Most any act that involves illegally taking the property of another party is considered theft. People charged with theft crimes in Ohio can face serious penalties if convicted of these offenses.


It is important to understand that a prosecutor will be required in many cases to prove that an alleged offender knowingly misappropriated property, and this “mens rea” element of a criminal offense is one of the most difficult things to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, a person may be able to avoid a conviction if the criminal offense stemmed from a misunderstanding about ownership or possession of property.  

Theft Defense Lawyers in Columbus, OH | Sabol | Mallory

If you or your loved one have been arrested for any kind of alleged theft offense in Columbus or a surrounding area of Ohio, do not wait to seek legal representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate all of the circumstances applicable to your case to determine the best possible course of action.

Sabol | Mallory can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or possibly even dismissed. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.  

Types of Theft Crimes in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 2913.01(K) defines a theft offense as any of the following:

  • Aggravated Robbery — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.01
  • Robbery — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.02  
  • Aggravated Burglary — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.11
  • Burglary — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.12
  • Breaking and Entering — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.13
  • Safecracking — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.31
  • Tampering with Coin Machines — Ohio Revised Code § 2911.32  
  • Theft — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.02
  • Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.03
  • Unauthorized Use of Property — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.04
  • Possession or Sale of Unauthorized Cable Television Device — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.041
  • Telecommunications Fraud — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.05  
  • Unlawful Use of Telecommunications Device — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.06
  • Passing Bad Checks — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.11
  • Misuse of Credit Cards — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.21
  • Forgery — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.31
  • Criminal Simulation — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.32
  • Making or Using Slugs — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.33
  • Trademark Counterfeiting — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.34
  • Medicaid Fraud — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.40
  • Tampering with Records — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.42
  • Securing Writings by Deception — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.43
  • Personating an Officer — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.44
  • Defrauding Creditors — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.45
  • Insurance Fraud — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.47
  • Workers' Compensation Fraud — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.48  
  • Receiving Stolen Property — Ohio Revised Code § 2913.51
  • Cheating - Corrupting Sports — Ohio Revised Code § 2915.05
  • Theft in Office — Ohio Revised Code § 2921.41

Theft crimes are graded differently depending not only on the type of offense committed, but also the value of the property. While less valuable items might only result in misdemeanor charges, certain more expensive goods could lead to felony charges.

Ohio Theft Crime Penalties

Theft convictions can carry serious penalties when a person is convicted. A misdemeanor offense is generally punishable as follows:

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 90 days in jail and/or fine of up to $750
  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 60 days in jail and/or fine of up to $500
  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of up to $250

When a person is charged with a felony theft offense, then a conviction could be punishable as follows:

  • First-Degree Felony — Three to 11 years in prison and/or fine of up to $20,000
  • Second-Degree Felony — Two to eight years in prison and/or fine of up to $15,000
  • Third-Degree Felony — Nine to 36 months (up to five years in some cases) in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
  • Fourth-Degree Felony — Six to 18 months in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000
  • Fifth-Degree Felony — Six to 12 months in prison and/or fine of up to $2,500

While some alleged offenders are able to receive sentences of probation rather than terms of imprisonment, it is important to remember that probation will still involve having to satisfy many court requirements. It is important to comply with all rules and restrictions as violations of probation can result in you possibly being sentenced to the original maximum for your underlying crime.

Another important consideration to keep in mind about any kind of theft conviction is the possible collateral consequences. While you may be offered an opportunity to plead guilty to a reduced charge, keep in mind that any theft conviction will lead to likely hardships when applying for housing, employment, or professional licensing.  

Columbus, OH Theft Resources

Offense Report Types | City of Columbus — Visit this section of the Columbus Police Department website to file an online offense report. Keep in mind that you cannot file an online report if your theft offense involved an item with a value of more than $3,000 or the stolen property is a firearm (gun), license plates, a stolen motor vehicle, or hazardous material. You also cannot file an online report when the report is against a known suspect.

Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous, LLC (CASA) — CASA is an independent and secular weekly self-help group founded in 1992 by a recovering shoplifter who felt such a group could help himself, others, and the community as a whole. Visit this website to learn more about shoplifting. You can also find support groups, although none are currently listed in Ohio.

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — NASP is a non-profit organization with the mission “to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of shoplifting on youth, families and communities, unite public opinion toward constructive solutions, deliver needed programs and services and engage community action in prevention efforts to improve the lives of those affected and reduce the number of people who become involved.” On this website, you can find online theft classes for offenders, self-help and support for individuals, and information on diversion programs. You can also find recidivism studies.

Contact a Columbus Theft Defense Attorney Today

Were you or your loved arrested or possibly under investigation for an alleged theft crime in the greater Columbus area? Do not try to explain yourself to authorities. Exercise your right to remain silent and quickly contact an attorney.

Sabol | Mallory has more than 20 years of combined experience defending people against these types of criminal charges. We can help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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