Theft-related offenses in Ohio are classified according to the stolen item’s value and circumstances in which they were stolen. For example, petty theft happens when the value of the goods taken is less than $1000. Under Ohio theft laws, petty theft is considered a first-degree misdemeanor offense.
Any theft that involves stolen goods valued at $1000 or more is classified as a felony. Felony theft can be charged as first, second, third, fourth, or fifth-degree, based on the value of the items in question.
Petty Theft Penalties
The punishment for petty theft varies based on what has been stolen, the number of items stolen, circumstances, and any prior convictions of the offender. The penalties include:
- Up to a $1,000 fine
- A jail term of not more than 180 days
Other penalties could include community service, counseling, probation, and restitution to the store or victim.
Penalties for Felony Theft
The consequences of felony theft in Ohio depend on the severity of the offense. The lightest form is the fifth-degree felony, which generally happens when:
- The stolen property’s value is more than $1,000 but less than $7,500.
- The stolen item is a debit/credit card.
- The stolen property is a temporary placard or vehicle license plate.
- The property’s value is $1,000 or less, and the victim is classified under a protected group, including the disabled and elderly.
A fifth-degree felony is punishable by a jail term of between six and 12 months, a maximum fine of $2,500, or both.
What is Grand Theft?
Grand theft is a fourth-degree felony, usually considered a serious crime with heavy fines, lengthy jail sentences, and other penalties. It occurs when someone steals services or property worth more than $7,500 but not exceeding $150,000. The offense is punishable by imprisonment of between six months and 18 months. You may also be required to pay a maximum fine of $5,000, including restitution.
What is Aggravated Theft?
Under Ohio theft law, this offense is classified into three groups, ranging from first-degree to third-degree felonies.
- First-degree aggravated theft happens when the service or property stolen is valued at more than $1,500,000, and the victim is part of the protected class. If you are charged with first-degree felony theft, your possible penalties will be a prison term of between three and 16.5 years or pay a maximum fine of $20,000.
- Second-degree aggravated theft happens when the value of the item stolen is worth more than $750,000 but less than $1,500,000. The penalty for this crime is a possible prison sentence of two to 12 years and a maximum fine of $15,000.
- Third-degree aggravated theft happens when the property is a firearm, a police dog, an assistance dog, or anhydrous ammonia. The value of the property must be more than $150,000 and less than $750,000.
In Ohio, if the victim of any aggravated theft or grand theft is a member of the “protected class” (ie. anyone over the age of 65, a disabled adult, an active duty service member, or the spouse of an active duty service member) the offense is automatically upped to the next level.
Contact Our Cleveland Theft Defense Attorneys Today
If you have been accused of theft in Cleveland, it is important that you contact a theft defense attorney as soon as possible. At Ashley Jones Law, we help protect your rights and build a solid defense for your theft case. Contact us online or call (216) 736-8551 to schedule a consultation.