Criminal charges are filed based on the severity of the crime allegedly committed. There are misdemeanors, which are considered relatively minor in nature, and there are felonies, which are for those crimes which are more severe. In the state of Ohio, what is it that elevates a crime to felony status?
Felony offenses tend to involve moral turpitude. In other words, these are acts that go against community standards. Violent crimes, certain drug crimes, DUI's resulting in injury or death and the like are all considered felony level offenses.
The punishments for felony offenses can be quite severe and often include hefty fines and imprisonment of a year or more. First-time offenders, though their punishments may be significant, may receive lighter sentencing than those who are considered repeat offenders. Every case is unique in how it will be fought and what the final results will be.
Those crimes that are considered felonies are not taken lightly by the state of Ohio. Anyone accused of felony level offenses has a lot to lose if convictions are ultimately achieved. As such, experienced criminal defense attorneys can be retained to help those accused fight their cases in court. Thankfully, there are various defense options that may be put into action which can result in a case dismissal or a reduction in charges and/or penalties. One's legal counsel will be able to give guidance and direction so that informed decisions can be made, and the best outcome possible for the circumstances can be achieved.
Source: FindLaw, "Felonies", Accessed on Jan. 18, 2017