First Time Offender In Georgia
Georgia’s First Offender Act allows a person to have a conviction off their record even after pleading guilty to certain crimes. First offender can only be used once in your life.
Generally, after one pleads, the First Offender Act delays the formal finding of guilt as long as you complete certain conditions. Translating the legal mumbo jumbo, this statute allows the judge to put the case on hold while the defendant completes some conditions set by the court.
If the conditions set by the court are completed, your case is essentially dismissed, and the charge(s) will be sealed from your criminal history. But, if you fail to complete the conditions set by the court or you commit a new crime, the judge can revoke your “probation” status and resentence you to the maximum allowed by the law. For example, if you were sentenced to two years on probation under the First Offender Act, and on the last day of probation you committed a new crime, you will automatically be convicted because of the previously entered guilty plea or verdict. This allows the judge to resentence you to the original maximum sentence allowed by law.
The First Offender Act is not automatic; the judge has discretion on whether to give first offender treatment or not. If you were convicted before and did not request first offender treatment, there are some circumstances which allow for the first offender treatment to be retroactive.
The First Offender Act gives people a second chance by sealing your charge(s) from the public.
NEED LEGAL ADVICE?
If you believe that you are eligible for first offender treatment, or if you have any questions regarding first offender, the seasoned team at Arora Law have the experience and skills to advise you on this and all other serious legal matters. Contact us so we can help.