First Time Offenders in NC
Skilled Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorneys
You may have never seen yourself in this situation - in handcuffs, facing criminal charges. You've certainly never been in the situation before, and you never intended to be here. You might wonder if prosecutors will go easy on you.
North Carolina has a "structured sentencing" system in which first-time offenders are sentenced to lesser sentences than those who have been convicted multiple times. However, even for first-time offenders, there is jail time and a criminal record. There are programs for first time offenders to avoid jail time and, in some cases, have their records clear.
Raleigh First Time Offender Lawyer
If you're facing criminal charges for the first time, a Raleigh criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system in Wake County and the surrounding area can help you understand all of your options. The experienced attorneys at Clifford Law Group can educate and advise you, and then represent you throughout the process.
From negotiating your acceptance into a program to helping you expunge your record, we'll stand with you. Call us today at (919) 842-5461 or contact us on our online form for a free consultation about your first-time offense.
We can represent first time offenders in Wake County, Orange County, Durham County and the surrounding areas, including Durham and Chapel Hill.
If You Are Accused of a Misdemeanors in Wake County
To be eligible for the First Time Offender program for misdemeanors in Wake County, a person may be charged with a property-related misdemeanor, like theft or criminal mischief. A person charged in an alcohol-related offense, which does not include impaired driving, may also be eligible, or other misdemeanor that are not sex-related, traffic-related, wildlife-related or cable or utility theft.
You can have no prior criminal convictions, with the exception of one DWI, one worthless check or one minor in possession of alcohol. You can only have one of these convictions; if you have one DWI and one MIP, you will not be eligible for the program. You may also not have participated in the deferral program before, can have no pending charges against you.
Under the program, you must plead guilty to the charges you face. You will then be required to perform 75 hours of community service within six months, at least 12 hours per month, maintain regular contact with a case officer, stay employed or in school, and keep away from getting new charges.
At the end of the program, your charges may be expunged, with the help of your criminal defense lawyer.
It's important to carefully consider whether you can complete the program. If you don't, you will have already plead guilty, and will not have the opportunity to fight the charges.
Felony Offender Programs for Raleigh First Time Offenders
If you've been charged with a felony, it's very likely you're facing jail time. However, the felony diversion program can help you avoid that if you've been charged with certain crimes.
The felonies must be:
- Property offenses, including breaking and entering
- Non-residential larceny
- Obtaining property by false pretenses or possession of burglary tools
It cannot be sexual in nature.
You can have no prior felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude. You may have one misdemeanor alcohol-related offense, including DWI or underage possession, one 2nd degree trespass charge or two worthless check charges.
Under the program, you must participate in 225 hours of community service - at least 18 per month. You must remain employed or in school, maintain monthly contact with a Community Service Coordinator, and attend a prison tour. If you fail or acquire new charges, you could go to jail.
Wake County First Offense Attorney
Your first criminal accusation can be a scary, confusing time. Let Clifford Law Group help you clear your name. We can inform you of all your options, and the programs available to you. We can then represent you throughout the criminal process, from negotiating with prosecutors to helping you with expungement. Our Raleigh criminal defense lawyers are here to help!
Contact Clifford Law Group today at (919) 842-5461 for a free consultation.
If you are facing a complex legal matter, it is vital that you retain the immediate representation of Clifford Law Group. The right attorney may make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Make the smart choice – enlist the supportive assistance of our Raleigh natives today.