If you have signed another person’s name without their knowledge or permission, you may be worried about the possible legal ramifications.
You may be wondering what forgery is, whether it is a crime, and, if so, what the statute of limitations on forgery signature crimes is. In this article, we will address those matters and more as we look at the ins and outs of forgery laws in Ohio.
Is Forgery of a Signature a Crime? Yes!
Forgery laws in Ohio are part of the Ohio Code of Crimes and Procedures. In these statutes, the judicial system makes it clear that it is a violation of Ohio forgery laws to fabricate or create any writing or portion of a writing. This includes executing or altering a signature.
More specifically, the Theft and Fraud Criminal Code states that it is illegal to:
- Forge any writing of another without the other person’s authority;
- Forge any writing so that it purports to be genuine when it is not; or
- Be engaged in issuing, publishing, using, transferring, delivering, displaying, or sending any writing that the person knows to have been forged.
Forging, selling, or distributing identification cards (fake IDs) also violates forgery laws in Ohio. Consequences for violating Ohio forgery laws can include fines in the thousands of dollars and prison time.
Statute of Limitations on Forgery of a Signature
The statute of limitations is the time frame during which law enforcement may bring a case against you after the commission of the crime. The general time limits in Ohio are:
- Six years for felonies,
- Two years for misdemeanors, and
- Six months for minor misdemeanors.
While the above is accurate for most cases, there are a few variations, including some crimes involving forgery. For instance, if the forgery offense consists of a breach of fiduciary duty or misconduct by a public servant, law enforcement may have more time to address the crime.
It is always critical to have a highly respected attorney review your situation and determine the statute of limitations.
What You Should Do If You Are Facing Forgery Charges
If there is any possibility that law enforcement will charge you with forgery or if they already have charged you, you should immediately contact an attorney. Forgery of a signature can create a legal problem that puts your freedom at risk. Therefore, mounting a solid defense right away is crucial.
Ohio forgery laws lend themselves to prosecution and punishment. Now that you know the answer to your question of is signature forgery a crime and that forgery is a serious crime, you must react accordingly. Hire a lawyer you can trust who will support and defend you.
Gounaris Abboud, LPA: Ready to Work on Your Case
Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has more than 50 years of collective experience. Our firm provides high-quality, dedicated legal counsel to our clients. When you need outstanding criminal defense in Ohio, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, should be your first and only call.