justification – this is defined as an act that would otherwise be considered a criminal offense, but is not if the conduct was required or authorized by law, or the act is necessary in an emergency situation to prevent public or private injury that is likely about to happen.
  • Duress – this defense applies when a person engages in criminal conduct or committed a criminal act because they were threatened with immediate violence against, them or a third party, by another person, and a reasonable person in the same situation would have done the same thing.
  • Renunciation – this defense applies to criminal offenses where the alleged offender withdrew from participation in the offense before the criminal act began, and made a considerable effort to prevent the act from occurring.

It is important to know these defenses do not exist for every property charge, and only your criminal defense attorney will know if they should be used in your unique situation.


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Ohio Resources for Property Offenses

Ohio Arson Crimes Statutes – This link is to Ohio’s laws regarding arson, vandalism, criminal mischief, and other property offense charges, and outlines the penalties for misdemeanor and felony offenses. The laws can be found in Title 29, Chapter 2909 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Ohio Burglary and Robbery Crimes Statutes – This link is to Ohio’s laws regarding burglary, robbery, breaking and entering, criminal trespass and other property offenses, and outlines the penalties for misdemeanor and felony offenses. The laws can be found in Title 29, Chapter 2911 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Ohio Attorney General – This website has resources to apply for victim’s compensation for those who are victims of violent property crimes, perform background searches and legal opinions from the state. The attorney general’s office can be contacted at:

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 466-4986

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Joslyn Law Firm | Ohio Property Crimes Lawyer

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today to discuss the facts of your criminal arrest in Columbus, Ohio. Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm will make every effort to identify mitigating factors or applicable defenses to have your charges reduced or even dismissed.

Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your alleged property-related offense in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.