What is a Felony?
A felony is the most serious criminal offense that can be committed.
Both adults and juveniles may be charged with felonies in Ohio. Felony
punishments in Ohio include three to ten years in prison, with a
maximum fine of $20,000 for a first degree felony; two to eight years
in prison with a maximum $15,000 fine for a second degree felony; one
to five years in prison and a $10,000 maximum fine for a third degree
felony, and six to 18 months in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine for a
fourth degree felony. Conviction on a fifth degree felony can get you
between six and 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Felony
offenses, such as rape, murder and firearm specifications, carry
specific prison terms.
Felony crimes include rape, murder, burglary and the sale of illegal
drugs. A case can be elevated to a felony charge from a misdemeanor
charge in the event of repeat offenses, particularly in the areas of
DUI, serious traffic offenses, theft, and domestic violence. Additional
prison time can be doled out for use or possession of a firearm; for
repeat violent offenses and for major drug offenses and corrupt
Felony Range In Ohio, there are five ranges of felonies as well as "special
felony" cases, which include murder. A felony five is the lowest or
least of the charges.
Death Sentence In Ohio, a felony crime that is punishable by death is
aggravated murder with at least one of the 10 aggravated circumstances
listed in the Ohio Revised Code.
Aggravated Murder In Ohio, aggravated murder with death specification means that
if convicted you will end up in prison for life without parole; or life
with the potential of parole after 20-, 25- or 30 years, or you may
receive the death penalty. If convicted of aggravated murder without
death specification you can receive a sentence of life with eligibility
for parole after 20 years or life without parole. A fine of $25,000
maximum can be imposed.
Intentional An aggravated murder charge indicates that a person has designed
or calculated or purposely caused the death of another or the unlawful
termination of someone's pregnancy. An aggravated murder charge can
result if the result of the crime causes the death of a person of the
unlawful termination of another's pregnancy while attempting to commit
or while committing or while fleeing immediately after committing or
attempting to commit crimes including rape, kidnapping, arson,
aggravated arson, robbery, aggravated robbery, burglary, aggravated
burglary, escape or terrorism. In addition, if an individual purposely
causes the death of someone under the age of 13 years at the time the
individual commits another offense, this is considered aggravated
Purposely killing a law enforcement officer is considered aggravated
murder and killing someone who at the time that the offense was
committed was engaged in duties that he was hired to do is also
considered aggravated murder. Furthermore, anyone who is under
detention as a result of pleading guilty to a felony or having been
found guilty of a felony and who breaks that detention and causes the
death of another on purpose can be charged with aggravated murder.
Murder In Ohio, if convicted of a murder charge, you can receive
anywhere from 15 years to life in prison. If the crime involved a
sexual motivation or sexual predator specification, life without parole
can be given. The maximum fine for a murder conviction is $15,000.
Traffic Felonies A traffic charge can become a felony in Ohio if it entails
vehicular assault, vehicular homicide or any felony offense that is
related to drunk-driving or the unlawful operation of a vehicle.
If an individual flees from the cops or has an unlawful blood alcohol
concentration, a serious injury or even fatal accident that would have
been treated as non-criminal negligence can become a felony vehicular
Vehicular felony charges in Ohio can include aggravated vehicular
manslaughter or vehicular assault if one or more of the following
circumstances is present: the driver is under the influence; was
driving recklessly; eluded a law enforcement officer; is driving on a
suspended license; was racing on the highway or street; was operating
an illegal modified vehicle or does not have authorization to use the
motor vehicle in question.