What happens is that when unemployment feels there is an overpayment and believes from the evidence that there was likely fraud involved, they turn their paperwork over to the Prosecutor so that charges can be pressed.
This kind of a crime is a felony, but it is a non-violent
one. I have handled several cases like this over the course of my career, and, the defendant having already cost the government a good deal of money, the last thing the government really wants is to pay for his room and board for the next couple of years. So, although this crime does have a possible jail penalty, the plea offer will in all likelihood be felony probation with restitution to Unemployment.
The only way jail is likely to be a possibility, so long as you make your court
dates, is if you decide that you'd rather go to trial
on this case and you lose. Then you could expect prison, but the restitution requirement will still be imposed. There's no getting around the fact that you will have to pay the government back.
If you receive something in the mail with a criminal
court date, you will need a lawyer. If you can afford to hire one, have him with you in court from the beginning. If you cannot afford one, you must plead not guilty at your arraignment, where the charges are read into the record and you are ask how you plead. Not guilty is the only plea that will keep all of your rights open until you can consult with counsel. One you've plead not guilty you can tell the judge you are without the means to hire a private attorney and need him to appoint you a public defense lawyer.