CoronaCOVID SAFETY

We have continued the COVID safety measures put in place during the Pandemic.
Everyone entering the building must:

  • Wear a mask
  • Have your temperature taken
  • Register for tracking purposes

Plexiglass shields have been installed in each courtroom and in the Clerk’s Office.
Air filters are provided in select areas around the building.

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Crime

A crime is an act or a failure to act that breaks the law.

In Ohio, traffic violations are criminal offenses. See the Traffic section for more information. 

Crimes are usually punishable by a fine, jail time, community control (probation), or other sanctions.

Every crime is different. Some crimes are more or less harmful to people and property than other crimes. All criminal offenses are classified as either a misdemeanor or felony offense based on the circumstances of the offense.

No matter what crime you are charged with, the law requires the court to consider you innocent until proven guilty. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove your guilt. You do not have to prove you are innocent. Your job is to raise as much doubt as possible. 

Types of Offenses

Felonies

Felonies are serious crimes that carry a maximum jail time penalty of more than one year. Both felonies and misdemeanors are punishable by fines, jail time, community control, and a combination of these or other sanctions.  

The Garfield Heights Municipal Court hears initial appearances / preliminary hearings for felony charges that happened in the court’s jurisdiction but does not hear felony cases from start to finish. In Cuyahoga County, felony cases are heard by the Common Pleas court.

Misdemeanors

The Garfield Heights Municipal Court hears misdemeanor offenses from start to finish.

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes that carry a maximum jail time penalty of one year. Jail is usually not mandatory in misdemeanor cases.  However, there is minimum mandatory jail time if a person is convicted of OVI, driving under a 12 point suspension, and/or driving under an OVI suspension.

Misdemeanor offenses are classified by degree. Each degree carries a different maximum punishment.

For traffic-related misdemeanors, other penalties can include points, license suspension, vehicle immobilization, and vehicle forfeiture. Learn more about traffic offenses.

Degree

Maximum punishment

First degree misdemeanor

Up to 180 days in jail, 5 years community control, and a $1,000.00 fine

Second degree misdemeanor

Up to 90 days in jail, 5 years community control, and a $750.00 fine

Third degree misdemeanor

Up to 60 days in jail, 5 years community control, and a $500.00 fine

Fourth degree misdemeanor

Up to 30 days in jail, 5 years community control, and a $250.00 fine

Minor misdemeanor

No jail and up to $150.00 fine

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Crime