Understanding Felony Defense in Ohio

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Being accused of a crime is devastating, not only for you but for your entire family. The emotional and financial strain can be too much to bear. Felony criminal charges can have severe and long-lasting consequences. Felony convictions result in prison time, ranging from six months to live, as well as hefty fines. Do not take felony charges lightly.

The Serious and Long-Lasting Consequences of Felony Criminal Charges

A felony conviction can impact the rest of your life, making it difficult to obtain a job, run for public office, purchase a firearm, etc. These charges have the potential to impact the rest of your life. If this is not your first conviction, such impacts can be even more devastating. You need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your legal rights and fight for your future.

5 Categories of Ohio Felony Crimes

Ohio classes felony crimes into five categories, ranging from grave crimes to crimes with far less severity, each with its own rules for minimum and maximum penalties.

  • First degree felony – Imprisonment up to 11 years and fine up to $20,000
    • Examples include: Aggravated Robbery, Kidnapping, Voluntary Manslaughter.
  • Second degree felony – Imprisonment up to 8 years and a fine of up to $15,000
    • Examples include: Abduction, Criminal Gang Participation, Felony Assault.
  • Third-degree felony – Imprisonment up to 5 years and a fine of up to $10,000
    • Examples include: Bribery, Involuntary Manslaughter, Robbery.
  • Fourth-degree felony – Imprisonment up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000
    • Examples include: Aggravated Assault, Elder Abuse, Felony DUI.
  • Fifth degree felony – Imprisonment up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500
    • Examples include: Breaking & Entering, Credit Card Fraud, License Plate Theft.

Ohio considers two severe felonies, murder, and aggravated murder, as unclassified felonies, not categorized by degree. Aggravated murder is punishable by death, life in prison without parole, and a fine of up to $25,000, while Murder can carry the same fine and life without the possibility of parole.

The Vital Role of Forensic Evidence in Ohio Felony Cases

As an experienced Ohio felony defense attorney, Matthew Bangerter understands the importance of forensic evidence to criminal cases, especially felony cases. His scientific background gives him an edge when evaluating forensic evidence involved in a criminal case. He obtained a degree in biology and studied molecular genetics and computer programming in graduate school. Accordingly, he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in felony criminal cases.

As a dedicated Cleveland criminal defense attorney, Matthew Bangerter also collaborates with experts in forensic science, firearms, toxicology, handwriting, computers, accounting, insurance operations, computer technology, and any other applicable disciplines. He carefully analyzes and considers the facts of the case in light of the law and applicable legal theories to develop the appropriate legal strategy while always striving to protect your constitutional rights.

How Does the Expungement Process Work?

Expungement and sealing a record are commonly confused but are actually different things. Expungement is the complete destruction of a criminal record. In Ohio, expungement is only available in rare cases, such as for victims of human trafficking. What is commonly meant by the term “expungement” is actually sealing a criminal record. Sealing a record is a court proceeding whereby the court file is sealed so that most individuals and organizations will be unable to see it, and the result is as if there were never a conviction of the crime.

To have your criminal case sealed, you must file an Application to Seal Record. After the application is filed, the court will order a hearing pursuant to O.R.C. 2953.32 and O.R.C. 2953.52. At the hearing, the court will consider various factors to determine whether to grant the request, and the prosecution may provide arguments against the granting of the request.

Improperly Convicted of a State or Federal Felony? Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter Can Help

Every day we meet with clients who have been wrongly accused. Some clients have even suffered jail time. Any felony is a serious charge with the potential to ruin the rest of your life. You need an ally, someone who can fight for you. That’s where the experienced legal team at Bangerter Law Office comes into play. We do not shy away from any case. We will meticulously examine the facts, and we will work together to build a strategy that works best for you and your case.

When it comes to something this important, don’t wait; don’t let this charge ruin your life. Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq., is an experienced criminal lawyer who understands the expungement process and has successfully sealed records for many clients. Contact him here or call (440) 340-1740 to schedule a consultation.

Copyright© 2021. The Bangerter Law Office

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

The Bangerter Law Office
4124 Erie St
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 340-1740