At the conclusion of a criminal case, a person who is convicted of a crime will have to be sentenced. A judge may impose a sentence immediately after the conclusion of a trial or a separate date may be set for sentencing.

Potential Sentencing


The court can also order a pre-sentence investigation to determine the appropriate sentence. When you are preparing for a sentencing hearing, you will want to make sure the court is aware of any mitigating factors that could lead to the most favorable sentence possible.

Sentencing Defense Attorney in Columbus, OH | Sabol | Mallory

If you were arrested for an alleged criminal offense or are awaiting sentencing following a conviction, it is in your best interest to make sure you have legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can fight to help you receive a fair sentence.


The attorneys of Sabol | Mallory have over two decades of combined experience working with prosecutors and judges in criminal cases. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

Factors Considered in Sentencing in Ohio

When a judge does order a pre-sentence investigation,the probation department will typically handle the report. The investigation will examine an alleged offender's financial situation, criminal history, character, and any other information might factor into a criminal sentence.


Ohio Revised Code § 2929.21(A) establishes that the overriding purposes of misdemeanor sentencing are to protect the public from future crime by the offender and others and to punish the offender. To achieve those purposes, a sentencing court should consider the impact of the offense upon the victim and the need for changing the offender's behavior, rehabilitating the offender, and making restitution to the victim of the offense, the public, or the victim and the public.


Under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.22(B)(1), a court should consider the following factors when determining the appropriate sentence for a misdemeanor:


  • The nature and circumstances of the offense or offenses;


  • Whether the circumstances regarding the alleged offender and the offense or offenses indicate that the alleged offender has a history of persistent criminal activity and that the alleged offender's character and condition reveal a substantial risk that the alleged offender will commit another offense;


  • Whether the circumstances regarding the alleged offender and the offense or offenses indicate that the alleged offender's history, character, and condition reveal a substantial risk that the offender will be a danger to others and that the alleged offender's conduct has been characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive, or aggressive behavior with heedless indifference to the consequences;


  • Whether the alleged victim's youth, age, disability, or other factor made the alleged victim particularly vulnerable to the offense or made the impact of the offense more serious;


  • Whether the alleged offender is likely to commit future crimes in general, in addition to the circumstances described in divisions (B)(1)(b) and (c) of this section;


  • Whether the alleged offender has an emotional, mental, or physical condition that is traceable to the offender's service in the armed forces of the United States and that was a contributing factor in the alleged offender's commission of the offense or offenses; and


  • The alleged offender's military service record.


Ohio Revised Code § 2929.11(A) establishes that the overriding purposes of felony sentencing are to protect the public from future crime by the offender and others , to punish the offender, and to promote the effective rehabilitation of the offender using the minimum sanctions that the court determines accomplish those purposes without imposing an unnecessary burden on state or local government resources. To achieve those purposes, the sentencing court shall consider the need for incapacitating the offender, deterring the offender and others from future crime, rehabilitating the offender, and making restitution to the victim of the offense, the public, or both.


Under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.12(B)(1), a court should consider the following factors when determining the appropriate sentence for a felony:


  • The physical or mental injury suffered by the victim of the offense due to the conduct of the alleged offender was exacerbated because of the physical or mental condition or age of the victim.


  • The alleged victim of the offense suffered serious physical, psychological, or economic harm as a result of the offense.


  • The alleged offender held a public office or position of trust in the community, and the offense related to that office or position.


  • The alleged offender's occupation, elected office, or profession obliged the alleged offender to prevent the offense or bring others committing it to justice.


  • The alleged offender's professional reputation or occupation, elected office, or profession was used to facilitate the offense or is likely to influence the future conduct of others.


  • The alleged offender's relationship with the victim facilitated the offense.


  • The alleged offender committed the offense for hire or as a part of an organized criminal activity.


  • In committing the offense, the alleged offender was motivated by prejudice based on race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.


  • If the offense is a violation of section 2919.25 or a violation of section 2903.11, 2903.12, or 2903.13 of the Revised Code involving a person who was a family or household member at the time of the violation, the alleged offender committed the offense in the vicinity of one or more children who are not victims of the offense, and the alleged offender or the victim of the offense is a parent, guardian, custodian, or person in loco parentis of one or more of those children.

Possible Sentences in Ohio

Misdemeanors and felony offenses both have five classes. For misdemeanors, convictions can generally result in the following sentences:


  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000


  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 90 days in jail and/or fine of up to $750


  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 60 days in jail and/or fine of up to $500


  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of up to $250


  • Minor Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $100


When it comes to a felony, then a conviction can result in the following sentences:


  • First-Degree Felony — Three to 11 years in prison and/or fine of up to $20,000


  • Second-Degree Felony — Two to eight years in prison and/or fine of up to $15,000


  • Third-Degree Felony — Nine to 36 months (up to to five years in some cases) in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000


  • Fourth-Degree Felony — Six to 18 months in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000


  • Fifth-Degree Felony — Six to 12 months in prison and/or fine of up to $2,500


In some cases, courts must impose mandatory sentences. Not all convictions necessarily result in jail or prison terms, as some people may be sentenced to house arrest or halfway houses.


Some sentences may require people to complete diversion programs. Other possible conditions of sentences can include community service, drug testing, and electronic monitoring.  

Columbus, OH Drug Potential Sentencing Resources

Felony Sentencing Quick Reference Guide | Ohio Supreme Court — Learn more about the overriding purposes and principles of felony sentencing in Ohio. You can view recommendations when an offender’s conduct is more serious or less serious as well as when recidivism is more likely or less likely. The document also discusses mandatory prison terms.


Prison Legal Packet | Ohio Public Defender (OPD) — View a legal packet prepared by the OPD that is a guide summarizing the law. The second section addresses your sentence, including community control violations, jail time credit, and mandatory time. You can also learn about early release options and postconviction relief.


Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission | Ohio Supreme Court — Ohio Revised Code § 181.21 creates the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, which is an affiliated office of the Supreme Court of Ohio that brings together judges, prosecuting and defense attorneys, behavioral health professionals, academics, corrections officials, law enforcement, victims’ advocates, community corrections experts, and others with a direct interest in criminal sentencing. The Commission’s work is to enhance justice and ensure fair sentencing in the State of Ohio. You can view the February 2019 Criminal Sentencing Modification Proposal by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor.

Contact a Columbus Potential Sentencing Defense Lawyer Today

Were you arrested or are you awaiting sentencing in the greater Columbus area? Make sure you contact Sabol | Mallory as soon as possible.


https://www.sabolmallory.com/firm-page knows how frightening it can be to await a sentence in a criminal case and we work to make sure that our clients are able to have all mitigating factors considered. You can have our attorneys help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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