Medina County Courthouse

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ohio Supreme Court to Resolve HB 86 Conflict

HB 86 raised the felony theft level from $500 to $1000.00. The bill stated that anyone found guilty before its effective date of 9.30.2011 but sentenced after that date for stealing less than $1000 but more than $500 would be sentenced as if for a misdemeanor. The issue then became whether the defendant was being sentenced for a felony or for a misdemeanor? That is would the sentencing entry read that the defendant was convicted for a felony, but with a misdemeanor sentence, or was convicted of a misdemeanor with a misdemeanor sentence?

This issue has caused a conflict in Ohio's courts of appeals. The Ninth has ruled that the defendant has been convicted of a felony but other appellate courts have held that such a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor. The issue to be resolved is stated this way by the Ohio Supreme Court: "A defendant [may] benefit from a decrease in a classification and penalty of an offense by the General Assembly [that becomes effective] between the time the defendant committed the offense and the time of his sentencing on that offense[.]" 

The Ninth decision accepted for review is State v. Taylor, 2012 Ohio 5403.

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