Although a fourth-degree felony may not be as severe as a first-degree felony, it is still considered a felony-level offense. This means the consequences of a guilty verdict will be worse than if you were convicted of a misdemeanor.
What Is a Fourth Degree Felony in Ohio?
The state of Ohio classifies criminal offenses into misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are categorized into degrees at levels one through five. First-degree felonies are considered the most severe of felony-level offenses, while fifth-degree felonies are considered the least severe.
You could still face harsh penalties if charged with a fourth-degree felony in Ohio. This often includes more significant jail or prison time and fines. To talk through the potential implications of a felony conviction, speak with a local criminal defense attorney about your legal options.
Common Fourth-Degree Felony Crimes
Fourth-degree felony crimes can take many forms. However, some of the most common include:
Elder Abuse & Neglect
When an elderly person’s caregiver abuses or neglects them, they can face criminal charges under Ohio law. Elder abuse can constitute verbal and emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.
Under Ohio Revised Code 2903.12, you could face aggravated assault charges if you are accused of knowingly causing severe bodily injury in the heat of passion or a sudden fit of rage. For these charges to apply, you must have caused significant bodily injury or harm to another using a deadly weapon.
A first-time operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) offense will typically not be charged at the felony level. However, when someone is a habitual OVI offender, three or more OVI convictions over the last ten years could result in felony OVI charges.
You could also face felony OVI charges if you have earned six or more OVI convictions across the United States over the last 20 years.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Under Ohio law, you could be charged with motor vehicle theft if you took control of or took possession of someone else’s motor vehicle with the intent to deprive the owner of their property permanently. To be charged with motor vehicle theft, you must not have received the vehicle owner’s consent to take the vehicle.
What Are the Penalties for a Fourth Degree Felony in Cincinnati?
You could face considerable penalties if you are convicted of a fourth-degree felony in Cincinnati. Some of the more common consequences of a conviction at the fourth-degree felony level include:
- Fines as high as $5,000
- Up to 18 months in prison
- Court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment
- Court-ordered mental health counseling
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
Other Consequences of a Fourth Degree Felony Conviction
In addition to the criminal penalties of a fourth-degree felony conviction, it is essential to consider how your life will be affected if you are found guilty. Some of the more common collateral fallout of a guilty verdict includes:
- Risk of deportation and other citizenship issues
- Potential loss of child visitation or custody rights
- Loss of firearm rights
- Ineligibility for federal student aid
- Trouble finding or maintaining gainful employment due to your criminal record
- Difficulty finding safe or affordable housing
- Strained relationships with family and friends
- Temporary or permanent loss of professional licenses
These are just a few ways your life could be impacted if you are found guilty at the fourth-degree felony level. If you hope to avoid these penalties, you must take action and work on a compelling defense strategy for your case.
What to Do if You’re Facing Felony Charges in Cincinnati
If you have been charged with a fourth-degree felony in Cincinnati, here are the first steps you should take:
- Never answer police questions or give a statement. Anything you say can and will be used against you at trial. Do not reveal anything to friends or family, as they could later be subpoenaed to give statements at trial.
- Contact a criminal defense attorney for help challenging the charges against you. Your lawyer can help you understand the severity of the charges you are facing, determine how to approach your initial hearing, and help you obtain bail.
- If you are granted bail or are released on your own recognizance, you must follow the terms of your release. Your attorney will update you as necessary and discuss the next steps of your defense strategy.
Reach Out to a Cincinnati Felony Lawyer Today
If you are facing felony charges, it has never been more critical for you to have an aggressive legal defender on your side. Reach out to an experienced Cincinnati felony lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates to discuss your defense today.