What Is Uttering A Forged Instrument in Oklahoma?


Uttering a forged instrument in Oklahoma is illegal. The Oklahoma legislature uses the word “utter” as a synonym for the terms “pass” and “transfer.” Most people think of this crime as only involving hot checks but, this is not the case. Any negotiable instrument that is passed or otherwise forged is considered an uttering crime. Passing an instrument like a forged check or forged promissory note or any other negotiable instrument is illegal in Oklahoma. This kind of crime can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor crime in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Forged Instrument Law

An instrument under Oklahoma law typically refers to a negotiable instrument. This is defined as a “note” if it is a promise (promissory note). Under Oklahoma law, a forged instrument includes promissory notes and checks. It also includes other evidence of debt or an engagement for the payment of money. It is illegal to merely possess a forged or counterfeited instrument in Oklahoma.

Uttering Or Passing Forged Instruments

Under Oklahoma Law (21 O.S. § 1577), it is a crime to sell, use, or exchange any forged or counterfeit instrument like a check or promissory note. To commit this crime, you must know the instrument is forged or counterfeited, and you must intend to use the counterfeit instrument.

Possessing Forged Instruments

Oklahoma Law (21 O.S. § 1578) makes possessing a forged instrument with the intent to defraud by uttering the instrument a crime. It is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the forged instrument.

If you have forged, altered, or counterfeited a financial document with the intent to defraud another individual, you face criminal charges. To commit this crime, you must know that the instrument is forged, altered, or counterfeited, and you must intend to use the instrument or cause the instrument to be used.

Penalties Based On Value Of The Instrument

Value of InstrumentCrimePunishments
Less than $1,000Misdemeanor forgery1 year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000
Between $1,000 – $2,500Felony forgery2 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
Between $2,500 – $15,000Felony forgery5 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
Over $15,000Felony forgery8 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000

The penalties for possessing, receiving, or using a forged instrument depend on the value of the instrument. In the event that we are unable to get the case dismissed you will face either a deferred or a suspended sentence. The result of the case and any potential sentence or a dismissal always depends on the facts of your individual case. In the event the case isn’t dismissed this type of crime is one that qualifies for an expungement of the record. The table above shows the different values and the crimes and punishments based on the value of the instrument.

Aggregation Of Multiple Offenses Into One Offense

A series of offenses may be combined into one offense when they result from a plan that results in the regular taking of money or property. When all acts result from a continuing course of conduct, they may be aggregated into one crime. Prior uttering convictions if occurring within the last 10 years of this occurrence may act to enhance this crime. The look back period normally runs from the completion of the prior uttering crime.

Tulsa Criminal Lawyers Near You

Passing or uttering a forged instrument is a crime in Oklahoma that may carry serious consequences. The Tulsa forged instrument lawyers at Kania Law Office are experienced in handling cases that involve forgery allegations. We can use our knowledge of Oklahoma law to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. For more information call 918-743-2233 or contact us online.

Tulsa's Local Criminal Defense Lawyers

Law ScaleAre you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.

Call us today for a free consultation 918-743-2233 or contact us online.