Many people believe that first-time offenders are given more leniency and
lighter sentencing because of a clean record. Many factors influence the
judicial system and the outcome of a case. From the nature of the crime
to the location of the venue, Virginia laws respond to the sentence in
a variety of ways.
Under the Virginia Code a first-time offender may be eligible to complete
their terms of their sentence through probation, participation in drug
abuse counseling and education, and paying the appropriate fines.
These are the types of crimes eligible for a first-time offender program:
- Drug possession (§ 18.2-251)
- Underage possession of alcohol (§ 4.1-305(F))
- Domestic violence (§ 18.2-57.3)
- Petit larceny (§ 18.2-96) – applies only to Fairfax County
Understanding Virginia’s Criminal Laws
The criminal justice system in our estate can be particularly harsh on those
accused of a crime. What may seem to be a minor infraction can mean several penalties in
our state. You have the right to retain a Richmond criminal defense attorney
to remain resolute and aggressive in your defense.
The courts will try to persuade you to participate in a first-offender
program, and many are led to believe that this will leave their record
untouched. This is true to a certain extent. Taking part in the program
can clear you from the charges and allows you to avoid much harsher penalties.
However, the record of your charge will remain on your record. The program
also disqualifies you from expunging the charge. The surefire way to keep
your record clean is to have a Richmond criminal defense lawyer fight
your charges and obtain an outright dismissal.
Why Hire an Attorney?
It is critical that you choose to fight your charges than accept a first-time
offender program. While there are many benefits to choosing this route,
it may not always be in your best interests. We can help you determine
the right course of action As Richmond criminal defense lawyers, Carlson
& Collier is committed to providing world-class legal representation
and tenacious defense.
We have a winning track record of success behind us.
Call us anytime—24/7—so that our Richmond criminal attorneys can begin
working on your case!