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Columbus Forgery Attorneys

Facing Forgery Charges in Ohio? Call LHA Right Away. Free Consults: (614) 500-3836.

Forgery usually refers either to making false checks or false identification cards. Less often, it can refer to forging official documents or works of art.

Every day in central Ohio people are charged with forgery offenses. Forgery charges can range from a fifth degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison to a first degree felony, punishable by 3-11 years in prison.

If you are convicted of a forgery offense, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings

Simply put, if you are convicted of a forgery offense, you run the risk of being deemed untrustworthy for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is critical that you to give your forgery charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus forgery attorneys take a two-pronged approach to all forgery cases. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made and what legal issues can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, video surveillance and recorded interviews. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

The second approach taken by the Columbus forgery attorneys with LHA is to identify whether you have a substance abuse problem. If so and that was a factor in your commission of the forgery offense, we will try to negotiate your admittance into a treatment program in lieu of prison or potentially a conviction in your case.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus fraud lawyers have successfully represented individuals charged with forgery. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

Trust a Columbus Forgery Attorney from LHA Today! Call Now.

If you’ve been charged with forgery, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced forgery attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at (614) 500-3836 or via email at [email protected].

Penalties

Forgery

Value of the property, services or loss: Less than $7,500
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries with it the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
Value of the property, services or loss: $7,500 to $149,999
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries with it the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
Value of the property, services or loss: $150,000 or more
This is a felony of the third degree and carries with it the following penalties:

  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000

Forgery from an elderly or disabled person

Value of the property, services or loss: Less than $1,000
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries with it the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
Value of the property, services or loss: $1,000 to $7,499
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries with it the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
Value of the property, services or loss: $7,500 to $37,499
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
Value of the property, services or loss: $37,500 or more
This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000

Miscellaneous

Forging identification cards or selling or distributing forged identification cards
This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it illegal to sign someone's checks if you have their permission?
To sign a check on the behalf of another person, you need to have their authority to do so. If you are charged with forgery, that person is saying you acted without his/her authority. You would need to show that you had authority to sign the check(s) on that person’s behalf. If you think you’ll need to sign checks for a friend or family member and want to avoid any liability, either have them give you power of attorney or add you as a co-signer on their bank account.

Power of attorney means that you can legally act on that person’s behalf on financial matters; co-signing on their bank account means you are authorized to withdraw, deposit and write checks from it.

Will I face prison time for a Forgery conviction?
Forgery is a felony charge. If you have never been charged with a felony, prison time for this type of charge is not usually given. However, depending on the amount of money involved and your prior felony conviction record, you could be sentenced to prison.
How will a Forgery conviction affect my immigration status?
If you are not a citizen of the United States, a Forgery conviction could have a significant impact on you. It could possibly lead to your deportation, exclusion or denial of naturalization upon a guilty or no contest plea.
Will a Forgery conviction hurt my chance of getting a job?
A forgery conviction will have a serious and potentially lifelong impact on you in many different ways. Any job that you will apply for will likely be able to see the conviction and you will be flagged as untrustworthy. If you are asked on any job application if you have been charged with a criminal offense, or an offense involving dishonesty, you will likely have to discuss your forgery conviction. Bottom line: your ability to get a job can be permanently damaged with a forgery conviction.
Is there any way to avoid a Forgery conviction?
Possibly. It depends on a couple of different factors. First, are there issues with the evidence? If the prosecutor does not feel they can prove all of the elements of the Forgery offense you are charged with, they might consider dismissing the charge or reducing it to a lesser, unrelated offense. Second, if you have not been previously charged, it may be possible to convince the prosecutor that this is truly an out-of-character incident that could irreparably harm your future. The prosecutor may then choose to dismiss the charge upon certain conditions or amend the charge to a lesser, unrelated offense.
If my case is pled to a lesser offense or dismissed, is my record safe?
While having your case lessened or dismissed is definitely better than being convicted of Forgery, any employer will likely be able to access information about the case. If asked, you would still have to explain the circumstances during job interviews as well.
What do I need to do to protect my record?
To further and fully protect yourself and your record, a motion to seal or expunge the record of your case needs to be filed at the appropriate time after the case is resolved. If the motion is filed and the judge grants it, all of the information concerning your case should be removed. Your criminal record should then be cleared.

Resources

For over a decade, the Columbus criminal defense attorneys at LHA have successfully represented clients on criminal offenses ranging from minor misdemeanors to first degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

Talk to a Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have any questions about the material or if you need an experienced, competent attorney, call the Columbus criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836.

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