Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being arrested can be scary, not knowing what is to come of it can be even scarier. For first time offenders, you may look at this as an opportunity to not be punished as bad as repeat offenders. In some cases, this is possible. This is possible through the First Offender Act. Have you ever heard of probation? The First Offender Act allows first time criminal offenders the opportunity to accept a form of probation as punishment for their crime. You are considered a first offender not if you are arrested, or even accused, but when you are actually convicted of a criminal offense the first time. The judge is typically easier on an individual that does not have a criminal history. This mean the sentencing may be excessively lower, as well as fines, community service, or any other form of punishment. Once the probation has been completed, based on what the courts have sentenced an individual, the charges may be dismissed with a conviction or even removed or sealed from the individuals record entirely.
Keep in mind that never having been convicted of a criminal offense does not automatically qualify for the First Offender Acts and its benefits. There are a few factors that must be taken into consideration before assuming these rights are available to you. Such as:
Obviously, being found guilty of the corresponding offense in question. You cannot get first offender privileges if you have not actually officially been seen guilty for the criminal act.
Of course, to qualify under the First Offender Act, you must be a first time offender of this criminal offense or similar. If you have a history of committing this offense, not only can it not be your first time, but you cannot possibly be eligible for a first offender privilege.
Unfortunately, if you were offered first offender probation and refused or accepted, you cannot use it again.
If these factors somehow apply to you or someone you know, it is best to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Being accused of a criminal offense and fighting criminal charges is hard enough as is, if you have been found guilty of a criminal offense and this is your first time, it is expected that you have some concerns. Most criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations, and there are options available to you, the right Dekalb County attorney can assist you with obtaining them.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and first offenders.