The Criminal Division represents the citizens of the State of Ohio in prosecuting felony cases in the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas. It is the responsibility of this division to prosecute all adult felony criminal cases that occur within the townships and municipalities of Geauga County.
A felony is any crime that carries a potential punishment of six (6) months or more in prison. Felony offenses range in severity from a felony of the first degree (F1) the most severe felony offense, to a felony of the fifth degree (F5) the least severe felony offense. Depending on the severity of the offense, the following prison terms and/or fines can be imposed upon a convicted felony offender:
- Felony of the first degree (F1): 3-10 years with a fine of up to $20,000;
- Felony of the second degree (F2): 2-8 years with a fine of up to $15,000;
- Felony of the third degree (F3): 1-5 years with a fine of up to $10,000;
- Felony of the fourth degree (F4): 6-18 months with a fine of up to $5,000; and
- Felony of the fifth degree (F5): 6-12 months with a fine of up to $2,500.00.
Not all defendants convicted of a felony or felonies are sentenced to prison. Defendants may also be sentenced to community control, otherwise known as probation, which may or may not include a jail sentence as opposed to a prison sentence. Defendants can also have jail sentences suspended on condition that they obey the terms and conditions of their community control sanction.
Felony offenses can involve crimes against person(s) or property. The Criminal Division prosecutes approximately 200 felony cases a year ranging from drug offenses and other non-violent crimes against persons or property to the most heinous of crimes such as murder, rape, and kidnapping.
The Criminal Division provides on-call legal advice and assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all law enforcement agencies in Geauga County in the investigation of crimes and the issuance of arrest and search warrants.
Once a felony case is submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office, the Criminal Division handles all aspects of the prosecution including submission of the case to the Grand Jury for indictment, interviewing witnesses and victims of crime, attending pretrial conferences in Court, addressing discovery and evidentiary issues, and resolution of the case by plea or trial.
It is the mission of the Criminal Division to seek justice for victims of crime, pursue punishment and rehabilitation for those who violate our criminal laws, and ensure the safety of the citizens of Geauga County.