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Unauthorized Use of Property in Ohio

Unauthorized use of property is a criminal offense that involves knowingly using the property of someone else without their consent. It applies to computer, cable, and telecommunication property.

Unauthorized use of property is a commonly committed crime in Ohio and around the country, and continues to increase in prevalence as more and more information and entertainment is digitized. A conviction for these charges can have potentially serious consequences. If you are facing a charge, you should contact an experienced Columbus theft attorney.

Unauthorized use of property is prosecuted under Ohio statute 2913.04, which prohibits knowingly gaining access to and using a computer, computer system, computer network, cable service, cable system, telecommunications device, telecommunications service, or information service without the consent of the owner or service provider.

Consequences for Unauthorized Use of Property

If you are convicted of this offense you could face serious consequences. The severity of a conviction will depend on the circumstances of your charge. If you are found guilty of unauthorized use of property and your offense does not involve a scheme to defraud property services, you will be convicted of a fourth degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

If the unauthorized use was for the purpose of executing a scheme to defraud or obtain property or services, you could be found guilty of a first degree misdemeanor or a felony of the second, third, fourth, or fifth degree, depending on the value of the lost property or services. A conviction could be punishable by between 180 days in jail and 8 years in prison.

If you are convicted of unauthorized use of property, other possible consequences include:

  • Facing civil liability and having to pay restitution to the rightful owner of stolen property
  • Difficulty maintaining or securing employment
  • Difficulty being admitted to certain professional associations
  • Difficulty getting a passport, visa, or green card
  • Outright bar on some employment opportunities, like working at a bank or in the capacity of a fiduciary
  • Inability to pass a background check

Crimes involving dishonesty are very serious. A conviction for unauthorized use of property could ruin your personal and professional reputation for years to come. It’s important to treat your unauthorized use of property charge with the gravity it merits because your livelihood and your freedom could depend on it.

The Columbus fraud attorneys at LHA takes your charges very seriously and our experienced staff is ready to help you fight them. We will thoroughly investigate your case in order to find any and all defenses that may be raised on your behalf.

We will aggressively advocate for your interests, and make sure your rights as a defendant are upheld through every step of the criminal justice process, from your initial arrest or interrogation all the through the conclusion of your case.

Depending on the State’s case against you and any mitigating circumstances affecting your arrest and charge, a Columbus fraud attorney will work to have your charges dismissed or to negotiate the most favorable plea deal possible.

How a Columbus Fraud Attorney Can Help

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily at this stage, we will move on to trial where we will guide you through the process and construct your case for the jury or judge.

If you have certain mitigating factors, like a substance abuse problem that motivated you to commit an act of fraud or an otherwise clean criminal history, we will work with prosecutors to secure your entry into a diversion program in lieu of a conviction.

The Columbus fraud attorneys with LHA have years or experience successfully defending unauthorized use of property and other fraud charges, ranging from the most minor to the most serious. Our dedicated staff is ready to start fighting on your behalf today so that your charges have the best possible outcome in the future. Call a Columbus fraud attorney today at to schedule your free consultation and don’t risk the lifelong consequences of an unauthorized use of property conviction.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


FAX: (614) 413-2886