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Forging another’s name onto a check, ID card, tax return or any other important financial document is a crime in Ohio. Normally, the crime of forgery is connected to acts of fraudulence. Because of this, the state of Ohio has imposed harsh penalties for people convicted of forgery. Charges can lead to a high-class misdemeanor or even a felony conviction if you’re not careful.

Using another person’s name or signature could lead to criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been accused of forgery, it’s crucial you have experienced legal representation on your side. Having legal representation will keep you one step ahead of the prosecution and will give you a chance to formulate a strong defense for your case.

Dayton Attorney for Forgery Charges in Ohio

Forgery is a type of fraud that can result in stiff fines and even time spent in prison. We recommend you secure trusted legal representation before your case moves any further. You can find skilled and compassionate defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm. We actively represent people who have been accused of forgery or other types of larceny-related crime.

Joslyn Law Firm is a group of passionate and knowledgeable defense lawyers who practice in the southern Ohio region. Our team of legal professionals understand how daunting the judicial system can be, especially to a first-time offender. We want to provide guidance as well as a formidable defense to ensure you get the best possible result for your case. 

Call us now at (937) 356-3969 to set up your first consultation completely free. Joslyn Law Firm represents people throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Dayton, Miamisburg, Vandalia, Englewood and Centerville. 

Overview of Forgery in Ohio   

Elements of Forgery Under Ohio Law

A person can commit forgery in various ways. It can range from signing a check in another person’s name to using a fake identification card at the bar. An incident can be considered forgery if you created any sort of imitation of another person’s signature, writing or creating a fake photo I.D. with the intent to defraud others. 

Listed below are some types of forgery defined under the Ohio Revised Code § 2913.31.

  • Forging the writing of another person without their permission;
  • Forging any writing that states the signature was executed at a time or place different than where it was actually executed;
  • Forging any writing that presents itself as genuine, but is really counterfeit;
  • Forging writing that has different terms than the original document;
  • Utter or possess with purpose to utter writing that you know has been forged;
  • Forging a identification card also known as a fake I.D.; or
  • Sells or distributes a fake I.D. with the knowledge it’s counterfeit

Ohio Revised Code defines the term “utter” as any person issuing, publishing, using, transferring, delivering, displaying or sending a document into circulation that has been forged.

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Ohio Penalties for Forgery

The legal consequences for forgery depend on the circumstances of the crime; what was forged, what was obtained through the act and if the victim suffered any losses. Forging fake identification cards for the purpose to use, distribute or sell is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include: 

  • A possible fine up to $1,000; and
  • Potential jail time up to 180 days.

If you have a prior conviction for creating fake I.D’s, then you’ll be obligated to pay a mandatory fine of up to $250.

Simple forgery Is when there is no property, services or other losses taken from the victim. A simple forgery charge can result in a fifth-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • A possible fine up to $2,500; and
  • Up to 12 months in prison.

When property or services are involved or the victim experiences a loss, then it’s possible the judge will enhance the penalties for forgery. Some examples of these include forgery involving a real estate document or fraudulent piece of land, services that were never enacted on, or the victim suffering from money being taken due to forged checks. Penalties for these complex forgery cases depend on the amount of money that was involved.

If the victim suffered any type of loss, then the charges are enhanced to a fifth-degree felony. The penalties for a fifth-degree felony include:

  • A possible fine up to $2,500; and
  • Up to 12 months in prison.

Losses between $7,500 and $150,000 will enhance the offense to a fourth-degree felony, which is punishable by the following:

  • A possible fine up to $5,000
  • Up to 18 months in prison.

Forgery offenses involving losses of $150,000 or more are charged as a third-degree felony. The maximum consequences for a third-degree felony include:

  • A possible fine of up to $10,000; and
  • Up to 5 years in prison.

Cases of fraud involving an elderly person or disabled adult with losses of $37,000 or more are a second-degree felony. The maximum penalties for a second-degree felony include: 

  • A possible fine of up to $20,000; and
  • Up to 8 years in prison

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Forgery Statute of Limitations in Ohio

All crimes have a deadline known as the statute of limitations. It is essentially a time limit for prosecutors to file charges against a person for committing a crime. Once the statute of limitations has passed the court will bar the district attorney from filing charges. In Ohio, the statute of limitation for a misdemeanor forgery offense is two years.

If the crime is considered to be minor, then the state will only have six months to prosecute. However, most forgery cases are seen as serious crimes in the eyes of the court. A felony charge has a longer statute of limitation of up to four years

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Additional Resources 

Ohio’s Fraud Laws – Visit the official website to learn more about Ohio’s laws on theft and fraud. Access the Ohio Revised Code to learn more about passing bad checks, motion picture piracy, counterfeiting, forgery, misusing credit cards and counterfeit documents.

Fraud.Org – Visit the official website for Fraud.Org, a project by the National Consumers League to spread awareness of fraudulent practices used in the United States. Access their site to learn more about their Fraud Alert System (FAS) and how it works to help people across the U.S.

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Fraud Lawyer for Forgery in Montgomery County, OH

Have you or someone you know been accused of forgery in the Montgomery County area? The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm can help. We provide effective and efficient defenses for our clients who have been accused of fraud, forgery or theft. Using our resources, we can create a sturdy defense to fight for your rights. 

Pick up the phone and dial (937) 356-3969 to learn more about our practice. We will sit with you, answer your questions and do whatever’s needed to assist in your case. Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Dayton area including Brookville, Englewood, Miamisburg, and Centerville.

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This article was last updated on July 25, 2019.

  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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