Felonies and Misdemeanors Attorneys in Cincinnati Defending You Against Misdemeanor and Felony Charges While Protecting Your Future
With any misdemeanor or felony offense, the first step is understanding the charges you’re facing, how the criminal justice process works, and the possible legal ramifications. The judicial system is complex, and this is a crucial benefit of having an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer at your disposal. We do all the heavy lifting in your case, so it’s one less worry on your plate.
Criminal charges are divided into three categories based on the severity of the crime. There are infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are minor violations that result only in a fine, such as parking overtime, speeding, or tailgating. Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions but less severe than felonies and range from theft of property, resisting or obstructing an officer, solicitation, and battery or assault.
Misdemeanors can result in six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Felonies are more serious crimes, often involving violence, theft of high-value items, or illegal drugs. Penalties for a felony conviction range from one year to life in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Judges often have the discretion to decide whether a crime is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, so having an experienced legal team on your side can make a big difference in the sentence you receive.
At Ernst & Associates, LLC, our attorneys will fight tirelessly to protect your future. If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, it’s in your best interest to act quickly and schedule a free consultation to learn more about our legal services and how they can help.
What are Examples of Theft Crimes?
Theft is an everyday criminal activity. A person commits theft by taking another person’s property or services without authorization or consent. It is considered an intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property or not pay for the services.
Theft crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude, meaning they show dishonesty. The penalties for a conviction will have long-lasting effects on your ability to get a job, qualify for government benefits, and acquire housing.
Depending on the value of the property stolen, the circumstances surrounding the theft, and whether or not a weapon was used, theft charges can be filed as either a felony offense or a misdemeanor. At Ernst & Associates, LLC, our legal team has extensive experience representing clients in theft cases, including:
- Petty theft/shoplifting
- Grand theft
- Credit card theft
You could face up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, community service, and probation—higher level theft offenses of $1,000 or more turn into a felony with higher penalties and consequences.
Our criminal defense attorneys work hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed, if possible, through the criminal justice process. Contact our law offices and schedule a free initial consultation.
What is a Property Crime?
The most common property crime is larceny theft. More than five million larceny-theft cases were reported in the United States in 2019, and home burglary statistics slightly show more than one million burglary cases.
Like theft crimes, penalties for property crimes range from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony, depending on the severity of the crime. Property crimes are sometimes difficult to prosecute because of the burden of proof required. Common defenses include entrapment, showing that the accused had reason to believe they had consent, and showing that the accused was intoxicated and mistakenly took property.
Our firm has helped clients facing a range of property crimes, including:
- Motor vehicle theft
- Breaking and entering
- Criminal trespassing
The destruction of someone else’s property is a punishable offense; the consequences depend on the property’s value or harm to the property. For example, in a fourth-degree felony, you could pay fines up to $7,500 or more. In a third-degree felony, expect fines up to $150,000 or more.
Contact our law offices to discuss your collateral consequences and possible legal solutions to your property crime offense.
Are There Different Categories of Misdemeanors and Felonies?
There are different levels of misdemeanor offenses and felony offenses. In Ohio, there are five types of misdemeanors:
- Minor misdemeanors
- Fourth-degree misdemeanors
- Third-degree misdemeanors
- Second-degree misdemeanors
- First-degree misdemeanors
First and fourth-degree misdemeanors are punished with jail time and fines, while a minor misdemeanor only faces a fine without jail time. Sometimes alternative sentences with misdemeanor charges are possible. Repeat misdemeanor convictions can put you in a challenging legal position and turn into a felony conviction.
Felonies, on the other hand, result from extreme criminal behavior. Felonies include sex crimes, aggravated murder, kidnapping and arson, and burglary. The most common felonies in the United States include drug abuse violations and property crimes. Felonies, like misdemeanors, range in severity, and the penalties vary.
In context, first-degree felonies include murder, kidnapping, and rape, while second-degree felonies include crimes like an abduction. Third-degree felonies include fleeing and eluding drug offenses; fourth-degree felonies include sexual conduct with a minor and grand theft auto.
The more serious the offense, the greater need for an experienced criminal defense attorney to support you in your criminal case. You can book an initial consultation with our law firm to discuss your criminal case.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
In criminal and civil cases that result in misdemeanor or felony offenses, we are an advocate for the accused. In serious felony cases, particularly when a person is convicted of rape, murder, or another serious offense, you could face prison time or the death penalty.
The last thing you want to do is face the maximum sentence knowing you could get a reduced sentence or drop charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. We ensure that the allegations against you align with the appropriate punishment and that we look into every possible angle to defend you and overturn the outcome.
Our criminal defense attorneys know the criminal justice system inside and out, help you understand the entire process, handle all of the necessary legal paperwork, and help you consider all of your available legal options and alternatives.
Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is critical as some lawyers might encourage you to plead guilty or accept whatever plea bargain is handed to you. There are certain circumstances where this makes sense, though our role is to question and evaluate every step and challenge the evidence against you.
When your future and freedom are on the line, make sure you have a strong advocate in your corner. To schedule a free consultation, call our office in Cincinnati today. You can also fill out our online contact form to reach us.