ORS 165.013¹
Forgery in the first degree

(1) A person commits the crime of forgery in the first degree if the person violates ORS 165.007 (Forgery in the second degree):

(a) And the written instrument is or purports to be any of the following:

(A) Part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other valuable instruments issued by a government or governmental agency;

(B) Part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interests in or claims against any property or person;

(C) A deed, will, codicil, contract or assignment;

(D) A check for $1,000 or more, a credit card purchase slip for $1,000 or more, or a combination of checks and credit card purchase slips that, in the aggregate, total $1,000 or more, or any other commercial instrument or other document that does or may evidence, create, transfer, alter, terminate or otherwise affect a legal right, interest, obligation or status; or

(E) A public record; or

(b) By falsely making, completing or altering, or by uttering, at least 15 retail sales receipts, Universal Product Code labels, EAN-8 labels or EAN-13 labels or a combination of at least 15 retail sales receipts, Universal Product Code labels, EAN-8 labels or EAN-13 labels.

(2) The value of single check or credit card transactions may be added together under subsection (1)(a)(D) of this section if the transactions were committed:

(a) Against multiple victims within a 30-day period; or

(b) Against the same victim within a 180-day period.

(3) Forgery in the first degree is a Class C felony. [1971 c.743 §153; 1993 c.680 §25; 2005 c.761 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 165.115)

Where publishing of two checks was single transac­tion, imposi­tion of two separate sen­tences on con­vic­­tion of two counts of uttering was improper. State v. Welch, 264 Or 388, 505 P2d 910 (1973)

In General

The existence of a statute prohibiting unlawful use of a credit card, ORS 165.055 (Fraudulent use of a credit card), did not preclude the state from prosecuting the defendant under this sec­tion for uttering a forged credit sales slip. State v. Franke, 13 Or App 278, 508 P2d 454 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

Because the delivery of two forged deeds simultaneously to the clerk for recording was a single transac­tion, the imposi­tion of more than one sen­tence on con­vic­­tion was improper. State v. Jackson, 23 Or App 246, 541 P2d 1072 (1975)

An unendorsed bank check can be a “commercial instru­ment” within the meaning of this sec­tion. State v. Riley, 24 Or App 665, 546 P2d 1097 (1976)

Where defendant was convicted of issuing false checks on two occasions four days apart, imposi­tion of separate sen­tence for each con­vic­­tion was not improper. State v. Nettles, 31 Or App 579, 571 P2d 155 (1977)

Letter, making reference to enclosed savings passbook, which requested bank to withdraw amount from savings account, fell within class of instru­ments whose uttering constituted forgery in first de­gree under this sec­tion. State v. Jackson, 35 Or App 741, 582 P2d 837 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Where defendant, bookkeeper of endorser, altered endorse­ment on check to change it from restrictive endorse­ment to special endorse­ment and signed her name as endorser, instru­ment falsely appeared or purported to be authentic crea­tion of its ostensible maker or authorized by the maker and con­vic­­tion of forgery under this sec­tion was proper. State v. Hamilton, 291 Or 283, 634 P2d 208 (1981)

Where defendant signed his own name to stolen traveler’s check, he did not falsely make or complete written instru­ment purporting to be authentic crea­tion of ostensible maker or authorized by ostensible maker and did not commit forgery. State v. Blake, 93 Or App 128, 760 P2d 1369 (1988)

Even though not convicted, finding that accused committed crimes of forgery, unsworn falsifica­tion and bigamy was sufficient to disbar attorney. In re Kirkman, 313 Or 181, 830 P2d 206 (1992)

“Other valuable instru­ments” means items having inherent pecuniary value and of type issued in large or discrete series. State v. Tarrence, 161 Or App 583, 985 P2d 225 (1999)

Govern­ment checks for less than $750 are treated identically to private checks, not as “valuable instru­ments” issued by govern­ment. State v. Tarrence, 161 Or App 583, 985 P2d 225 (1999)

“Other docu­ment” that does or may evidence, create, transfer, alter, terminate or otherwise affect legal right, interest, obliga­tion or status refers to docu­ment other than commercial instru­ment. State v. Mayorga, 186 Or App 175, 62 P3d 818 (2003)

Crime of crim­i­nal pos­ses­sion of a forged instru­ment merges with crime of forgery in the first de­gree. State v. Blake, 348 Or 95, 228 P3d 560 (2010)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

In General

Unauthorized manufacture, sale or use of commercial motor vehicle safety inspec­tion decals as forgery, (1981) Vol 42, p 87

Chapter 165

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 427-637 (1972)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 165—Offenses Involving Fraud or Deception, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors165.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 165, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano165.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information