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Ohio Theft Laws & Petty Theft Laws

Updated: November 20, 2023
Antony Abboud
By Antony Abboud

Antony “Tony” Abboud is a partner and one of the proud founders of Gounaris Abboud, LPA. His law career included positions as a municipal court prosecutor and acting magistrate. He has been blessed to focus his 20-year law career in the two areas of criminal and traffic defense.

Your Questions About Ohio Theft Laws Answered

Your Questions About Ohio Theft Laws Answered

Ohio theft law involves two general questions: Has a theft occurred, and if so, what penalty might apply?

Because theft is a crime in Ohio, committing theft can lead to criminal penalties.

These can include a fine, jail or prison time, or both.

If you are facing a theft charge in Ohio, an experienced Ohio theft crime lawyer at Gounaris Abboud, LPA can help you understand the charges against you, potential penalties, and defense strategies.

Call (937) 222-1515 or reach us online for a free consultation.

Why Choose Our Theft Crime Lawyers?

  • Former prosecutors and former judge on our defense team
  • Perfect 10.0 Superb Ratings by Avvo
  • Inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers®
  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Did a Theft Crime Occur Under Ohio Theft Laws?

First, it is important to understand what conduct is considered theft under Ohio’s theft law.

Ohio theft law makes it a crime to knowingly obtain or exert control over another person’s property or services by unlawful means.

Taking another’s property is unlawful when it is:

  • Without the owner’s consent
  • Beyond the scope of the owner’s permission
  • By deception
  • By threat
  • By intimidation

Also, the Ohio theft law requires that the person takes the property or service with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that property or service.

For example, it is not theft to take another person’s bicycle without their permission if you intend to return it after a short ride around the block.

It is theft, however, to take the bike intending to ride off and never return.

If a person unlawfully takes the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently, then that person committed a theft.

What Criminal Penalties Apply Under Ohio Theft Laws?

If a theft occurred, the next question to ask is, what penalties might apply upon conviction?

The penalties that apply depend on the seriousness of the theft. The least serious class of theft is petty theft which is classified as a misdemeanor.

More serious theft offenses are felony offenses.

Ohio’s theft laws classify theft as petty theft or felony theft based on the value of the property or services stolen.

The type of property can also determine the class of the offense.

Ohio’s theft laws supply criminal penalties for each type of petty and felony theft offense.

In general, the more serious the theft offense, the more severe the penalty.

Ohio Petty Theft Laws

Ohio theft laws outline when theft qualifies as petty theft.

Petty theft occurs when the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000. Ohio petty theft laws make petty theft a misdemeanor offense.

Petty theft in Ohio is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Ohio Felony Theft Laws

In Ohio, theft is a felony if the value of the property stolen is more than $1,000. Felony theft can be in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree.

The least severe penalties apply to fifth-degree felony theft, which is the least serious type of felony theft offense.

First-degree felony theft is the most serious type of theft offense, and it carries the most severe punishment.

Fifth-Degree Felony Theft

Theft is a fifth-degree felony when the value of the stolen property or services is between $1,000 and $7,500.

Theft is also a fifth-degree felony when the property taken is:

  • A negotiable instrument, such as a credit card, debit card, or check;
  • A vehicle license plate or temporary placard, a blank vehicle title form, or a blank driver’s license

Fifth-degree felony theft is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison sentence between six and 12 months.

Fourth-Degree Felony Theft (Grand Theft)

What is the penalty for grand theft in Ohio?

Theft is a fourth-degree felony, also called grand theft, when the value of the property or services has taken between $7,500 and $150,000.

Grand theft also results when the stolen property is a:

The penalty for grand theft includes a fine of
up to $5,000 and a prison sentence between six and 18 months.

Third-Degree Felony Theft (Aggravated Theft)

Third-degree felony theft is theft of property that is worth more than $150,000 but less than $750,000.

The theft is also a third-degree felony offense when the property was stolen is a:

Penalties for third-degree felony theft include a maximum fine of $10,000 and between one and five years in prison.

Second-Degree Felony Theft (Aggravated Theft)

Second-degree felony theft results when the value of the stolen property is between $750,000 and $1,500,000.

Felony theft in the second degree is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and a minimum prison sentence of between two and eight years.

First-Degree Felony Theft (Aggravated Theft)

When property or services that have been taken are worth more than $1,500,000, the theft is a first-degree felony.

Criminal penalties for felony theft of the first degree include a fine of up to $20,000 and a minimum prison sentence between three and 11 years.

Facing Theft Charges in Ohio? Contact a Defense Lawyer at Gounaris Abboud, LPA

If you are facing a theft crime charge, your next step is to seek help from an experienced theft crimes attorney.

At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our job is to protect your rights. The theft crimes defense lawyers at Gounaris Abboud can help you understand the charges you face and explain how to present your best defense.

To learn more about how the defense lawyers at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can protect you, contact our office today at (937) 222-1515 to schedule a free. initial case evaluation.

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