Under Ohio theft laws, theft can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Felony theft in Ohio is defined by the monetary value of the item stolen or the type of property stolen.
Understanding Ohio Theft Laws
Ohio’s theft laws specifically define various degrees of theft. These are:
- Misdemeanor of the first degree theft = petty theft
- Felony of the fifth degree = theft
- Felony of the fourth degree theft = grand theft
- Felony of the third degree theft = aggravated theft
- Felony of the second degree theft = aggravated theft
- Felony of the first degree theft = aggravated theft
Penalties for theft convictions in Ohio include fines, restitution, incarceration, probation and punitive damages.
Theft by Deception in Ohio
Theft by deception in Ohio is treated as seriously as other types of theft. As is the case in many states, theft by deception in Ohio is also known as fraud.
Examples of theft by deception include:
- Unauthorized use of a credit card
- Misrepresenting facts about an item or investment opportunity in order to make a sale
- Using privileged information to access a victim’s money or assets
- Using fraudulent information to obtain a credit line like a mortgage
- Knowingly writing and using fraudulent checks
Theft by deception can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the money or property taken through the act of fraud.
Additionally, Ohio theft laws recognize other means to commit theft, listed in the statute as “knowingly obtaining” or “exerting control” over another’s property or money without his consent. These means include:
- Theft by deception
- Theft by threat
- Theft through the lack of consent from the assets’ owner
- Theft through access to assets beyond the scope of the offender’s authorization
- Theft by intimidation
Felony Theft in Ohio
Under Ohio theft laws, any offense involving the theft of an asset worth more than $1,000, a credit or debit card, a check or negotiable instrument, a vehicle license plate, a temporary placard for a vehicle, a blank title vehicle form or a blank form for a driver’s license is a felony theft.
How a felony theft in Ohio is charged depends on what was allegedly stolen and the value of the item stolen. Certain specific items are linked to specific charge levels. An example of this is motor vehicles. Any time a motor vehicle is stolen, regardless of its value, the alleged offender faces a fourth degree felony theft charge. For items not specifically listed in the statute, offenses are charged according to the range of values into which they fit.