Can I be sentenced as a felony if I submitted falsified documents to colleges?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be sentenced as a felony if I submitted falsified documents to colleges?

I submitted falsified documents to colleges on the common app and pretended to be my guidance counselor and I just would like to know what are the consequences and what should I do?

Asked on December 27, 2016 under Criminal Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes: you committed a form of identity theft (pretending to be your guidance counselor) and also fraud (lying about a material or important fact). Given the cost of college tuition, value of college aid packages, etc., doing these things could easily fall under the definition of felonies (i.e. the amounts or value at stake qualifies as a felony). You could face over a year in jail and have great difficulty getting into college after this.
If anyone is or seems to be aware of the deception, retain a criminal defense attorney to help you--you will likely need one.
If no one is aware of the deception and you are just getting calls to follow up on the application, you may be best off withdrawing the application (if asked, you could say you decided to delay college or work for a year first), then reapplying honestly later.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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