Criminal Defense – If you have had no prior convictions, the court at the state level can sentence you under the First Offender Act. Certain violent crimes, serious sex crime offenses and DUI charges are exempted from this Act and you cannot get First Offender treatment for those offenses.
But, if you are sentenced as a first offender and you successfully complete ALL terms of your sentence, the court will discharge your case without conviction. You can tell all employers that you have not been convicted of anything. There are two pitfalls to point out here. One – most employers do criminal background checks, and while you are on first offender probation, this case will show on your record. Second, if you don’t successfully complete the terms of your sentence, the court can revoke the balance of your probation and revoke your first offender status.
A good thing that comes with a first offender conviction is that you can retain your right to vote, own or possess lawfully a firearm. These are rights that you would ordinarily lose if you are convicted of a felony in the state of Georgia.
The judge in your case will make you explain on record that you understand the good and bad aspects of the First Offender Act prior to accepting your plea.
The criminal defense attorneys at Conaway & Strickler, PC will help explain all of the details of the First Offender Act and whether it is a good fit in your situation.
Of course, we always work very hard to avoid a conviction at all.