Criminal Falsification Lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio 

If you knowingly made a false statement to a government official in Ohio, you could be charged with and convicted of criminal falsification. There are many versions of this crime, including lying to a judge or law enforcement officer, which slows the progress of judicial outcomes.

Charges for criminal falsification can range from a misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the third degree. If a court convicts you of such a charge, you could face time behind bars. With your very freedom at stake, you should consider hiring a lawyer who can protect your rights as a criminal defendant. 

Joslyn Law Firm has handled more than 20,000 criminal cases throughout Ohio. Our team has extensive knowledge of Cincinnati courts, judges, probation officers, and courtroom staff. We will use our experience with criminal cases and our familiarity with how key players work to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. 

Cincinnati Criminal Falsification Lawyers

A common form of criminal falsification in Ohio consists of lying to a police officer. However, making false or misleading statements in various other circumstances can also result in your being charged with this offense.

For someone who has been charged with criminal falsification, it often takes aggressive legal representation and a lawyer who is adept at raising the right strategic defense to make the best of the situation. Brian Joslyn has earned national and local recognition—the National Academy of Defense Attorneys acknowledged him with a “Top 10 Under 40 Award,” and Super Lawyers identified Joslyn as a “Rising Star.” Columbus CEO magazine also named Joslyn one of Central Ohio’s “Top Lawyers.” 

We Can Represent You at Trial

The earlier you reach out to our firm, the sooner we can access key evidence while it is still fresh—perhaps finding compelling proof that you did not knowingly lie.

Our legal team knows where to look for criminal evidence and how to present it at trial for the best effect. Even national and local media outlets turn to us when they need expertise in criminal law for a news story they are covering. Let us put this expertise to work for you.

Call Joslyn Law Firm today at (513) 399-6289 to learn what we can do for you.


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Cincinnati Criminal Falsification Information Center 


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Criminal Falsification Charges in Cincinnati

When you lie under specific circumstances in Cincinnati, the state can cast you as a criminal. These situations chiefly involve knowingly making false or misleading statements to government officials, with the most common recipient of these lies being police officers.

Other examples of circumstances where lying becomes a crime include doing so: 

  • In order to incriminate somebody else
  • During the course of an official legal proceeding
  • So that you can get unemployment compensation, disability, health care coverage, or some other type of government benefit
  • While under oath (such as to a notary public or in court)
  • In a written statement with the intention of persuading someone to give you a degree, honor, credit, or job
  • With the intention of misleading a police officer or other public official
  • So you can obtain some type of government-issued authorization, like a license or permit
  • To buy a firearm
  • In a written statement related to a legal report or return
  • To facilitate a theft
  • When applying for a permit to carry a concealed weapon
  • So that you can receive goods like cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • On a government-required record, account, stamp, or form
  • In a written statement within a document filed with a court clerk, secretary of state, or country recorder—and falsely presented as a lien, judgment, or claim of indebtedness

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Penalties for Criminal Falsification in Ohio 

Each of the above acts of falsification represents a serious criminal violation that could land you behind bars. The penalties for this crime depend on the nature of the offense and how it is charged. 

For general falsification, you could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. Other charges apply to specific forms of falsification, like falsification in a theft offense.

How Criminal Falsification Is Charged for a Theft Offense

For example, Ohio Revised Code § 2921.13 specifies that falsification during a theft offense constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor. The charges move up to a fifth-degree felony in cases where the value of the stolen goods or services equals or exceeds $1,000 and is less than $7,000. If this value is $75,000 or greater but less than $150,000, falsification is charged as a fourth-degree felony. For property values of $150,000 or more, the charge bumps up again—this time to a third-degree felony. 

On the other hand, any falsification that occurs for the purpose of buying a firearm is automatically charged as a fifth-degree felony. Lying to get a concealed handgun license results in a fourth-degree felony charge. 

Penalties for Charges 

  • First-degree misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail
  • Fifth-degree felony: six to 12 months in prison; a fine of up to $2,500; or both
  • Fourth-degree felony: six to 18 months in prison; a fine of up to $5,000; or both

Potential Civil Action for Falsification

If you violated Ohio’s laws about falsification and your actions cause death, injury, or loss of property, be prepared to face civil action. This could mean paying for the affected person’s damages, court costs, attorney’s fees, and other expenses.


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Defenses Against Criminal Falsification in Hamilton County

The most straightforward defense against a falsification charge in Ohio is that you did not know your statement to be false.

Ohio law defines that criminal falsification requires the element of intent. Our lawyers will set out to prove you were not aware that the information you gave was false. This would strip the act of intention and could result in a dismissal of charges. 

Preventing Allegations of False Statements with Our Lawyers’ Help

The best defense is a good offense. If law enforcement officers are investigating or interviewing you, consider calling one of our criminal defense lawyers to counsel you through these exchanges. Keep in mind that investigators have most likely already obtained loads of evidence, and they can easily detect a lie. 

Even if you later correct a false statement with the truth, prosecutors can still charge you with criminal falsification without even having to prove which of your statements was false.

Rather than saying something that could get you into trouble, let our attorneys protect you. These interviews can quickly turn aggressive. A lawyer from our team can step in to stop inappropriate questioning, verbally edit your responses, and nudge you with the details you should share with investigators that could help your case. 

Immunity Does Not Apply to False Statements

If a prosecutor offers you immunity in exchange for a statement from you, please know that this immunity does not protect you from charges of criminal falsification. Let our legal team advise you before you make your statement.


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Additional Resources for Criminal Falsification in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code: Falsification (Chapter 2921.13)

This part of Ohio’s Revised Code is the best place to go for up-to-date state laws on criminal falsification. This chapter defines the offense as knowingly affirming or swearing to the veracity of a false statement. The legal text also explains Ohio laws regarding criminal falsification intended to buy a firearm or to obtain a concealed handgun license. Finally, you can learn how the law applies charges for various levels of falsification charges.

Ohio Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives

This downloadable file tells you every law related to purchasing firearms and pursuing a license to carry a concealed weapon. Read the document to learn the various definitions of terms found in Ohio’s falsification laws as they pertain to these subjects. 

Ohio Attorney General Guide to Ohio’s Concealed Carry Laws and License Application

Before you complete your application for a concealed carry license, you might want to review this guide offered by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Yost explains his belief that the right to keep and bear arms “is a fundamental element of individual liberty.” Still, the manner in which you complete your application could dramatically affect your ability to get a license.

Before you incorrectly fill out the application, read what this document has to say about things like criminal records and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The sheriff in your county will check your background before granting you a license. If you misrepresent key facts, you could find yourself being charged with criminal falsification.  

Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Susan B. Anthony List et al. v. Driehaus et al.

A former Congressman accused petitioner Susan B. Anthony List as violating Ohio laws that criminalize specific types of false information in a political campaign. The Congressman filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission. The Supreme Court of the United States held that a “preenforcement challenge” to the Ohio statute is “justiciable.”

Supreme Court of the United States Madigan v. Telemarketing Associates, Inc.

When an Illinois charitable organization’s fundraisers allegedly made false statements about how donations would be used, SCOTUS ruled that the First Amendment could not be used to bar fraud claims. 


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News About Criminal Falsification in Ohio 

June 10, 2021

Ohio Officers Facing Charges Stemming from Conduct During George Floyd Protests

Sgt. Holly Kanode of the Columbus Police Department faces charges of falsifying information about a George Floyd protester's actions toward a fellow police officer, according to an article in The Hill. The sergeant has been assigned to administrative duties while an investigation into her false statements is underway. After the criminal investigation is completed, the Columbus Division of Police will follow with an administrative investigation. 

June 10, 2021

Prosecutor: Woman Charged With Murder After Her Granddaughter’s Body Was Found in Several Garbage Bags

Investigators say that LaTonya Austin, 42, of South Fairmont attempted to conceal the murder of her 2-year-old granddaughter, reports 5WLWT NBC. According to investigators, the grandmother killed Zaira Lee using blunt force, then put the toddler’s body in a trash bag, which she then placed in a plastic cooler.

She did not report the death to the authorities. Austin faces life imprisonment if she is convicted of all the charges against her: exacerbated murder (1 count); murder (2 counts); violent assault (2 counts); falsification of evidence (1 count); and corpse ill-treatment (1 count) 

May 18, 2021

Mom Allegedly Faked Daughter's Terminal Illness for Free Trips and Donations

Newsweek writes of an Ohio mom who faces criminal inquiry after falsifying her daughter’s medical condition to solicit funding for housing, trips, and other expenses. For years, the child’s mother fabricated stories of her daughter’s terminal “central nervous system malfunction.”

After a medical professional reviewed the child’s medical records, Stark County Children Services filed a complaint in Family Court. The mother, Lindsey Abbuhl, has lost custody of her daughter, Rylee Abbuhl, who now lives with her father.

May 28, 2021

Steve Chabot's Ex-Campaign Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $1.4M

5 WLWT NBC reports that James Schwarz II, former campaign manager for Rep. Steve Chabot, pleaded guilty in federal court to falsification of records and wire fraud.

Ultimately, Schwarz stole $1.4 million from Chabot’s congressional campaign. The consultant wrote checks to himself and his companies from the congressional campaign. To hide the embezzled funds, Schwarz fabricated bank statements and falsified reports to the Federal Election Commission. He could face 20 years in prison for falsifying records and wire fraud.

March 15, 2021

BGSU Student Arrested for Trespass, Falsification

This article in the Sentinel-Tribune tells of a Bowling Green State University student who had walked into the residence occupied by women. When police arrived, the male student did not cooperate with answering questions. His speech was slurred, he smelled of alcohol, and he struggled to maintain balance. 

Police arrested the student for criminal trespass and searched his pockets. They found a wallet with a New York driver’s license. The student said the license was his, but dispatch checked and did not find it on file. Police also found an Ohio driver’s license with the student’s name, and this license came back to the student. He was charged with underage/under the influence and falsification, as well as criminal trespass.


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Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Falsification Charges in Hamilton County

Q. Is It Illegal to Make a False Statement in Ohio?

Yes, under certain circumstances, it is a criminal offense to knowingly make a false statement. The law that defines the offense of criminal falsification appears in the Ohio Revised Code § 2921.13. The law also makes it illegal to knowingly affirm or swear to a previously made false statement when the objective was to facilitate or commit a theft.

Q. What Is the Law on Falsification in Theft?

According to Ohio Revised Code § 2921.13 | Falsification — in theft offense — to purchase a firearm, it is a criminal offense to make a false statement or to knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made in an official proceeding.

Q. Can a Person Be Convicted of the Crime of Falsification?

Yes, a person can be convicted of criminal falsification if they intentionally give false information or if they swear to or affirm a previously made false statement to government authorities. 

Q. Is There a Legal Defense Against Criminal Falsification Charges?

A conviction for criminal falsification requires the element of intent. If our lawyer can prove that you unintentionally gave inaccurate information, the charge should be dropped.

Q. Can You Go to Jail for False Accusations in Ohio?

Yes, you can go to jail if you are convicted of criminal falsification in Ohio. For a misdemeanor charge, you could face as many as 180 days in prison, as well as a $1,000 fine. A third-degree felony could land you a five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.


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Cincinnati Criminal Falsification Defense Lawyers

If you are being investigated for or have been charged with criminal falsification in Cincinnati, our lawyers will stand by your side and protect your rights as we navigate the criminal justice system.

We have a strong track record of successfully defending people in Cincinnati who have been charged with crimes—including white-collar crimes. Our legal team will work to convince a court that you did not know the information you gave was not true.

Call us today for a free case evaluation: (513) 399-6289.


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