Misdemeanors are punishable by a definite term in jail, or a fine, or both. Minor misdemeanors are punishable only by a fine of $100 or less. The judge fixes the sentence from the permissible range. Jail terms and fines may not exceed the maximums specified in the statute.
The state of Ohio states that misdemeanor offenses include traffic offenses along with other criminal charges that are punishable by up to one year in a county jail. Ohio misdemeanors are divided into five classifications. These offenses range from one to four, with one as the most severe, and also include minor misdemeanors. Minor misdemeanors are offenses that are normally charges for traffic offenses like red light violations and speeding. Punishments for most minor misdemeanors include license probation, license suspension, community service, treatment programs, and counseling programs.
Certain offenses, such as driving under suspension and driving under the influence, are punishable by jail sentences and mandatory license suspension. Penalties vary depending on each jurisdiction and depend on whether or not the person is charged with violating municipal ordinance or state law. Those that are charged with misdemeanors are often advised to consult local criminal defense attorneys as the legal systems of Ohio are complicated. However despite the law’s complications, felony offenses are always more severe than misdemeanor offenses.
Ohio Misdemeanor Classifications
Those charged with misdemeanors in Ohio will face either confinement in a county jail or a fine of several hundred dollars. At times certain crimes receive both confinement and fines. Class 1 Misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of one hundred eighty days in jail with or without a fine of a maximum of one thousand dollars. Class 2 Misdemeanor offenses are punishable by up to ninety days in jail with or without a fine of no more than seven hundred fifty dollars. Class 3 Misdemeanor offenses can earn jail sentences of no more than sixty days, with or without a fine up to five hundred dollars. Class 4 Misdemeanor offenses can receive punishment up to thirty days in jail with or without a fine of two hundred fifty dollars. Minor misdemeanors cannot receive jail time for their offenses but instead are punishable up to one hundred fifty dollars.
Charges that involve driving under suspension, drugs, and driving under the influence nearly always receive the maximum sentence under each classification. Along with this almost every Ohio drug offense is also punishable by mandatory license suspension of anywhere between six months to three years. This can happen even if a vehicle is not included in the offense. Repeated driving under suspension charges can result in vehicle forfeiture. Under some circumstances the offender is required to pay for towing fees and storage fees if he or she is convicted of theft involving a vehicle.
Expungement is the legal sealing of criminal records so that they are no longer available for public viewing. Not every criminal conviction is eligible for expungement. Those that are eligible include charges that have been dismissed, those found not guilty, and depend on whether or not there was a criminal conviction applied. If a person has pending criminal proceeds towards him or her, he or she will not be eligible for expungement. A majority of the time any person that has been convicted of a crime, whether it be either a misdemeanor or a felony, will not be eligible for expungement.