There’s nothing petty about petty theft. Or any theft in Ohio, no matter what it’s called. The state has several classifications of theft when it comes to legal charges — with petty theft being the least serious and first-degree felony theft being the most serious. Whether you’re charged with the theft of a blank canvas and a box of paints or with the theft of an expensive work of art, you could be facing jail time if a conviction occurs.

So just how is theft classified in Ohio? And what is the sentence if you’re convicted? Here’s a primer:

Petty theft: The value of stolen property is less than $1,000. It generally is a first-degree misdemeanor with jail time of up to 180 days and fines not exceeding $1,000.

Theft: The value of stolen property is between $1,000 and $7,500. It’s a fifth-degree felony with jail time of six to 12 months and fines up to $2,500.

Grand theft: Stolen property or services valued between $7,500 and $150,000. It’s a fourth-degree felony with a prison term of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.

Aggravated theft: If the value of the property or services is between:

  • $150,000 and $750,000, it’s a third-degree felony with a prison term of up to 36 months and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • $750,000 to $1.5 million, it’s a second-degree felony with a prison term of two to eight years and a fine not to exceed $15,000.
  • $1.5 million or more, it’s a first-degree felony. The prison term is three to 11 years with a fine up to $20,000.

As you can see, being charged with theft at any level is serious. You’ll want to defend yourself vigorously.