What are the five levels of felonies in Ohio and their maximum penalties?
The State of Ohio classifies violations of the most serious nature as felonies, and there are five levels of felony, each with specific sentencing guidelines.
FELONY OF THE FIRST DEGREE
First degree felonies, called F-1 violations, are the most serious according to law. They include murder, rape, and kidnapping, among others. An F-1 violation calls for a prison sentence between 3 and 11 years, plus five years of post release control (PRC). If the offender is a repeat offender, the sentence may be adjusted for up to an additional ten years behind bars. Violations such as aggravated murder or involuntary manslaughter may call for an additional ten years. In addition, offenders can be expected to pay up to a $20,000 fine.
FELONY OF THE SECOND DEGREE
F-2 violations are similar to F-1’s in that they typically involve violence. These crimes can include criminal gang participation or felonious assault. The maximum fine for an F-2 is $15,000, and the sentencing guidelines are between 2 and 8 years. Offenders are subject to five years of PRC. Repeat violent offenders may receive up to an additional ten years.
FELONY OF THE THIRD DEGREE
F-3 violations typically carry 9 to 36 months of imprisonment, in addition to a possible $10,000 fine. The court may impose three years of PRC, but offenses of a sexual nature automatically carry five, plus sex offender registration. These crimes are less serious than F-1’s and F-2’s, but they are no laughing matter—perjury and bribery are examples of F-3 violations.
FELONY OF THE FOURTH DEGREE
Offenders charged with F-4’s are subject to up to 18 months of imprisonment, with a minimum sentence of 6 months. Those charged with crime at this level will pay up to $5,000 in fines and spend up to five years on community control. Examples of F-4 violations include safecracking and motor vehicle theft.
FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE
F-5 violations are among the least severe, requiring between 6 and 12 months of imprisonment, and up to a $2,500 fine. The court may impose an additional five years of community control. Examples of F-5 violations include breaking and entering and theft over an amount of $1,000.
Felonies are serious business, in every state in the Union. Their serious nature requires that the courts take action to prevent these crimes from occurring again.