Community Service


Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

Cincinnati v. Howard, 179 Ohio App. 3d 60, 2008-Ohio-5502 – The sentence for a minor misdemeanor code violation was the maximum allowable $150 fine The court also ordered 30 hours of community service. Reversed as to the community service, since the city code did not provide for community service as a direct part of a minor misdemeanor sentences, and no portion of the fine was suspended conditioned on community service.
State v. Johnson, 164 Ohio App. 3d 792, 2005-Ohio-6826 -- A court must specify the number of hours of community service to be performed at the sentencing hearing but need not specify the nature of the service.
State v. Tiger, 148 Ohio App. 3d 61, 2002-Ohio-320, ¶39-42 -- While a court must consider imposing a fine or community service as the only sanction, it need not set forth findings supporting its denial of such a limited sanction.
State v. Shelton, 165 Ohio App. 3d 142, 2006-Ohio-182 -- Because ambiguity cannot be harmonized in the statutes controlling the maximum number of hours of community service for a felony offender, they must be construed in favor of the defendant. Maximum is 200 hours, as for misdemeanants, not 500 hours.
State v. King, 151 Ohio App. 3d 346, 2003-Ohio-208 -- Community service was appropriate in view of acknowledgment it would have to be suitable for a paraplegic.
State v. Daugherty, 165 Ohio App. 3d 115, 2006-Ohio-240 -- Before the expiration of one year of probation, defendant was jailed for contempt for failure to perform any of the hours of community service ordered. While the proceedings may have satisfied the requirements for probation revocation, failure to perform community service would be indirect contempt. The court did not properly charge him with indirect contempt and the proceedings resembled those punishing direct contempt.
Cleveland v. King, 153 Ohio App. 3d 326, 2003-Ohio-3807 -- "Shall be fined not less than" means a mandatory minimum fine in that amount. This may not be waived, though the court may permit community service in lieu of payment. Costs may be waived.
State v. Lamb, 163 Ohio App. 3d 290, 2005-Ohio-4741 -- Defendant blew off paying fines and court costs despite being allowed additional time, and eventually ended up jailed for contempt when he failed to perform community service imposed in lieu of payment. When defendant was picked up for nonpayment of a fine he had not yet been found indigent and the fine and court costs had not yet been converted to community service. Thus the two days he spent in jail should have been credited at $50 per day, discharging the fine. This meant the court improperly converted the no longer existing fine to community service. While there is statutory authority for satisfying court costs through community service, a defendant may not be jailed for failure to perform such an agreement.
State v. Kelly, Lucas App. No. L-02-1266, 2003-Ohio-5269 -- While a court may impose no more than 200 hours of community service as a condition of probation, regardless of the number of charges, it may impose additional hours of community service in lieu of fines and court costs.

Publishing Information

Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
Contents may not be duplicated without express permission.