Facing criminal charges is a daunting prospect for anyone. On top of the risk of fines and jail time, having a criminal record can disrupt your life in a number of other ways. If you face second-degree misdemeanor charges, it is vitally important to understand the potential consequences that follow a conviction.
Potential Penalties for Second Degree Misdemeanors
Ohio law splits misdemeanors into five different categories or levels. Ohio law bases the misdemeanor level on the seriousness of the crime. Minor misdemeanors are the least serious, and first degree misdemeanors are the most serious.
The severity of punishment corresponds with the level of the crime. Above first-degree misdemeanors are fifth-degree misdemeanors.
In Ohio, second degree misdemeanors include theft, shoplifting, vandalism, and manufacturing or selling drug paraphernalia. Conviction of a second degree misdemeanor can bring two primary types of punishment in Ohio: a fine and jail time.
The maximum incarceration period for a second-degree misdemeanor in Ohio is 90 days. The maximum fine is $750. If convicted of a second-degree felony, the punishment can include one or the other, or both. It is important to note that these are the maximum punishments that a judge can impose.
Mitigating Circumstances and Mitigating Punishments
Punishment for a second degree misdemeanor may end up less severe than the maximum based on mitigating circumstances.
Mitigating factors do not mean that a person did not commit a crime. Instead, they lessen the severity of a crime in the eyes of the law and society and thus lessen the imposed punishment’s severity. Mitigating factors include things like:
- Remorse of a perpetrator;
- The culpability of the victim;
- A perpetrator’s clean record;
- Irregular circumstances surrounding the crime; and
- Relative necessity.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will work closely with you to figure out which mitigating factors they should present to the judge to lessen the severity of a second degree misdemeanor’s sentence.
Mitigating punishments may also lessen the severity of the jail time or fine imposed by the courts. Mitigating punishments include things like community service, probation, counseling, drug treatment, or license suspension.
In some cases, a judge will impose a mitigating punishment of their own volition. However, in other cases, someone facing criminal charges and their defense attorney can ask for mitigating punishments themselves.
A judge will assess the facts of the case and mitigating factors to determine whether circumstances warrant a mitigating punishment.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you face a second degree misdemeanor charge, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your criminal defense attorney will work closely with you to hear your side of the story and craft a suitable defense for it.
On top of the possibility of beating the case in court, your attorney can fight to have your case dismissed, argue for your sentence to be reduced or mitigated, or negotiate a plea bargain to drop the criminal charges to a lower level.
An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best bet to beat or lessen the severity of criminal charges.
Contact Us If You Are Facing a Second Degree Misdemeanor Charge in Ohio
If you face a second-degree misdemeanor charge in Ohio, you may feel like you are against the world. However, you don’t have to be alone in your fight to protect yourself.
Gounaris Abboud, LPA’s criminal defense attorneys can help you fight to prove your innocence. With over 50 years combined experience, the attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, have seen it all and helped countless clients.
Our firm is bold in its criminal defense and not afraid to take on the most challenging cases. No matter what the charge is, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, is here to help, so contact us today for a free consultation.