Repeat Offenses

Repeat offenses occur when an individual commits a crime for which they have previously been convicted. Convictions that qualify as prior offenses in Ohio are defined under state law and usually must take place within a specified period of time from the most recently committed offense. For example, a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered to be a repeat offense if the offender has a prior conviction for DUI within six-years.

Most categories of crimes in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton that increase the severity of the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony and increase the penalties imposed if convicted including fraud, drug and alcohol-related driving offenses, and possession and sale of drugs. Even minor offenses can be elevated to the misdemeanor level if the offender has a prior criminal record.

Repeat Violent Offenders

Designating an individual as a repeat violent offender in Medina, Wooster, or North Canton begins when prosecutors present the case to a grand jury for an indictment or file an information charging an offender with committing a crime. At the arraignment, a defendant is entitled to receive notice that the prosecution intends to offer into evidence a certified copy of the official record of prior convictions of the accused. Defendants provided with notice of the prior convictions must give notice to the prosecution of an intention to challenge or object to the record of convictions.

Examples of Repeat Offense Laws in Ohio

Violent offenders or those charged with violations of the drug laws in Medina, Wooster, or North Canton who have prior convictions for the same offenses are at risk of a judge adding an additional 10 years to their sentences upon conviction. A person charged with a felony who uses, possesses, or brandishes a firearm during the criminal act can receive an additional three years added to the sentence in the discretion of the judge.

Effect of Repeat DUI Offenses in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton

The biggest impact of repeat offenses on the largest group of people might be in cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A first offense DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor and punished with a fine ranging from $375 to $1075, a three-day minimum jail sentence or three-day driver intervention program, and a license suspension of six months to three years.

A person charged with DUI in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton who was previously convicted of DUI within six years faces penalties of a fine ranging from $525 to $1,625, minimum jail sentence of 20 days and a license suspension ranging from one year to five years. If the accused has two prior convictions, within six years, the penalties increase to a fine up to $2,750 with a minimum of $850, at least 30 days in jail and up to ten years loss of driving privileges.

A fourth or fifth DUI conviction within six years is elevated to a felony charge with a minimum incarceration period of 60 days and a maximum sentence up to 5 years in prison. Fines range from $1,350 to $10,500 and license suspension can be for the rest of a person’s life. If a person is charged with committing a DUI for the sixth time, the fine can be as high as $10,500, incarceration is a minimum of 120 days up to a maximum of 5 years. The look-back period is extended from six years to 20 years. This means that convictions as far back as 20 years ago can be considered in charging the individual as a repeat offender.

Sentencing Discretion and Repeat Offenses

Judges in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton are given a great deal of discretion in the sentences they impose. State sentencing guidelines suggest factors judges should consider when deciding the type and severity punishment for a person convicted of committing a crime.

One factor judges take into consider is the prior criminal record of the offender. Particular attention is given to the type of prior offenses. An offender with a history of committing the same type of offenses can expect to receive a harsher sentence.