Close Menu
Yavitch & Palmer
Schedule a Free Consultation

Types of Felonies in Columbus


What to do if you are facing felony charges in Ohio

Felonies are, by definition, the most serious cases that can be brought to a criminal court. They cause the most harm to their victims and, as a result, carry the most severe penalties for those convicted of the crimes. At Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A., we provide aggressive legal defense against your felony accusation. It is important for you to understand what a felony charge implies and what is at stake if you are convicted.

Fifth-degree felonies

Fifth-degree felonies are the lowest category of felony offenses in Ohio. If you are convicted of a fifth-degree felony, you are eligible for prison sentence ranging from six months to a year. Offenses include:

  • Theft crimes involving a check or credit card: Regardless of how much money is stolen, theft crimes in Ohio that involve forged checks or stolen credit cards are a fifth-degree felony.
  • Stolen license plates or vehicle titles:The theft of another person’s vehicle identification information is also a felony offense in Ohio.
  • Certain drug offenses: Some drug offenses, such as possession of 200 to 1,000 grams of marijuana, are punishable as a fifth-degree felony.

Fourth-degree felonies

Fourth-degree felonies carry penalties of six to eighteen months in prison in Ohio. Fourth-degree felonies can include:

  • Aggravated assault:Someone who commits assault under a sudden fit of rage brought on by provocation is guilty of a fourth-degree felony.
  • Abuse of hospital patients or assisted living residents: Someone who abuses or neglects residents of a retirement facility or medical center has committed a felony under Ohio law.
  • Felony OVI: Also known as felony DUI, multiple OVI offenses can result in increased penalties such as vehicle forfeiture and license suspension.

Third-degree felonies

Third-degree felonies carry penalties of one to five years in prison in Ohio. A wide range of crimes falls under this classification, including the following:

  • Involuntary or reckless manslaughter: Under these murder charges, the defendant is accused of killing someone either through recklessness or during the commission of another felony.
  • Robbery: An attempt to take the property of another through the use or threat of immediate force is a third-degree felony.
  • Grand theft: The theft of a firearm or motor vehicle is classified as grand theft in Ohio, a third-degree felony.

Second-degree felonies

Second-degree felonies usually involve harm or risk of harm to another person. Punishable by two to eight years in jail, these crimes include the following:

  • Felony assault: An assault involving the use of a deadly weapon or resulting in serious physical harm
  • Kidnapping: A kidnapping charge can be reduced to a second-degree felony if the victim is returned unharmed
  • Aggravated arson: Under Ohio law, a person who knowingly causes physical harm to an occupied structure by fire or explosion is guilty of a second-degree felony.

First-degree felonies

First-degree felonies are punishable by up to 11 years in jail or more, depending on the circumstances of the case. Crimes that are considered felonies in the first degree include the following:

  • Voluntary manslaughter: A death of another person while under a sudden passion or fit of rage after provocation is classified as voluntary manslaughter in Ohio, a first-degree felony.
  • Aggravated robbery: Aggravated robbery occurs when an offender possesses a deadly weapon, causes serious physical harm on another or takes a law enforcement officer’s weapon during the course of the robbery.
  • Rape: Ohio classifies rape as sexual conduct through force or the threat of force, while the victim was impaired by a controlled substance, or when one party is 13 years old or less.


While a felony, murder does not fall under the punishment guidelines of first-, second- or third-degree murder but is instead punishable by 15 years to life imprisonment, or even death for aggravated murder.

If you are being accused of a felony offense in Ohio, call us today

Contact our dedicated attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A. and set up an appointment to discuss your case, your rights and your options in a felony case. Call our downtown Columbus office or fill out our web contact form. We can review your case and develop an innovative defense strategy for you.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn