Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

R.C. 2913.31 -- Forgery.
R.C. 2913.32 -- Criminal simulation.
R.C. 2913.33 -- Making or using slugs.
R.C. 2913.21 -- Misuse of credit cards.
State v. Terry, 186 Ohio App. 3d 670, 2010-Ohio-1604 – Series of bank transactions and explanations offered by the defendant were consistent with a money laundering scheme, supporting convictions for theft, forgery and receiving stolen property, but not his passing bad checks conviction. Case involved a stolen and altered genuine check. Passing bad checks is premised on the use of an instrument the offender knows will not be honored. It does not reach forgery or the alteration of genuine checks.
State v. Preisand, 174 Ohio App. 3d 689, 2008-Ohio-129 – Defendant was charged with three courts of forgery based on his associate making out checks she apparently stole, and three counts of uttering those checks. Conviction on the uttering counts was supported by the evidence, but counts based on forging the contents were not as there was nothing indicating he aided and abetted his associate in doing so. He merely was present when she filled out the checks.
State v. Willis, 192 Ohio App. 3d 579, 2011-Ohio-797 – Defendant used a counterfeit $100 bill at a McDonald’s drive through leading to conviction for forgery, based on uttering a forged document, and possession of criminal tools as a misdemeanor. Flight is not helpful to claimed of lack of knowledge. Count concludes that while the two offenses might be committed by the same conduct they do not merge because “the evidence in this case shows the charge under each statute is independent.” (¶45.)
State v. Brooker, 170 Ohio App. 3d 570, 2007-Ohio-588 -- The defendant created and signed checks bearing actual account numbers but names that were not those of the account holders. This amounts to forging the writing of another. Also see In re Clemons (1958), 168 Ohio St. 88 where the defendant signed his own name to a check, but did not hold an account at the bank.
State v. Morris (2001), 143 Ohio App. 3d 817 -- 821-822 -- State proved check passed through the defendant's bank account but not that he wrote the endorsement on the back. Reversed because the evidence was insufficient. Proof that the defendant forged the endorsement on other checks does not save the situation for the state.
State v. Tiger, 148 Ohio App. 3d 61, 2002-Ohio-320 -- Defendant was convicted of forgery based on presenting an Illinois drivers license in a different name to a bank when opening an account. Majority concludes that though he did not forge the license, authenticating it by representing to the bank that he was the person shown on the license, fell within the reach of the forgery statute. Though there was no evidence he obtained any benefit, the purpose to defraud element is satisfied by showing only an intention to benefit.
State v. Taylor, Montgomery App. No. C.A. 19212, 2003-Ohio-784, ¶ 61 -- "A general authority to sign checks for another does not encompass the specific authority to sign another's name to a check when the actor knows that there is no chance that the check will be good, and the actor intends to defraud others by doing so."
State v. Ferrette (1985), 18 Ohio St. 3d 106 -- Paragraph two of the syllabus: "The alteration of a lottery ticket to create the impression that it has never been cashed and may still be redeemed, and the presentation of such ticket for purposes of receiving cash, knowing that it has been so altered, constitute forgery under R.C. 2913.31(A)(2) and uttering under R.C. 2913.31(A)(3)."
State v. Bender (1985), 24 Ohio App. 3d 131 -- Forgery established though defendant signed her own name and presented her own identification while cashing a bogus Sears credit slip.
State v. Sufronko (1995), 105 Ohio App. 3d 504 -- Defendant signed his brother's name to tickets and was convicted of forgery. Court rejects claim R.C. 1.51 should have limited prosecution to falsification as a special provision applicable in the circumstances. Violations of the two statutes arise from different conduct.
State v. King (1991), 81 Ohio App. 3d 210 -- Defendant who photocopied nominating petitions from a previous year should have been charged under R.C. 3599.14, which proscribes such acts, and not under the forgery statute. State v. Volpe (1988), 38 Ohio St. 3d 191, applied.
Gilbert v. California (1967), 388 U.S. 263 -- Handwriting exemplars are not subject to the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Also see United States v. Mara (1973), 410 U.S. 19 -- Exemplar may be compelled pursuant to grand jury subpoena.
State v. Flinn (1982), 7 Ohio App. 3d 294 -- Defendant properly held in contempt for refusal, in open court, to furnish handwriting exemplar. Also see Hawk v. Superior Court (1974), 116 Cal. Rptr. 713, 718, cert. denied, 421 U.S. 1012.
In re Grand Jury Directive to Creager (1993), 89 Ohio App. 3d 672 -- Defendant was properly found in contempt for refusal to provide handwriting exemplar. The privilege against self-incrimination under the Ohio Constitution is identical to that found in the Fifth Amendment.
State v. Wolfe (1983), 10 Ohio App. 3d 324 -- Theft by deception and forgery charges merge where both related to obtaining food stamps using a forged employment document. Compare State v. Hunter (1983), 12 Ohio App. 3d 75, 78.
State v. Hunter (1983), 12 Ohio App. 3d 75 -- Theft and forgery do not merge.
State v. Bounds (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 700 -- Forgery and uttering are allied offenses of similar import and merge for purposes of sentencing when the forged document is immediately uttered or remains in the defendant's possession with an intent to utter. Impliedly overrules State v. McGhee (1987), 37 Ohio App. 3d 54, which was decided by the same court of appeals.
State v. Liston (1991), 70 Ohio App. 3d 663 -- Defendant was convicted of theft in Cuyahoga County based on use of a stolen credit card to obtain various items. Charges in Lake county were attempted theft, based on an attempt to exchange some of property for cash, and RSP based on possession of the other items. Held that the theft and attempted theft charges were committed separately and did not merge, but the RSP charge merged with the theft conviction in the first county. Also see State v. Stone (1990), 69 Ohio App. 3d 383, 389-390.

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Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
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