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Ohio Felony Penalties

Ohio Felony Penalties

One of the first things people ask when they have been arrested for a felony is "what am I facing?" Usually, the answer is more complicated than just saying "X years."

The actual sentence that a person faces depends on a number of factors, including the offense the individual is charged with; the nature of the offense; if a firearm was involved; if the offense carries mandatory or discretionary prison time; the person's criminal history; the sentencing judge; the prosecutor's recommendation; and other factors that are case or offense specific.

For a general guideline as to the penalties for various charges (not including unclassified felonies, such as Aggravated Murder, Murder and certain rape offenses), please check out the below chart. The chart is from the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, and is copied from the Ohio Supreme Court's website.

However, as many laws carry specific penalties for the offense, it is best to determine which specific penalty applies in your situation. For example, felony drunk driving offenses carry specific penalties that go outside of the normal guidelines for fourth and third degree felonies.

In addition to prison sentences, an individual may face other punishments, including but not limited to: local incarceration (such as at a county jail), probation (also known as community control), rehabilitation and/or other programs, community service, financial restitution (if there are any victims), court costs and fines. The defendant may also face the loss of certain abilities, such as the ability to possess a firearm, drive or hold public office.

Additionally, if the person is sentenced to and completes a prison sentence, the individual may be required to complete a term of Post Release Control. Post Release Control, which is also known as parole in Ohio, is a term of monitoring that occurs after a person has left the prison system. If the person violates the terms and conditions of Post Release Control, they may face additional sanctions from the Ohio Parole Authority, which could include sending the individual back to prison for an additional term.

An attorney who is experienced in criminal law, such as Attorney Adam VanHo, can provide you with an analysis as to the potential penalties that you or your loved one is facing for a felony in Ohio. To contact Attorney Adam VanHo, please give him a call at (330) 253-7171 or click here.



Felony Level

Sentencing Guidance


Prison Terms


Maximum Fine a

§2929.18(A)(2) & (3)

Repeat Violent Offender Enhancement §2929.14(B)(2)

Is Post-Release Control Required? §2967.28(B) & (C)

PRC Period

§2967.28(B) & (D)(2)


Presumption for prison (also applies to "in favor" drug offenses)

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11 years


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 years


5 years, no reduction


2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 years


If sex offense, 5 years, no reduction;

Otherwise, 3 years, reducible by Parole Board


No guidance
other than purposes & principles (also applies to "Div.(C)" drug offenses)

9, 12, 18, 24, 30, or 36 months or
12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, or 60 months b


For F-2 involving attempted serious harm or for invol. manslaughter: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 years; otherwise none

Yes if sex or violent offense; otherwise optional


Mandatory 1 year community control for non-violent, no prior felony, etc.c Otherwise:
If any of 9 factors & not amenable to other sanction(s), guidance for prison.c
If none of 9 factors, guidance against prison (also applies to "Div.(B)" drug offenses)

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 months



Yes if sex offense; otherwise optional


6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 months


Exceptions: Indeterminate sentences for agg murder, murder, human trafficking, and certain sex offenses & crimes with sexual motivation (see bottom p. 3). Drug Offenses--Note penalties track degree of offense, but the sentencing guidance may be different than for other offenses at that felony level.

Repeat Violent Offenders are (§2929.01(DD)): Being sentenced for: agg. murder, murder, a violent F-1 or F-2, or an F-1 or F-2 attempt of violence, with a prior conviction for one or more of the same offenses or their equivalents.
a Maximum Fines—Cover conventional and day fines. There are exceptions in drug trafficking cases (§2929.18(B)(4)-(7)). And some offenses call for a superfine of up to $1 million (§2929.32). For the fine if the offender is an organization, see §2929.31.

b Higher F-3s—The longer sentence range applies to agg vehicular homicides & assaults, sexual battery, GSI, sex with minor, & robbery or burglary with 2 or more separate agg or non-agg robberies or burglaries (see §2929.14(A)(3)(a)).
c F-4s & F-5s—See Certain F-4s & F-5s (§2929.13(B)(1)(a)-(c)) & Other F-4s, F-5s, or "Div. B" Drug Offenses (§2929.13(B)(2) & (3)) on p. 3.



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