Navigating the legal landscape can be daunting, particularly when facing charges as serious as theft. In Ohio, the consequences of theft charges can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the value of the stolen goods or services. With the assistance of experienced legal representation, such as the Comunale Law Office, understanding these laws and their implications becomes less overwhelming. Contact our firm to receive case-specific advice regarding your situation.
The Difference Between Petty and Felony Theft
The classification of theft in Ohio is largely dependent on the value of the stolen items or services. Understanding the difference between petty theft and felony theft is crucial as it directly impacts the penalties faced if convicted.
Petty Theft Penalties
Petty theft, classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, applies when the value of the stolen property is less than $1,000. Conviction for this offense may result in a jail term of up to 180 days or a fine of up to $1,000.
Felony Theft Penalties
Conversely, theft escalates to a felony when the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000. There are five levels of felony offense classification, with the seriousness of the penalty increasing with the value of the stolen property. For example, fifth-degree felony theft, the least severe of the felony classifications, occurs when:
- The value of the stolen item or service is between $1,000 and $7,500
- The stolen item is a negotiable instrument, such as a credit card
- The stolen item is a vehicle title form, vehicle license plate, or a temporary placard.
Conviction for fifth-degree felony theft may result in up to 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Grand Theft and Aggravated Theft
Beyond felony theft, Ohio law recognizes grand theft and aggravated theft, both of which carry more severe penalties.
Grand theft occurs when the value of the stolen goods or services is between $7,500 and $150,000, or if one is accused of illegally obtaining a dangerous drug or a motor vehicle. This fourth-degree felony is punishable by a jail term of up to 18 months and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Aggravated theft in Ohio includes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-level felony theft offenses. It is considered aggravated theft when someone illegally obtains anhydrous ammonia or firearms, or the value of the stolen item or service is $150,000-$750,000. If convicted, one could face up to eleven years in prison or pay a maximum fine of $20,000.
Seek Legal Representation
The classification and consequences of theft in Ohio vary greatly. They depend largely on the value of the stolen property or services. Given the complexity of Ohio’s theft laws and the severity of penalties associated with each level of theft, it is essential to seek experienced legal representation if you are facing theft charges.
Comunale Law Office has over 20 years of experience in handling criminal matters, including theft charges. Our hands-on approach ensures that every client receives full attention with a focus on achieving the highest possible awards. Contact us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case.