The penalties for fraud for first-time offenders can vary widely. Paying back the money that is taken is often seen as the greatest mitigating factor in determining a sentence. So saving up money to make the payment back is the first step in a proper, and good, defence of a fraud charge.
Depending on the amount of money taken, and the degree of trust, the penalty may vary as a result. The greater the degree of trust, for example an employee from an employer is a high degree of trust, or a caretaker of an individual who is sick from that ill person, is seen as very high. If it is a lesser degree of trust then the penalty will be less. The quantum, or the amount of money taken, is also very important in determining a sentence. A fraud of $50 to $100 is often something that can be diverted. A fraud of $100,000 or $200,000, or $600,000, is something that will lead to a long jail sentence.
Depending on the mitigating and aggravating factors of your case, the penalties may vary widely.