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Can You Reduce a Violent Felony to a Misdemeanor?

Man and his lawyer sitting in front of judge with gavel image
August 20, 2020 | Written by Dan Margolis

The Ohio criminal justice system is segregated into misdemeanor and felony offenses, with the latter charges being the most serious. Felonies, even violent ones, can be reduced to misdemeanors in some cases, and your chances of success with that increase when you engage an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Because felony convictions bring harsh consequences, including possible prison time, costly fines, and frequently a lifetime record that can undermine your employment, housing, and relationship opportunities, you need someone who will fight for the best possible result in your case. If you’re charged with a felony in Cleveland or the surrounding areas, you can count on The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC to help.

Attorney Daniel Margolis, a former prosecutor turned defense lawyer, has helped hundreds of clients in this same situation. Contact him today at (216) 533-9533 or using the online form for a free case evaluation.

The Importance of Reduced Charges

Felony convictions in Ohio result in harsh punishments. Not only do you face prison time and fines, but there is a slew of collateral consequences that are potentially lifelong. Depending on the degree of your felony, upon conviction you face:

  • Fifth-degree felony –between six and 12 months in prison, and a fine up to $2,500
  • Fourth-degree felony –between six and 18 months in prison, and a fine up to $5,000
  • Third-degree felony –between nine months and five years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000
  • Second-degree felony –between two and eight years in prison, and a fine up to $15,000
  • First-degree felony –between three and 11 years in prison, and a fine up to $20,000
  • Second-degree murder –between 15 years and life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole
  • First-degree murder –up to life imprisonment without parole, or the death penalty

Consider, too, that new laws in Ohio effective in March 2019 gave judges the power to add additional years of prison for violent first or second-degree felonies.

Once you’ve done your time, as a convicted felon you continue to face penalties. You have a criminal record that employers, lease agents, and loan officers, to name a few, can see and consider. You may be prohibited from living certain places, being around certain groups of people, and have other obligations like post-incarceration probation, rehabilitation, and community service. Felons also lose the right to own firearms.

Clearly, a felony conviction should be avoided if possible. By working with Attorney Margolis, he can evaluate your case, investigate the circumstances, establish if there are mitigating factors, and determine a strategy for arguing your charges should be dismissed or reduced. Because of his former experience as a Cuyahoga County prosecutor, he knows how to make plea deals attractive to the state. If there is some evidence against you where it appears the charges won’t be dropped, he’ll fight for you at trial or get the best possible deal via a plea bargain.

In Ohio, misdemeanors are the least serious of legal trouble, although anytime you are dealing with the judicial system you want to have representation. The system won’t look out for your best interests, but your defense lawyer will.

Ohio has five categories of misdemeanors and four are assigned a jail term under state law:

  • First degree misdemeanor—maximum 180 days and a fine of up to $1000
  • Second degree misdemeanor—maximum 90 days and a fine of up to $750
  • Third degree misdemeanor—maximum 60 days and a fine of up to $500
  • Fourth degree misdemeanor—maximum 30 days and a fine of up to $250
  • Minor misdemeanor – maximum $150 fine

If incarceration is part of your sentence on a misdemeanor conviction, that time will be served in jail or other community setting, rather than state prison, where those convicted of felonies serve time.

Not only are there lesser penalties involved with misdemeanor convictions, but they also come with far fewer long-lasting consequences. The conviction may even be eligible for expungement at some point leaving you with a clean record!

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Facing felony charges can be scary and you may not know where to turn. You may even think it’s best to just plead guilty and get it behind you. Don’t. Once you have a felony on your record, your life will never be the same. Let The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC, help you. Attorney Margolis will use his experience as a former prosecutor to aggressively defend you and work hard to get your charges reduced to misdemeanors if they can’t be dismissed outright.

Don’t give up hope to resolve your criminal charges in the best possible way. Contact us today at (216) 533-9533 or use the online form for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Attorney Margolis is not currently providing free consultations nor accepting new clients. Please be advised that contact form submissions and calls may not be returned.
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