A Misdemeanor by Any Other Name

Thinking that a “mere” misdemeanor doesn’t mean much is a major mistake. Misdemeanors have a way of coming back and revisiting you later.

Most serious crimes in Ohio usually pull a prison sentence of at least one year in the State clinker. The more serious crimes are called felonies. Felonies run from first to fifth degree, meaning from most serious to less serious. Crimes you will find in these categories include murder, rape, robbery and burglary.

Anything that is less serious than those crimes listed above is usually billed as a misdemeanor. This type of crime usually pulls less than a year in county jail. You will find a range of misdemeanors as well, with the least offensive of the bunch racking up a fine and no jail time. Crimes you would expect to find here are theft of goods and services less than $500 in value, uttering bad checks and disorderly conduct.

Here’s an interesting thing about Ohio law that relates to the reporting of crimes. State law mandates a person is required to tell the police if they know that a felony has been committed or will be soon. You can just about bet this is not a common occurrence for obvious reasons.

While misdemeanors may seem insignificant and even sound insignificant, they can still mess you up. The phrase “It’s only a misdemeanor,” is totally misleading. Many people do not realize that “only a misdemeanor” may mean mandatory jail time and are shocked when they realize what they’re facing.

Not only is there the chance of mandatory jail time, there is also the likelihood of significant fines and really strict probation restrictions. Do not go into pleading for a misdemeanor with your eyes closed, as you might not like the consequences.

In all cases where you face a misdemeanor, make the smart decision to consult with a criminal defense lawyer who will be able to help you mitigate the charges. If you go into court on your own, the outcome might be a shock.

Think about it. How would you explain to your family or employer why you are in jail when they thought you only had a minor misdemeanor of disorderly conduct? Kind of difficult to face when it also may give you a record to live with. While you may not face a jail term in some instances, the probation requirements are not going to be easy to handle. They may involve a ban on driving and not associating with certain people, etc. Think twice act responsibly once.

Jeremiah Denslow is a Dayton Divorce Lawyer in Dayton Ohio with Denslow Law Firm. The firm specializes in family law. Jeremiah also practices Dayton criminal defense. To learn more, visit Denslowlaw.com.

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