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Misdemeanor offenses can carry significant consequences

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Criminal Defense

While misdemeanors are assumed to be more minor crimes, the consequences can be significant if convicted. Ohio has five categories of misdemeanors that range from minor offenses to first to fourth-degree criminal charges.

All degrees of misdemeanor offenses carry the potential of maximum penalties that include jail time and significant fines.


Convictions can result in up to 180 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Common offenses include petty theft and carrying a gun without a permit.


The manufacture and sale of drug paraphernalia are among the more common charges Ohioans face following an arrest for a second-degree misdemeanor. Consequences include up to 90 days in jail, up to a $750 fine, or both.


Punishable with up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of $500. Common third-degree misdemeanors include negligent assault and loitering for prostitution.


With punitive consequences that include up to 30 days in jail, fines of $250, or both, fourth-degree misdemeanors include criminal trespass, public indecency, or consuming alcohol while in a motor vehicle.

Minor offenses

Disorderly conduct and reckless driving represent minor misdemeanors that can result in fines of up to $150 without the possibility of jail time. Common accusations include disorderly conduct and reckless driving.

Statutes of limitation also play a role for alleged repeat offenders. First to fourth misdemeanors run for two years. Minor misdemeanors are limited to six months.

Do not downplay the severity of misdemeanor offenses. If you have been arrested, immediate legal representation can help you even the odds you face and secure the best possible outcome.