First Time Offender? Here’s What You Need to Know
Personal Injury Lawyer
If this is your first time being arrested for a crime, it’s only natural to be concerned about what is to come. Luckily, you do have options to protect your future, so consult with a criminal lawyer for assistance and guidance during this time.
What happens after I am arrested or charged?
After you’ve been charged with or arrested for a crime, there are multiple ways your situation could move forward from there. You could be arrested before charges are even brought–such as at the scene of an accident–booked into jail and then charged. You may be given a notice to appear in court. In either case, at this point, your case is officially in the system and will move forward.
Since the outcome of your case can vary, it’s crucial to work with a criminal lawyer if you think you will be charged and arrested or you have already been charged or arrested. An experienced attorney can explain your options and help build a strategy geared toward getting you the best potential outcome in your case.
It’s vital to keep in mind during this time that you are not automatically guilty just because you were arrested and/or charged. The prosecutor in your case has to prove in court that you are guilty before you receive any penalties. It’s important that you stay calm and allow your criminal lawyer to handle your case.
What penalties will I face?
There are a lot of potential penalties attached to the various criminal charges. Each offense is different and will come with its own set of consequences. However, there are some common penalties that a person convicted of a crime could be subject to, even if they are a first-time offender. These include time in jail, fines in high amounts, misdemeanor or felony convictions that remain on your record, community service time requirements, and probation. Depending on what you are charged with, a conviction could also impact your driver’s license and your ability to get a job in some fields or even in general.
A first-time offender may be subject to the same sorts of penalties as those who have been convicted before, but the law is sometimes forgiving toward people who do not have a criminal background. For example, there is a pre-trial diversion program that allows people charged with their first offense in some areas–such as drugs–to avoid a criminal record by following the terms of an agreement. This agreement may include things like probation, treatment programs and educational classes. A person who has been charged with a drug offense on the federal level may also be able to take part in the federal diversion program.
Preparing your defense
Being arrested for the first time in your life can be a very stressful experience, and it can have severe consequences. Work with an experienced criminal lawyer in Denver, CO from the start of your case so your rights are protected and you have guidance throughout the legal process.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, PC for their insight into criminal law and first time offenders.