Fill out this form and we will contact you as soon as possible to schedule your initial case review.
Criminal law in Ohio defines the guidelines of conduct and the penalties for acts and/or omissions outside the scope of behavior acceptable to society. The criminal justice system also serves to protect individuals who are victims of overzealous law enforcement practices and mistaken or false allegations. The criminal justice system is based on the premise that every individual is entitled to due process and equal protection of the laws.
There are varying degrees of offenses in Ohio with a range of punishments. Penalties are enforced via statute or state ordinance and apply to all offenses, ranging from minor social infractions to premeditated murder.
In Ohio, there are two types of criminal acts: felonies and misdemeanors. The term felony is derived from the Latin word, “felonia,” which means treason or treachery. Misdemeanor comes from the Latin, “mis,” which means wrong or bad and the Middle English, “demenure,” which means to self-govern or behave. Both misdemeanors and felonies are comprised of different degrees, with the first degree generally constituting the most serious offense. However, some crimes are not classified by degrees, but are simply considered either felonies or misdemeanors.
It is important to hire a knowledgeable attorney to help you with your criminal case in Columbus, and the surrounding areas in Ohio, including Delaware, Dublin, Westerville, London, West Jefferson, Newark, Lancaster, Circleville, Pataskala, Pickerington and Ashville.
Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm is knowledgeable in all areas of Columbus criminal law will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome to your alleged offense. Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation today.
In Ohio, the minimum penalty for any misdemeanor offense is no less than six months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000. The penalty will typically involve community service along with some type of financial sanctions and court costs. Fines are generally more common than jail time for misdemeanor offenses.
Minor misdemeanors, which are less serious offenses, can result in a fine of $150 or less, without time in jail. Misdemeanor offenses can range from littering to drunk driving and assault.
Felonies, which are generally the most serious types of crimes, can result in penalties ranging from six months or more in state prison up to a death sentence for certain offenses. Alleged felony offenders typically face punishment in the form of prison sentences, community service and/or fines.
The most severe type of felony offense is aggravated murder, which is followed by murder. Both are purposeful, specific intent crimes; however, aggravated murder can be committed during the commission of an underlying felony, such as kidnapping, rape or robbery. Murder offenses are categorized in varying degrees of felonies, ranging from the first degree to the fifth degree.
Felony offenders can be sentenced to local jails or community facilities, but violent felons will typically serve time in state prisons.
Title 29 of the Ohio Criminal Code lists the most serious offenses, which include:
As in most other jurisdictions throughout the nation, two elements are essential to a finding of guilt for a criminal offense:
In order to be charged with many types of criminal offenses, the alleged offender must commit the act in question with one of the following mental states:
If the alleged offender has the required mental state, or guilty mind, they cannot be found guilty of the crime unless their mental state was coupled with an act in furtherance of the crime. For example, the act of murder involves purposeful conduct. If the killing of another is accidental, the individual is not guilty of homicide, but may instead be guilty of criminally negligent homicide since they did not have the requisite state of mind. Similarly, the crime of larceny, theft or stealing only constitutes a crime if a person thinks about the act and then takes steps or attempts to take or steal an item. If the thought to commit an act is not combined with the act in furtherance of the offense, the alleged offender cannot be found guilty by the judge or jury.
The Ohio Revised Code also enumerates other offenses, such as traffic and liquor control violations, in addition to other miscellaneous crimes.
Regulatory guidelines are created in Ohio for the following activities:
Municipal ordinances in Columbus address mirror misdemeanor violations, but also cover local matters, such as the following:
Municipal ordinances are created and enforced by the city. Under the Ohio Constitution, municipalities cannot create or prosecute felony offenses.
Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today for a consultation about your alleged criminal offense in Columbus, Ohio. It is important to hire an experienced Columbus criminal defense attorney to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions in your particular case. Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your criminal charges in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.