Both counterfeiting and forgery seem like crimes from days of old. Most people envision forging or counterfeiting valuable paintings or American currency. However, forgery is essentially the criminal falsification, making of or altering of any instrument with the intent to defraud others.
Counterfeiting and forgery remain potentially severe offenses in Ohio and other states. If convicted on these charges, you could face imprisonment and expensive fines.
What are some examples of criminal forgery/counterfeiting?
In addition to art and currency, just about anything can be forged or counterfeited. For example, forging a false prescription is a fourth-degree felony punishable by several months in prison. Other examples of offenses that may fall into the forgery category include:
- Creating a fake identification card
- Distributing fake identification cards
- Passing a bad check
- Acquiring a credit card with false information
- Reproducing a written instrument to defraud
- Using a counterfeit trademark to defraud
- Owning or selling equipment used to create counterfeit trademarks
The authorities typically charge these and other forgery-related offenses as felonies. The possible penalties upon conviction include:
- Up to eight years in prison and fines approaching $15,000 for second-degree felonies
- Up to 36 months of imprisonment and fines approaching $10,000 for third-degree felonies
- Up to 18 months in prison and fines approaching $5,000 for fourth-degree felonies
If you get arrested for forgery or counterfeiting, it is wise to learn more about the specific charges filed against you. When you know what you are facing in terms of formal charges, you have the best chance of creating a successful criminal defense. You will also benefit from working with an experienced advocate in your journey through the Ohio judicial system.