It is common knowledge that most first degree and second degree felonies in Ohio carry a presumption of prison that is extremely difficult to rebut. Repeat violent offenders (RVO) and major drug offenders (MDO) are statutorily classified as requiring prison terms.
Third degree felonies have no presumption of prison nor a presumption of community control sanctions. The sentencing judge would weigh the "less serious" versus "more serious" factors as well as the likelihood of recidivism. A sentencing recommendation from the State and the pre-sentence investigation (PSI) also play in to whether or not an offender will go to prison.
Fourth and fifth degree felonies typically carry a presumption of community control and a non-prison sentence. Of course, there are exceptions to this under Ohio's sentencing guidelines.
The following is a fairly simple list of crimes and offenders that can expect prison terms in Ohio:
- Crimes that result in physical harm to a person
- Crimes with the use of a deadly weapon
- Offenders who have prior convictions involving physical harm or threats
- Offenders who violate a position of trust or public office
- Offenses that are part of an organized criminal activity
- Offenses that are sex crimes
- Offenders who have previously served prison terms
- Offenders who re-offended while on probation or parole, and;
- Offenders who possessed a firearm
- Felony DUI
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
- Certain Drug crimes
This is not an exhaustive list nor does it mean that individuals indicted under these sections are definitely going to be sentenced to prison. If you or someone you know may be facing a prison term, it is highly advisable that you consult with a criminal defense attorney in the jurisdiction in which the case is pending for more specific legal advice.