Community control in Ohio, also known as “probation,” is a set of terms and conditions that a court imposes as part of sentencing. Community control requires that a person be supervised by a “probation officer” for a set period of time as required by the court. However, the terms of community control will depend upon whether community control is being imposed for a felony or misdemeanor offense.
Community Control for Misdemeanor Offenses in Ohio
Several sections under the Ohio Revised Code govern community control sanctions for misdemeanor offenses in Ohio. R.C. 2929.25 provides that a court may impose one or more community control sanctions authorized by R.C. 2929.26, 2929.27 or 2929.28.
R.C. 2929.26 governs the imposition of community residential sanctions. For example, a court may order that a person serve up to 180 days in a halfway house or community-based correctional facility or may order that the person be permitted to serve the person’s sentence on weekends or at other times that allow the person to continue working.
R.C. 2929.27 pertains to non-residential sanctions for misdemeanor offenses. These sanctions include periods of house arrest, community service, basis or intensive probation supervision, curfew, an order that the person obtain employment, education, or training, drug treatment, victim-offender mediation and counseling.
R.C. 2929.28 address potential financial sanctions a court may impose. In addition to imposing court costs and fines, a court may impose restitution, the costs of implementing a community control sanction, and the costs of a jail sentence.
Felony Offenses in Ohio and Community Control
Similar to misdemeanor offenses, several sections govern community control sanctions for felony offenses in Ohio. R.C. 2929.15 provides that a court may impose one or more community control sanctions authorized by R.C. 2929.16, 2929.17 and 2929.18.
R.C. 2929.16 governs the imposition of community residential sanctions. The sanctions could include, but are not limited to, a term of up to 6 months in a community-based correctional facility, a term of up to 6 months in jail, up to 1 year in jail for a 4th degree felony DUI / OVI offense, a term in a halfway house or alternative residential facility, or other term the court deems appropriate.
R.C. 2929.17 and 2929.18 address possible non-residential sanctions and financial sanctions, respectively. Those sanctions are similar to those specified in R.C. 2929.27 and 2929.28 for misdemeanor offenses described above.
Can I Be Given a Jail Sentence and Community Control?
Yes. Community control encompasses any term or condition that a court may impose for sentencing, except a prison term. For example, if a person is convicted of DUI / OVI in Ohio, a court is required to impose a mandatory 3-day jail term. However, the court will impose a period of community control as well that may require the person to submit to random drug and/or alcohol tests, complete a drug or alcohol assessment and follow all recommendations, and/or utilize a secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM) device.
Another common example involves domestic violence. Upon being convicted, the person may be sentenced to a jail term and be required to complete an anger management class as part of community control.
What are Common Community Control Conditions in Ohio?
Conditions of community control can be quite exhaustive. Common conditions include no further violations of law, random alcohol and drug screens, alcohol, drug and mental health assessments, restrictions on travel outside the county or state, electronic monitoring or house arrest, secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM) or ignition interlock for DUI / OVI offenses, and complying with programming offered by the court or county jail.
What Happens if I Violate a Condition of Community Control?
During the period of probation, your probation officer will be able to wield a great deal of power over your life. If you do violate a term of community control, your probation officer will notify the prosecutor and a motion to revoke will be filed with the court.
If you have been placed on community control, you have already been convicted of a crime. Thus, you are not entitled to a jury trial to determine whether or not you violated the terms of community control. However, that does not mean that a hearing will not be held. A merits hearing will be held and the prosecutor will have to prove that you violated the terms of community control. You will also be entitled to put forth evidence establishing that you did not violate the terms of community control.
Another critical difference between a jury trial on the offense that resulted in your placement on community control and a merits hearing on a community control violation is the standard the prosecutor must meet to demonstrate your guilt. Instead of the familiar “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, the prosecutor only need show that there is a “preponderance of the evidence” that a violation occurred.
If the court determines that a community control violation occurred, the court can lengthy the period of community control you are subject to, add additional community control sanctions, require you to serve a portion of the remaining balance of a sentence imposed during your sentencing hearing on the underlying charge, or terminate you unsuccessfully from community control and impose either a portion or the entire remaining sentence on the underlying offense.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your criminal offense case.
Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for Criminal Defense:
Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, Gahanna, Sunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Pataskala, Granville, Whitehall, Franklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Knox County, Union County, Madison County and Delaware County