First Time Offenders
Being charged with a crime can be a frightening experience. It can be especially frightening if it your first time ever being arrested, and you have no knowledge of the legal system. Anytime you are arrested, it is important that you seek legal representation from an experienced defense attorney. If you are a first time offender, your attorney may be able to present evidence of your good character that could lead to your charges being dropped or reduced.
West Palm Beach First Time Offender Attorney
Andrew D. Stine compassionately represents clients who have been charged with their first crime. He proudly serves Palm Beach County, including the areas of West Palm Beach, Tequesta, Lantana, Pahokee, North Palm Beach, and the surrounding areas. Attorney Stine has served over 5,000 clients in Florida, and has a proven track record in and out of the courtroom.
Contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300 and set up a free consultation on your first time offense. The sooner you contact Stine, the sooner he can get started on planning the best possible strategy for your defense.
Common First Offenses in Florida
First offenses in Florida fall into a wide range of categories. Most first time offenders commit crimes that are nonviolent or drug related. Some of the most common first offenses in Florida include:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession with Intent to Sell
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
- Reckless Driving
- Criminal Mischief
- Petit Theft
Anytime an individual commits a crime, it should be taken seriously. However in most cases, the offense mentioned above will usually be charged as misdemeanors, limiting the punishments associated with them.
Options for First-Time Offenders in Palm Beach County
If you are a first time offender, there are options available that are designed to help rehabilitate you while also helping you avoid serious jail time. These options include:
- Pretrial Intervention Program – This is a program that is run by the state attorney’s office that allows the charges to be dropped after the defendant completes the specified terms in the agreement. These terms usually include community service, psychological counseling, and restitution.
- Drug Court – The state may allow defendants this option if the defendant can prove that his or her offense was addiction related, and that he or she could benefit from a drug court program. In conjunction with drug court, the defendant will usually have to complete terms laid out in a pretrial intervention program and or probation. If all requirements are met, the state may reduce or drop the charges.
- Intervention Before Prosecution Files Charges – This is an option for individuals who strongly want to retain a clean record and can show evidence that supports their claim that they will never commit the offense again. The defendant’s attorney can also use this time to review the evidence and try to point out inconsistencies that could have the case dismissed.
- Plea Bargain – The defendant’s attorney can use the fact that the defendant has no criminal history to negotiate terms of a plea deal that usually includes probation, drug rehab, deferred adjudication, or DUI School.
These are just some of the options available to first time offenders. There may be more options available that are better for your specific circumstance. It is important that you contact an experienced defense attorney who can inform you on all of your legal options.
Sealing or Expunging Criminal Records in Florida
Even if you are able to have your charges dropped or reduce, an arrest will still show up on your record. Having criminal charges on your record may significantly affect your employment opportunities. If an employer orders a background check on you and sees that you have a criminal record, if may impact his or her decision on whether or not to hire you. In order to prevent this, it is vital that you contact an experienced Palm Beach County defense attorney who can have your records sealed or expunged.
Having your records sealed means that an individual or employer will not have access to the criminal charges on your record when performing a background check. The information is only available to individuals who have a court order. It also allows you to legally deny the existence of the charges on your record.
If your record is expunged, it is as if you never committed the offense, and the information will not be shown on your record even if someone has a court order. You can also legally deny the existence of the record to an employer, or to anyone else.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Palm Beach County First Time Offender Lawyer
If have been charged with a crime for the first time in Boca Raton, Delray, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, or the surrounding areas, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Attorney Stine is a dedicated defense attorney who will hunt down witnesses and obtain any and all relevant evidence to your case and defense. He will then use the witnesses and evidence to attempt to have your charges reduced or dropped well before trial.
Contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300 to set up a consultation on your first time offense. Your initial consultation is free and is the first step in equipping yourself with the knowledge and legal representation you need.