Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a felony offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio 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 felony offense case.

What is a Felony in Ohio?

The state of Ohio classifies felony offenses in five distinct categories: 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, 4th degree and 5th degree. 1st degree felony offenses are the most serious and carry significant penalties, including long prison sentences.

Felony offenses can range from drug possession and theft to felonious assault and murder. All felony offenses should be considered serious in Ohio. These offenses carry serious prison terms and significant fines are levied. Moreover, lengthy (and expensive) terms of probation can be imposed.

Felony Court Process

A person that is charged with a felony criminal offense is called a defendant. After a person is charged with a crime, the defendant will have to make an initial appearance. A preliminary hearing is then scheduled in the Municipal Court. The defendant is entitled to have a preliminary hearing and it is typically scheduled within 10 days of the initial appearance. During the preliminary hearing, your attorney will cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and attempt to discredit the state’s evidence.

After the presentation of evidence of witnesses, the judge will make a determination of whether the state has satisfied it’s burden of probable cause. If the judge finds that probable cause does not exist, the case will be dismissed. If the judge finds that probable cause does exist to believe the defendant committed the offense, the case will be transferred to Common Pleas Court.

Once the case is transferred an arraignment will be scheduled. At the arraignment, the defendant will enter a plea. The following pleas are available to the defendant:

  • Not Guilty – The defendant disputes the facts of the case and the charge itself. The court will set the case for a subsequent hearing.
  • Guilty – The judge must explain the offense and the facts, and after doing so, will impose a sentence befitting the offense.
  • No Contest – The judge may make a finding of guilt from the circumstances of the case, but no admission of guilty or fact is made. This plea cannot be used at a later civil proceeding against the defendant.

After the arraignment, a pre-trial may be set. This hearing allows the prosecutor and defense attorney to discuss the facts of the case and the evidence that may be presented. Plea agreements are negotiated and, if the defendant wishes to accept the plea agreement, a plea is entered at the pre-trial hearing and a sentence is imposed. If the defendant does not wish to enter into a plea agreement, a trial will be scheduled.

At trial, both the prosecutor and defense attorney will present testimony and evidence supporting their theories of the case, and the judge or jury will make a finding of guilty or not guilty. If a finding of guilty is made, a sentence will be imposed on the defendant. If the defendant is found not guilty, the defendant will be free to go.

Ohio Felony Classifications

1st Degree

1st degree felony offenses carry, with certain exceptions, 3 -11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Examples include:

2nd Degree Felony

2nd degree felony offenses carry 2 – 8 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Examples include:

3rd Degree Felony

3rd degree felony offenses carry 9 months – 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Examples include:

4th Degree Felony

4th degree felony offenses carry 6 – 18 months in prison and a $5000 fine. Examples include:

5th Degree Felony

5th degree felony offenses carry 6 – 12 months in prison and a $2500 fine. Examples include:

In addition to a fine other penalties can be imposed, such as a suspended driver’s license for a drug offense, probation, and restitution.

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Felony Attorney

Being charged with a felony in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio is a serious criminal matter. If you are charged with a felony offense, contact Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 and speak with Attorney David Johnson. Attorney Johnson will discuss your case, investigate the prosecution’s evidence, and aggressively defend you and your rights.