What Are the Limits on Prison for 4th and 5th Degree Felonies in Ohio?

Effective September 30, 2011, H.B. 86 imposes strict limits on prison for 4th and 5th degree felony crimes committed in Ohio.  In fact, the bill prohibits direct prison sentences for certain 4th and 5th degree felonies.  Mandatory community control (probation) for one year is generally required if:

  • the most serious charge is the 4th or 5th degree felony;
  • the offense is not a crime of violence;
  • the offender has no prior felony record; and
  • the offender has no prior conviction of a misdemeanor crime of violence within the past 2 years.

Prison may be considered if the offender possessed a firearm during the offense or caused physical harm to another person.

The New Law and Drug Offenses

Many persons charged with possession of drugs or narcotics or the sale or trafficking of a controlled substance will be subject to the new requirements mandating probation. You should consider contacting an experienced Columbus criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a drug possession, trafficking offense, or any other crime that could be reduced to a 4th or 5th degree felony.

If you or a family member has been arrested on felony charges in Ohio and want answers to your questions from some of the most successful Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyers, give us a call at 614-545-5010.

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