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Do High-Level Felonies Merge with Low Ones at Sentencing?

The answer to this question will depend on the nature of the offenses of which a person was charged.

In Ohio, a defendant can be indicted on several counts for the same conduct, but can only be convicted of one if they are allied offenses of similar import.

To determine whether or not offenses are allied offenses of similar import, courts typically compare the elements of the crimes committed.

Note that the elements do not have to be identical to be considered allied offenses. If the offenses are so similar that commission of one will necessarily result in the commission of the other, the offenses are allied offenses of similar import.

For example, if you are convicted of trafficking and possession the penalties may or may not merge at sentencing.

This will depend on the circumstances because one can sell without having possession and one can possess without the intent to sell.

If the trafficking is premised on preparation for shipment, shipment, transport or delivery the offenses will merge since trafficking under those circumstances requires possession.

But trafficking premised on intent to sell or offering to sell won’t merge because possession is not required.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony crime in Cleveland, OH, call us at (440) 471-7784 to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.


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