When a person is arrested for the first time, there could be a plethora of questions about what happens next. People facing criminal charges for the first time may not understand the steps of the Texas criminal process. Additionally, they may be concerned about how a conviction could affect their futures.
It is important to know that a charge for a criminal offense does not have to lead to a conviction. An experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you understand all of your options. You may be able to avoid jail time as a first-time offender in Texas through various programs.
Georgetown Attorney for First-Time Offenders
If you have been charged with a crime for the first time, avoiding a criminal record is critical. Contact Georgetown first-time offender lawyer Michael J. Price to learn more about your options. With decades combined of experience advocating on behalf of first-time offenders, he can help protect your future.
Call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free initial consultation today. Price & Twine, PLLC represents clients throughout the Georgetown area and surrounding communities in Williamson and Bell County, including Round Rock, Cedar Park, Killeen, Temple, Leander, Taylor, and Hutto.
Info for First Arrests
- Common Crimes Committed First-Time Offenders
- Options for First-Time Offenders in Texas
- Williamson County Pretrial Intervention Programs
Texas has thousands of criminal offenses on the books. Some crimes, however, are more likely to be committed by first-time offenders. These crimes could include both misdemeanors and felonies. Some of the most common charges a first-time offender could face in Georgetown include:
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Possession of marijuana
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Public intoxication
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Criminal mischief
- Reckless driving
- Domestic violence
Texas law takes all of these offenses very seriously, even if they are misdemeanors. Offenders, however, could avoid jail or prison sentences through diversion programs or other tactics. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the defense process and find the best solution for your case.
First-time offenders in Texas could be given some amount of leniency depending on the charge and the seriousness of the offense. The goal, generally, is to rehabilitate non-violent first-time offenders, rather than send them into the jail or prison system.
Some of the options that could be available to first-time offenders in Williamson County include:
- Interventions with the prosecutor before charges are filed — An experienced criminal defense lawyer can use a first-time offender’s lack of criminal history to prove the person is not a threat. The attorney could argue a one-time lapse of judgment should not ruin the person’s future. This could lead to charges being reduced or dismissed.
- Entering specialty court programs — Specialty court options, such as drug court, often are used to help an offender avoid harsh sentences. Instead, the goal of the program is to rehabilitate the person and apply rehabilitative punishments such as community service, counseling, and drug or alcohol education courses.
- Plea bargaining — In some scenarios, first-time offenders may be able to plead guilty to the offense in exchange for reduced penalties. This could mean community service, probation or other types of programs instead of jail or prison time.
First-time offenders in Williamson County could be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. The Williamson County Attorney’s Office offers the voluntary program as a way to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing.
If a person is accepted into the program, the participant signs a binding contract with the County Attorney. The contract states that participants who successfully complete the program will not have prosecution instituted against them for the offense, and the charge will be dismissed.
Participants who do not successfully complete the program will enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the offense. All paperwork and statements pertaining to the pretrial intervention program would be entered into evidence, and the offender would have to accept the contracted punishment.
The nature of an offense and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime are significant factors in determining if a person is eligible for the program. Additionally, a person must accept full responsibility for the offense to be entered into the program.
Other factors to determine eligibility include:
- If the defendant is a first-time offense, which includes juvenile offenses;
- If the defendant has been accused of any crimes involving weapons;
- If the defendant has been accused of a crime involving sexual activity;
- If the defendant has been accused of theft between an employer and employee;
- Employment information;
- Family information;
- Educational background; and
- Age of the offense.
Finding a Williamson County Lawyer for First-Time Offenders
Contact Price & Twine, PLLC to learn more about how you can protect yourself from a criminal record. Williamson County criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price can work with you to ensure all options are available to you.
Call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free consultation. Begin building a strong defense toda