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Ohio: How felonies and bail are handled in the state

If you're facing a felony, you may think your entire life is over. A felony is often seen as being something that results in long-term prison sentences with no real way out, but the truth is that felonies don't have to be an end to your life. Many factors are considered in each case, and the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you're guilty to get a conviction.

The courts consider many factors when deciding the punishment for a felony. The severity of the crime is an overriding factor in many cases. A violent crime may result in more serious penalties than one that did not result in injuries to others, for example. The court will also consider whether or not the alleged victim did something to induce the criminal act. For instance, if you're charged with felony assault, the court will want to find out if you were pushed to assault the other person to protect yourself.

The court may decide you can or cannot be released on bail. If you have no past criminal record or are genuinely remorseful, the court is more likely to grant bail since your likelihood of reoffending is low. If you have a long criminal past, bail may not be granted, because those on bail may have a higher likelihood of reoffending while awaiting a trial or sentencing.

Ohio's felony sentencing depends on many factors other than these. Your attorney can talk to you about everything that could affect your case from your defense options to the severity of the criminal act itself.

Source: Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, "Ohio Criminal Sentencing Quick Reference Guide," accessed May 18, 2017

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