Forgery is a serious criminal offense that is one of the most common types of theft in the state of Ohio.
Forgery can be defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2913.31) as knowingly and purposefully having the intent to deceive by signing another individual’s name on a check or other official document, or creating or distributing false identification cards.
Forging identification cards encompasses selling, distributing or replicating an identification card of another individual without their permission to do so. This offense, in particular, is considered a first-degree misdemeanor which may entail up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Forging another person’s signature on a check or other document is also considered a felony. Passing bad checks, however, is a different offense. For more information about passing bad checks, click here.
The resulting penalties associated with a forgery conviction depend on the value of the property involved.
- If the value of the property involved was less than $5,000, this is considered a fifth-degree felony. This charge entails at least six and up to 12 months in prison and up to $2,5000 in fines.
- If the value of the property involved is between $5,000 and $100,000, this is considered a fourth-degree felony. This charge entails at least six months and up to 12 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- If the value of the property involved is more than $100,000, this is considered a third-degree felony. This charge entails at least one year and at most five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Additionally, if an elderly or disabled person was the victim as the result of the forgery offense, the resulting penalties and consequences will be more severe.
Forgery offenses are regarded as crimes of dishonesty, deceit and fraud. In addition to a jail sentence and fines, they carry additional long-term consequences that will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your life. You may face difficulty keeping or finding employment, a damaged reputation, financial difficulties, or keeping custody of your children.