How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30337
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Received a letter in mail stating State of Texas vs (my name)

This answer was rated:

Received a letter in mail stating State of Texas vs (my name) for I call the number & it is in regards XXXXX XXXXX

I took a doctor's note... scratched out my name & put my son's name because he missed his dr apt and did not want to get an unexcused absence... I did not sign the dr name just scratched mine out and put his name... I do not or have never had a record... my hearing was set for May 16 but I called to schedule a private meeting with the judge on May 8th...

am I going to prison? I am so upset... do not know my options and/or what to do?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Tex. Pen. Code, Section 32.21 defines forgery as altering any writing so that it appears to be the act of someone else who did not authorize it. If you changed the name on a doctor's note, that unfortunately does fall within the definition provided by the statute. Forgery is a Class A misdemeanor, which means that the maximum punishment is a fine of $4,000 and one year of imprisonment. Section 12.21. If this is your first offense, and your intent was not to receive any sort of monetary gain, it seems unlikely that you would be facing jail time.

When you go to the hearing on May 16, the judge will explain the charges against you. Then, he'll ask the DA if they have the slightest intention of requesting that you serve jail time. If they say yes, then the judge will appoint a lawyer for you if you cannot afford one. But it is more likely that they would ask you to pay a fine and maybe serve a term of probation. If that's what happens, you wouldn't go to jail as long as you fulfill the terms.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Lucy, Esq. and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No I realize it was a stupid mistake; however, at the time I was not thinking due to my 70 hour a week job with a non-profit coalition, attending graduate school full time, and plus being mom of three.


I have never had a record in my life; I have only received 4 tickets in my life time & I am 38. Will this be on my record? What kind of probation or how long for someone who has never had a run in with the law plus I work with law enforcements, judges, and state troopers with my tobacco coalition.


will this be on my record forever? do I plead guilty?

Criminal convictions stay on a person's record forever, yes. You could try to see if the DA would agree to an arrangement where, if you successfully complete probation, the charges will be dropped. In that case, it's usually one year. If you have an attorney appointed, he can help you negotiate.

Typically, a person pleads not guilty first, then gets copies of the DA's evidence to see if there is any basis for having the charges dropped, or if it's possible to negotiate a deal. You're allowed to change your plea at any time before trial.