What Is a Fifth-Degree Felony in Ohio?

Fifth degree felonies are the lowest level of felony crimes recognized by Ohio law. According to Court News Ohio, this category and the immediately preceding fourth degree typically includes drug possession, some theft cases and some assaults. Since 2013, judges in Ohio have been permitted to sentence first-time offenders in this category to terms in prison if certain conditions are met.

People convicted of fifth degree felonies in the state of Ohio can be sentenced to prison on a first offense under certain conditions. As reported by Court News Ohio, the felony in question punishable on a first offense if it is of a sexual nature, involves a firearm or other threat to public safety or entails the abuse of a position of public trust such as a police officer soliciting bribes.

On its website, the state of Ohio defines the prison term that can be assigned for fifth degree felonies as ranging from six months to a year. Every case is different and the court system in any given state has considerable latitude in prosecuting and punishing felonies. The only way to know for sure how a specific act is classified under the law is to check with a lawyer who is licensed to practice in the state of Ohio.