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What are the Common First Offender Charges?

If you’re a first time offender, then you’re likely scared and confused, and perhaps you’re looking for a potential way out. Besides, one act doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a criminal, right? Being arrested for the first time, even if it’s just a mistake and you weren’t aware you were breaking the law, will carry certain penalties and must be attended to appropriately.

We’re going to examine what the most common cases for first offenses are, and then instruct you on the best steps to take if you’re in this situation.

Most Common Cases

While any criminal act can qualify as your first offense in accordance with Florida Statutes, there are certain crimes that are certainly more common than the others:

  • Reckless Driving
  • DUI/DWI/DWAI
  • Possession of Marijuana (Felony or Misdemeanor)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Petty Theft
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Minor Found in Possession of Alcohol

As you could have assumed, a vast majority of these are misdemeanors, typically involving substance abuse in some way. The reason for this is that many of these are a product of situation rather than intent. Driving while intoxicated is perhaps the most common of all, as there are many instances of police traps late at night. In spite of the commonality of these crimes, and the qualifier of a misdemeanor, they are still extremely severe. Potential penalties can include heavy fines, jail time, and the possibility of a stain on your permanent record.

What to do After a First Offense Arrest?

In the legal world there are few opportunities to avoid litigation, and when they come around it may be in your best interest to take them. In the case of first offenses, there is a provision called a pretrial diversion. This is typically offered by the prosecutor, and gives the defendant the chance to complete a probationary period and certain negotiated terms in order to drop the charges. If you are able to abide by the terms, then a conviction will not be rendered, and therefore records may be sealed or expunged. Conversely, a failure to fulfill the terms of your pretrial diversion can result in more stringent punishments. It’s important to know that DUI charges cannot be eligible for these programs. There are other methods to defense, but this is not one of them.

What not to do After a First Offense Arrest?

  • Don’t argue with your arresting officer, or place yourself in a worse situation
  • Answer only what is needed, and do not volunteer information without an attorney
  • Don’t blindly accept the terms issued to you, as there may be wrongful arrest

If you or a loved one are facing charges as an Orlando First Time Offender, it’s always in your best interest to seek out the best representation. You want your future protected, and your rights upheld. A first offense doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end; speak to an attorney as soon as possible and have your defense built.

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