When it comes to white collar crime in Franklin County, forgery is one of the most common offenses committed. Many citizens who commit the crime of forgery fail to realize the serious repercussions if convicted, especially considering many forgery crimes in Columbus are felonies. Additionally, the alleged offender may not have even realized what he or she was doing was a crime. An experienced white collar crime defense lawyer in Columbus can help fight to protect your rights and your freedom from a Franklin County forgery conviction.
Franklin County Forgery Defense Attorney
Though forgery initially seems like a simple concept, in Ohio it is a serious legal matter that can take a serious legal mind to defend. Brian Joslyn and the experienced criminal defense lawyers of Joslyn Law Firm are prepared and ready to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome for your forgery case in Columbus or the surrounding areas of Dublin, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Circleville, Delaware, Newark, Lancaster, Marysville, or London.
Fueled by a personal experience of mistreatment by the law, Brian Joslyn and his team of lawyers will construct a comprehensive defense while fighting against any legal injustices that come your way. Your first consultation is free, so call (614) 444-1900 today to see what Joslyn Law Firm can do for your Franklin County forgery case.
Important Legal Definitions Related to Ohio Forgery
Sometimes when writing state law, the general definition of a word is not sufficient enough for a statute. It becomes necessary, then, in some instances to describe in detail the specific legal definition of a word. This is the case for some of the terms used in O.R.C. § 2913.31 which covers forgery in Ohio. Understanding these terms is important for you and your white collar crime defense lawyer in constructing a solid defense to your Franklin County forgery charge. These terms are outlined in O.R.C. § 2913.01, and include:
- Defraud – to knowingly obtain by deception some benefit to yourself or another or knowingly cause some detriment to another through deception
- Disabled Adult – any person 18 years of age or older who has some impairment of body or mind that disables them from working at any substantially lucrative employment which he or she would otherwise be able to perform and that will, with reasonable probability, continue with the impairment for 12 months or more without any present indication of recovery, or who is 18 or older and has been certified as totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency
- Elderly Person – any person who is 65 years of age or older
- Forge – to fabricate or create in part or in whole any counterfeit writing by any means, or to make, execute, alter, complete, reproduce, or otherwise purport to authenticate any writing when that writing in fact is not authenticated by that conduct
- Identification Card – any card that includes the personal information or characteristics of an individual for the purpose of establishing the identity of that person, whether or not the words “identity,” “identification,” “identification card,” or other similar words appear on the card
- Services – includes labor, personal services, professional services, rental services, public utility services, wireless service, common carrier services, cable services, and food, drink, transportation, entertainment, and cable television services
- Utter – to issue, publish, transfer, use, deliver, display, or put or send into circulation
- Writing – includes anything with written, typewritten, or printed matter in or upon it such as computer software, document, letter, memo, note, paper, plate, data, or film, and any symbol of value, right, privilege, license or identification such as a token, stamp, seal, credit card, badge, trademark, or label
Forgery in Ohio Defined
Forgery in Ohio includes both the forgery of a person’s writing, such as their signature, and making, selling, and/or distribution of fake I.D.’s. What constitutes a legal offense of forgery in Ohio is defined in O.R.C. § 2913.31 as any person who, with the purpose to defraud or the knowledge that he or she is facilitating fraud, commits one or more of the following:
- Forges any writing of another without his or her permission or authority
- Forges any writing that then purports to be genuine when it actually is counterfeit
- Forges any writing that then purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act
- Forges any writing that then purports to have been executed at a time or place different than where or when it was actually executed
- Forges any writing that then has terms different from the original terms
- Forges any writing that then purports to be a copy of an original when that original did not exist
- Utters or possess with purpose to utter any writing the person knows to have been forged
- Forges an identification card or otherwise fakes an i.d.
- Sells or otherwise distributes a card that purports to be an identification card with the knowledge that it is forged or a form of fake i.d.
An experienced white collar crime defense lawyer can fight to defend you from a Franklin County forgery charge based on any of these factors. Forgery is a serious crime with serious penalties, and you should ensure the protection of your rights.
Consequences for Forgery in Columbus
Committing a forgery offense like forging a person’s signature or making fake i.d.’s and selling or distributing them may seem simple and commonplace, but these are serious offenses that could have a big impact on your future physically, financially, and socially. It is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio to make and/or distribute fake identification cards, an offense that can come with up to 180 days of jail time and $1,000 in fines. Any subsequent offense of forging and / or selling i.d.’s is a first-degree misdemeanor that comes with a minimum of $250 in additional fines.
Simple forgery without the involvement of property, services, or another loss suffered by the victim is a felony of a fifth degree. In Ohio, a fifth-degree felony comes with 6-12 months of prison and fines up to $2500. If any other contingences such as vulnerability of the victim or property value are involved, the penalties may be more severe if specific statutory qualifications are met. It is recommended that you speak with an experienced forgery defense attorney as soon as possible after any arrest for a Franklin County forgery charge, including the following:
Fifth-Degree Felony Forgery
- Forgery victim is an elderly person or disabled adult, losses unspecified
- 6-12 months of prison
- Up to $2,500 fine
Fourth-Degree Felony Forgery
- $7,500 - $150,000 in loss of property or services to the victim
- $1,000 - $7,500 in loss of property or services to an elderly person or disabled adult
- 6-18 months of prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Third-Degree Felony Forgery
- $150,000 or more in loss of property or services to the victim
- $7,500 - $37,500 in loss of property or services to an elderly person or disabled adult
- 1-5 years of prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Second-Degree Felony Forgery
- $37,000 or more in loss of property or services to an elderly person or disabled adult
Joslyn Law Firm | Forgery Defense Lawyer in Columbus
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony forgery offense in Franklin County, Delaware County, Madison County, Union County, Licking County, Fairfield County, or Pickaway County, it is best not to delay exploring your legal options. Contact the experienced Columbus forgery defense lawyers of Joslyn Law Firm to begin your fight against a serious conviction. Your first consultation is free, so call (614) 444-1900 today and schedule yours.