The criminal justice system is complex, with different categories of crimes and different levels of punishments. These crimes can be broadly divided into three main categories: crimes against the property, person, and society. It’s essential to understand what these categories mean if you are ever charged with a crime, as you may face different penalties depending on which category your offense falls under. Keep reading to learn more.
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Crimes Against Property
Crimes against property involve an individual taking or damaging someone else’s property without permission.
Examples include the following:
- Burglary (breaking into someone’s home)
- Vandalism (intentionally damaging private or public property)
- Arson (deliberately setting fire to someone else’s property)
- Theft (stealing money or items)
Punishments for these crimes can range from fines to jail time depending on how severe the offense was and whether it was your first or subsequent offense.
Crimes Against Society
Crimes against society are those that affect society as a whole rather than just one person or group of people. Some of the most common crimes against society include:
- Drug-related offenses such as possession/distribution/manufacturing/trafficking drugs
- Gambling offenses such as running an illegal gambling establishment
- Child pornography
- Tax evasion
- Prostitution offenses
- Obstruction of justice
Crimes Against the Person
Crimes against the person are usually divided into violent and non-violent crimes. Violent crimes involve physical harm or injury to another individual, such as assault or murder. Non-violent offenses involve psychological or financial damage, such as fraud or identity theft.
Some of the most common crimes against the person include the following:
Assault is defined as the act of recklessly or knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person. There are different classes of assault charges in Ohio.
Simple assault involves knowingly or carelessly inflicting harm on another person or their unborn baby. Even if a person did not intend to hurt someone, they might still be found guilty under this offense.
In Ohio, simple assault is a first-degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to six months of incarceration and $1,000 in fines.
A person is guilty of negligent assault when they cause physical harm to another person through negligently handling a deadly weapon.
It is a third-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500. This type of charge is often seen in hunting accidents or accidental shootings.
Ohio law defines aggravated assault as an assault committed while in a state of intense emotion caused by an act of provocation. The provocation must be such that a reasonable person would feel incited by the behavior.
Aggravated assault is usually a felony in the fourth degree and is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000.
Felonious assault is the most severe type of assault. It occurs when an individual causes or attempts to cause harm to another person with a deadly weapon or firearm.
Felony assault can be a second-degree or a first-degree felony. As a second-degree felony, it is punishable by up to 8 years in prison and a fine of no more than $15,000.
As a first-degree felony, it is punishable by up to 11 years in prison and fines of no more than $20,000. However, if the assault was against a police officer, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years in prison.
In Ohio, murder is defined as purposely causing the death of another person or their unborn child. Additionally, you can be charged with murder if you cause the death of another person while committing or attempting to commit another violent felony of the first or second degree.
Murder is punishable by up to life in prison.
Stalking is engaging in a pattern of conduct that is known to cause another person to believe that the offender will cause harm to them, their family, or a household member or cause mental distress to the victim or family or household member of the victim.
Common examples include repeated phone calls, showing up at someone’s house and workplace multiple times, vandalizing someone’s property, or remaining parked outside someone’s home and watching them/their home/their family members.
Stalking is usually a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000.
In some cases, stalking can be charged as a fourth-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a fine of no more than $5,000.
Other common examples of crimes against the person include sexual assault, fraud, identity theft, and kidnapping.
Contact a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
Crimes against the person are serious offenses that should not be taken lightly. If you have been charged with one of these offenses, it is critical that you seek legal help right away to protect your rights and ensure fair treatment throughout the process. For assistance, contact us at Suhre & Associates today for a free consultation by calling (502) 371-7000.