Hello vv5prs4k and welcome back to JustAnswer.
Without more specific information, it is impossible to make any prediction about what might happen in your case. The DA's office could choose to file 15 felony counts, one for each check. Each of these counts would carry a potential penalty of 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in the county jail, pursuant to Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (h). If the court
chose to sentence
consecutively, that could mean a sentence of 3 years on the first count, plus 8 months each on the others (1/3 of the mid-term of 2 years), for a total of 12 years and 4 months. That would be the maximum possible term if 15 counts of forgery are filed.
More likely, fewer counts would be charged; or, at the very least, a plea agreement
could be reached for conviction on fewer counts and for a lesser, perhaps significantly lesser, sentence.
Also, whether or not restitution has been made before sentencing would have a significant impact on what most judges would do as far as sentencing is concerned.
Other factors that would be considered include the nature of the prior, what the sentence in that case was, whether or not you successfully completed probation, and so on. Also, your personal life and family situation would be considered. Finally, what county this is in can make a huge difference, as the policies of the DA's offices vary widely from county to county, as do judicial tendencies regarding sentencing.
If the DA can prove a loss of $45K, I would expect most DA's to demand and most judges to impose at least some time in custody.
Thanks again for asking your question here on JustAnswer. If you have any other questions about this situation, please let me know.