The state of Ohio categorizes misdemeanors into five classes: first, second, third, and fourth degree, as well as minor misdemeanors. First-degree misdemeanors are considered the most serious class, while minor misdemeanors are the least serious.
For information about felonies, see Ohio Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Sentence Range for Each Level
Unless a particular Ohio criminal law allows for a specific sentence, each degree of misdemeanor offense has a maximum penalty associated with it.
- First-degree misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail
- Second-degree misdemeanor: up to 90 days in jail
- Third-degree misdemeanor: up to 60 days in jail
- Fourth degree misdemeanor: up to 30 days in jail
- Minor misdemeanor: no jail sentence
In addition to incarceration sentences, a court can also order someone convicted of a misdemeanor to pay a fine.
- First-degree misdemeanor: up to $1,000 in fines
- Second-degree misdemeanor: up to $750 in fines
- Third-degree misdemeanor: up to $500 in fines
- Fourth degree misdemeanor: up to $250 in fines
- Minor misdemeanor: up to $150 in fines
Examples of Crimes in Each Level
The following list of misdemeanors in each level is only a small sample of all misdemeanors in Ohio.
- Making or causing false reports of child abuse or neglect
- Unauthorized use of a vehicle
- Petty theft
- Abuse of a corpse
- Obstructing official business
- Unlawful transaction in weapons
- Writing, defacing, drawing, or otherwise marking a facility or vehicle of the public transportation system
- Illegal cultivation of marijuana between 100 and 200 grams
- Possessing a revoked or suspended concealed handgun license
Fourth degree misdemeanor
- Selling or donating contaminated blood
- Disturbing a lawful meeting
- Failure to disperse
- Failure to aid a law enforcement officer
- Public gaming
- Disorderly conduct
Find a Lawyer Near You
Even if you are only facing a minor charge, you need to speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area if you are charged with a crime in Ohio. Being convicted of a misdemeanor not only brings with it significant potential penalties, but you may also have difficulty securing future employment, passing a background check, or experience other problems. You need to seek the advice of a lawyer who has represented clients in local Ohio courts and who has experience dealing with area prosecutors and judges.