Society uses criminal laws to prohibit certain conduct that threatens the safety and welfare of other people or property in communities such as Medina, North Canton, and Wooster. A person who engages in conduct that is prohibited by a criminal statute can be arrested and prosecuted. If convicted, they are sentenced to serve time in jail or prison and be compelled to pay fines.
Crimes in Medina are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors. A felony is a serious offense such as murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, selling drugs, and burglary. Contact Parker & Erb, LLC—Wooster misdemeanor lawyers with the experience, knowledge, and skill to fight for you.
Medina, Wooster, and North Canton Misdemeanors
A misdemeanor in Wooster is the commission of a criminal act that is considered to be less serious than a felony. Jail sentences for a misdemeanor conviction can be as long as 180 days. Judges have the discretion of imposing a fine, community service, probation supervision, and restitution in lieu of or in combination with a jail sentence in North Canton.
Misdemeanors are classified into subcategories according to the severity of the criminal conduct. The most severe misdemeanors are of the first degree and carry a jail term up to 180 days. Misdemeanors of the second degree can result in a jail term up to 90 days. Third degree misdemeanors can result in a 60-day jail sentence. Misdemeanors of the fourth decree are the least serious criminal offenses and have a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.
Purposes of Misdemeanor Sentences in Medina, North Canton, and Wooster
According to the Ohio Revised Code 2929.24, the purpose of the sentence imposed upon an individual convicted of committing a misdemeanor in North Canton, Wooster, and Medina is to punish the offender while also sending a message to deter others from committing similar criminal acts in the future. Judges are encouraged by the law to consider the following factors when deciding the sentence that should be imposed:
- The impact of the criminal conduct upon the victim
- The need to change the behavior of the offender
- The need for rehabilitation of the offender
- The extent to which restitution should be ordered in favor of the victim or others
When sentencing someone who has been convicted of committing a misdemeanor, a judge must take into consideration other sentences that have been imposed against other offenders for similar violations. The reason for this is that the law favors consistency in sentencing so that offenders with similar criminal records receive sentences that are not disproportionate to each other. Race, gender, ethnic background, and the religion of the accused should not play a part in determining the sentence to be imposed.
Determining the Appropriate Misdemeanor Sentence
Unless a criminal law stipulates a mandatory jail sentence for a misdemeanor in Wooster, Medina, and North Canton, judges have a great deal of discretion in deciding upon an appropriate sentence to impose upon a convicted person. Factors that judges must take into consideration under Ohio law include:
- The nature and circumstances of the criminal conduct
- Evidence of persistent criminal activity as shown by the offender’s prior criminal history
- The character of the offender
- The age, disability or other factors that indicate the victim was particularly vulnerable
- The mental, emotional or physical characteristics of the offender attributable to military service and that could be a contributing factor in the commission of the criminal act
- The military record of the offender
- Such other factors as the judge might consider to be relevant
The law cautions judges in Medina, North Canton, and Wooster, Ohio to consider alternatives to jail time for misdemeanor offenders. The longest jail terms are to be reserved for those individuals who demonstrate from their prior criminal record that other sentences have not have a deterrent effect.
The Rights of the Victim at Misdemeanor Sentencing
Ohio law compels a judge to take into consideration the written statement or in-court testimony of the victim before imposing sentence. The statute also grants the defendant, defense counsel, and the prosecution the opportunity to address the court before sentence is imposed.
At sentencing, or immediately thereafter, the court must notify the victim of a misdemeanor crime in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton of the right to file for reparations from the state under the Ohio Revised Code.
If you have been accused of a crime in Wooster, Orrville, or Rittman, a Wayne County Municipal Court lawyer can provide the defense and local experience to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Contact Parker & Erb, LLC.
Expunging a Misdemeanor Record in Medina, North Canton and Wooster
It is possible to petition the court to have a misdemeanor conviction expunged from an individual’s record. Expunging the record can make it easier to obtain employment.
Upon payment of the appropriate court fees and completion of the paperwork for the court, a hearing is held in which a judge must decide if the misdemeanor record should be expunged. Factors that could make a judge deny expunging the record include the existence of prior convictions or the seriousness of the criminal conduct.
Consulting a Criminal Attorney
A misdemeanor charge in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton can end in a criminal conviction and a jail sentence. Even if a judge decides to impose a fine or probation, the convicted person must live with the stigma of a criminal record. A misdemeanor lawyer can assist a person accused of committing a misdemeanor by devising a defense strategy to attack weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against the accused. Contact us today for a Medina Municipal Court Lawyer that’s on your side.