What can happen in a forgery charge, first offense? 50 Answers as of June 28, 2013

My wife is charged with forgery. Its her first offense. What can happen?

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William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
Her charge papers should indicate the maximum.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/27/2012
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
I don't know all of the specifics of the forgery offense. Forgery can be done in a variety of ways. Forgery is generally considered a category D Felony. However, if it is your wife's first offense, the case can be negotiated with the DA. Some negotiations can involve reducing the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor without any jail time. If the crime is more serious, the DA might not be willing to reduce to a misdemeanor. If it is a first offense, the courts are inclined to order probation rather than jail time. I would recommend speaking to your wife's attorney if you have not done so already. If your wife does not have an attorney and she can afford private counsel, it is recommended to retain a private attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/21/2012
Anderson Law Office
Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
Forgery is serious and most likely a felony. She should seek representation asap.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/21/2012
Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
Depends on the level of the offense. Could recieve probation, deferred or jail time.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/21/2012
Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
Jail possibly. Depends on who the DA, Judge and your attorney is. Hire a good attorney to keep a felony off her record and her out of prison.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/21/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Without knowing anything about the case, forgery can be a felony. If convicted, you can go to jail (even on a 1st offense), you will be fined, and you could be ordered to pay back the person you have damaged.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    It depends upon the amount of money. Usually if the money is paid back right away the case is dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Anything, she may get probation or some jail time, it depends on the prosecutor and the probation report.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Jennifer L. Gottschalk, Esq. | Jennifer Gottschalk
    She can be fined and put on probation. If she is a public official she can lose her job and be prevented from working in the public sector forever. She could face some jail time, but as a first time offender in New Jersey, she would probably not go to jail.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    I can only guess. On a forgery you can get anything from probation with a requirement of repaying the loss to state prison for 3 years. If there are allegations of excessive takings, additional years can be added to a sentence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    If it's her first offense, she may qualify for a program involving restitution. If she is convicted she faces jail time and fines. Probation may also be an option.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Anything from probation to prison. She needs a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    She can receive anything from 2 years on probation to 5 years in prison on 2nd degree forgery. She should be prepared to explain how the criminal offense occurred and why she did it, beyond I exercised bad judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Offices of Eric J. Bell | Eric J. Bell
    She is charged with a felony and can be sentenced to prison. You should hire an experienced criminal lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    Not enough information is given to properly answer this question, but general it will depend on whether she is being charged with a felony or misdemeanor and the circumstances of the forgery. Jail time is a possibility. If you haven't already done so, I suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your wife's arrest. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze her case and advise her of her options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of Peacock & Le Beau | Jeffery O. Le Beau
    She can be charged with either a felony or misdemeanor, usually depending on the amount of the loss. A felony could carry a state prison sentence or probation. A misdemeanor could carry up to a year in county jail and probation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Hunter Law Offices, PLLC
    Hunter Law Offices, PLLC | S. Christopher Hunter
    It depends on what she forged. What did she allegedly do?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    She is looking at Up to a 5 Years in Jail and a $5000 fine.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    It depends on the facts of the case. She probably will get probation if the amount involved is relatively small, but if millions or even thousands of dollars is involved, she may go to prison. In any case, contact a good defense attorney right away, the consequences could be drastic.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Probation and restitution.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    It depends on the facts and circumstances, the degree of resentment from the victims, and the attitude of the prosecutor and the court. Punishment may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The charge could be a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge I am unable to determine from your note. If the charge is a misdemeanor charge she could serve up to one year in the county jail. If it is a felony she may be facing either 1 year and 1 day up to 10 years, or not less than 2 nor more than 20 years in prison. Additionally she could be fined by the court, along with cost and must pay restitution. For most first time offenses, unless there are bad facts, she will likley receive a suspended sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    Depending on the amount of money at issue she could face jail time as well as restitution and other onerous conditions. She may qualify as a 'first offender' in which case her potential range of punishment would be 0-90 days jail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    If it is uttering and publishing, that is a felony with a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison. If false pretenses, that is a maximum 5 year felony. If it is truly her first offense, there may room to negotiate. You should obtain counsel to represent her.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Probation or prison or fine or both.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Depending on sums involved, she could go to prison. annot offer probabilities as there is insufficient information about the forgery itself and your wife.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Since you say it was your wife's 1st offense, I will presume she has no previous criminal record. If this is the case, she will likely be placed on probation and ordered to pay restitution for any amount lost to a victim. The more important issue in such a case is the mark on her criminal record. A record of conviction could have far more severe consequences than the sentence by interfering with things such as financial aid, licensing, employment and some forms of housing and child care. A good lawyer should be able to get the charge dismissed upon payment of restitution so that she need not go through life with a conviction on her record.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    1 to 4 years NV state prison and up to a $5,000, but she will be eligible for probation.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Most likely a probation would be the result along with a felony conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    In Alabama. Conviction felony and jail. Conviction felony and probation. Misd. conviction and probation or jail. Theft diversion class and no conviction. Case could be dismissed. Trial and win or lose. Cost and restitution on any of the above.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Law Office of James Gandy
    Law Office of James Gandy | James Gandy
    This depends on the jurisdiction and whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. As a first charge and a misdemeanor, it is possible that she could face only probation with some other minor penalties. Nevertheless, a forgery conviction is serious and she should seek out a local attorney to assist her.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    She can get jail and fine , probation and fine, non adjudication or diversion. She may also have to pay restitution.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    She could be convicted. She needs to get a lawyer who will look at the reports and defend her.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    More than likely she will get probation, fines, costs and restitution. However, forgery is a felony offense, and the court can sentence her to prison.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Felony conviction.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    What CAN happen? Prison for the full term provided by law, upon conviction. What will happen? The honest answer is that no attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, police reports, expected testimony, priors history, etc. The charges actually filed by the prosecutor will determine how much "time" and other penalties could potentially be imposed. You?ll learn the actual charge[s] and any enhancements filed and get copies of all the police reports and prosecutors? evidence when appearing for arraignment at the first court hearing. In California, if convicted of any felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison, plus fines; on any misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 12 months in jail, plus fines. When charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to police or anyone about the case except with and through an attorney. Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, program, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if the charges are in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    She COULD be given first offender treatment; serve a perod of supervision by the probation department and have the charges dismissed upon the satisfactory completion of the supervisory period and then have all records of the arrest and criminal complaint expunged.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Frank M Mungo, Attorney at Law
    Frank M Mungo, Attorney at Law | Frank Mungo
    In Kentucky, forgery in the first degree is a class C felony (5-10 yrs in prison); forgery in the second degree is a .class D felony (1-5 yrs in prison); and forgery in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor (0-12 months in county jail).
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Misdemeanor and up to one year in county. Time to shop around for a lawyer. With public defenders you get what you pay for (or don't).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    People who forge checks and go to the bank in front of cameras to get cash are not good decision makers. They are desperate and commit a felony for a few dollars that could give them a record for the rest of their lives. Forgery is usually not lowered to a misdemeanor, the prosecutor will offer a felony plea with 5 years probation with restitution. She will have a felony conviction that will prevent her from traveling to other countries and hurt her chances of getting a decent job. Hopefully she will realize how foolish it was to try to commit such an obvious and serious crime and she will not do it again. She will not get a jail term, but if she violates probation she will be subject to a jail term or even a prison term. This is not a crime that educated and sophisticated people commit. It is a crime that uneducated, desperate, naive people commit to get cash to solve a short term money problem. They get a public defender and a felony conviction and then instead of being able to get a good job to solve the long term money problem, they are unable to get employment because they are a thief. Have a long talk with her so that she realizes just how bad her decision making is so that she does not continue to make these decisions in life. If that sounds critical then it should because what she needs is to know how foolish it was, not just to be told "Don't worry you are not going to jail".
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    Anything from a deferred prosecution under 7-13-301 to prison.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP | M. Jason Rhoades
    Depending on the type of forgery, there is a wide range of outcomes. The most important impact, however, will be on her ability to get future employment. Make sure she has a dedicated attorney ASAP to protect her rights and get the best possible outcome, including keeping a conviction off of her record!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Halperin Law Offices | Ivan Halperin
    Depending upon which court she is in the most likely result is a fine, probation and, if necessary, restitution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    In all probability, on a first-time Forgery charge, your wife will be looking at a standard sentencing range of 0 to 90 days in jail if the court uses the First-Time Offender Waiver sentencing option. It may be that your wife might be eligible for felony diversion. If that is the case, she would not likely face jail time. If your wife has a drug or alcohol problem, it will be important for her to get an evaluation and get herself into treatment. Forgery is one of those crimes that raises a red flag for substance abuse. the courts and prosecutors prefer to have people address these issues without having to be ordered to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Everything from a prison sentence, to a substantial fine, to community service, down to an acquittal. Forgery is a felony in Utah and therefore carries some hefty penalties. Since this is her first offense, the prosecutor may be willing to reduce the charges, in exchange for a guilty plea, or plea in abeyance. A plea in abeyance would allow the charges to come off her record, if she stays out of trouble. For best results, hire a talented attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/17/2012
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