Ohio Criminal Charges + Sentencing, Hearings & Statute of Limitations

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Are you facing a federal criminal charge in Ohio? As in every other state, in Ohio the federal government is required to officially inform you of the charges you face. After you are informed of the charges against you, usually you will be held in custody in the appropriate federal district in the state of Ohio. Unless you can bond out of jail, you probably will be held in custody until it is time for the preliminary hearing.

About the Preliminary Hearing

The federal government is required in Ohio to hold your preliminary hearing within three days of your federal charges arrest. It is at the preliminary hearing that you have a chance to challenge the evidence that the prosecution from the feds has on you. Remember: The burden of proof on the federal government at this stage is quite low. All they need to do is to show there is probable cause that you committed a federal crime in Ohio. Reasonable doubt is a much higher standard of proof, which does not apply until the federal criminal trial.

You also should remember that if the federal government has witnesses against you, they can testify regarding hearsay at the hearing. So, this means that in most cases, the feds in Ohio will have the evidence they need to keep you detained until the trial. But note: The preliminary hearing is a great opportunity for your lawyer to discover the nature of the evidence against you. This can be very useful for the upcoming criminal trial.

About the Bond Hearing

In Ohio, the federal bond hearing will happen if you are being held on any type of federal charge. Most people will try to be released pending the trial. Most federal charge cases require that you be a US citizen or a legal resident of the state to be bonded out of custody. You cannot get bond if you have warrants against you.

Your lawyer will try to boost your chances of getting bond by having people testify about your good character. The federal government needs to be sure that you will not attempt to flee the state or country if you are released.

Federal Jurisdictions in Ohio

The state of Ohio has three judicial districts. Depending upon where in the state you allegedly committed the crime, the case will be handled in that district:

Sentences for Federal Crimes in Ohio

If you commit any type of federal crime in Ohio, it is required that the federal government prosecute you. However, note that the state of Ohio also can file charges against you. A good example of this is a drug trafficking charge; you can face both federal and state charges for this offense.

If you do get convicted of a federal charge in Ohio, the federal sentencing guidelines will tell the judge the length of the sentence you will receive. The judge must follow the these guidelines as he comes up with your sentence. The sentence will depend upon how serious of a crime you committed and also your prior record.

In some federal cases, you may be able to have your lawyer plea bargain for a lesser charge for you. This would mean that you can possibly receive a more lenient sentence.

Top Ohio Federal Crime Issues

The Department of Justice states that most federal crimes in Ohio center on drugs, guns, fraud and immigration. In fact, in 2012, over 80% federal cases around the US involved one of these crimes.

Immigration cases in Ohio increasingly are more of the federal caseload. Many people have immigrated into the US without documents and are in Ohio illegally. About 32% of federal crimes around the US involve immigration issues.

Statute of Limitations in Ohio

For federal crimes, there is a uniform statute of limitations for each type, and whether it is a civil or criminal case:

Civil Violations

  • Assault – 2 years

  • Contract – 10 years

  • False imprisonment – 2 years

  • Fraud – 5 years

  • Judgements – 20 years

  • Libel – 1 year

  • Personal injury – 2 years

  • Property damage – 5 years

  • Slander – 1 year

  • Wrongful death – 2 years

Criminal Violations

  • Arson – No limit

  • Assault – 3 years

  • Burglary – 3 years

  • Murder – no limit

  • Manslaughter – no limit

  • Rape – no limit or 3 years, depending on case

  • Kidnapping – 3 years

  • Robbery – 3 years