Forgery

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with forgery in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your forgery case.

Forgery Under Ohio Law

Forgery, pursuant to R.C. 2913.31(A), is doing any of the following with purpose to defraud or knowing that the person is facilitating a fraud:

  • Forging any writing of another without the other person’s authority.
  • Forging any writing so that it purports to be genuine when it actually is spurious, or to be the act of another who did not authorize that act, or to have been executed at a time or place or with terms different from what in fact was the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed.
  • Uttering, or possessing with purpose to utter, any writing that the person knows to have been forged.

In addition, pursuant to R.C. 2913.31(B), no person shall do either of the following:

  • Forge an identification card; or
  • Sell or otherwise distribute a card that purports to be an identification card, knowing it to have been forged.

Penalties for Forgery in Ohio

Forgery is typically charged as a 5th degree felony in Ohio. This offense carries 6 – 12 months in prison and a $2500 fine. However, a violation of R.C. 2913.31(A) where property or services are involved in the offense or the victim suffers a loss will result in one of the following:

  • If the value of the property or services or the loss to the victim is $7500 or more, but less than $150,000, forgery is a 4th degree felony, which carries 6 – 18 months in prison and a $5000 fine.
  • If the value of the property or services or the loss to the victim is $150,000 or more, forgery is a 3rd degree felony, which carries 9 months – 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If the victim of the forgery offense is an elderly person or is disabled, forgery is a 5th degree felony. If property or services are involved in the offense or if the victim suffers a loss, forgery is one of the following:

  • If the value of the property or services or the loss to the victim is $1000 or more, but less than $7500, forgery is a 4th degree felony.
  • If the value of the property or services or the loss to the victim is $7500 or more, but less than $37,500, forgery is a 3rd degree felony.
  • If the value of the property or services or the loss to the victim is $37,500 or more, forgery is a 2nd degree felony. This offense carries a prison term of 2- 8  years and a $15,000 fine.

A violation of R.C. 2913.31(B) is a 1st degree misdemeanor, which carries 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine.

Acts That Constitute Forgery in Ohio

In Ohio, the following acts, when done with the purpose to defraud, constitute forgery:

  • Changing a document in some way without authority to do so
  • Signing another person’s name to a document
  • Creating a false identification card or changing an identification card so that it contains false information, such as age, name or date of birth
  • Selling or otherwise distributing a forged identification card
  • Using or presenting a forged document, such as a forged check to be cashed

Signing another person’s name on a check and then cashing the check are both forgery in Ohio. Using or presenting a forged document, known as “uttering” in Ohio, is also forgery.

Ohio Forgery Defenses

A person charged with forgery in Ohio can raise two general defenses – mistaken identity (i.e., not being the person who committed the crime) and that the crime did not occur (e.g., the amount of money on the check was not altered).

Also, the specific defense that the person was authorized or believed in good faith that he was authorized to sign or alter the document can be raised.

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Theft Attorney

If you have been charged with forgery in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio theft attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192  or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your forgery case. For further information, consult Johnson Legal, LLC’s Theft Offenses Blog.