Misdemeanors are broken down into five separate classes under Ohio law, including minor, fourth, third, second, and first degree. First degree misdemeanors encompass the most serious misdemeanor crimes and carry the stiffest penalties.
Anyone found guilty of a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio can be sentenced to up to six months in jail.
Those found guilty of a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio can be fined up to $1,000.
Ohio judges can use their discretion when sentencing offenders. They can, if they see fit, sentence an offender to six months in jail for a first degree misdemeanor, then suspend the sentence and impose a probationary period instead.
Along with prison and fines several additional sanctions can be imposed on misdemeanor offenders. Among these are house arrest, community service, drug testing and treatment, and mandatory counseling.
Ohio operates diversion programs in which non-violent drug users receive counseling and treatment. Successful completion of these intervention programs can help addicts recover while avoiding prosecution. Failing in these programs usually leads to criminal prosecution of the applicable charge.
Paul King has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. His work appears on various websites, covering a wide variety of topics. King is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English at Northwest Florida State College.