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Criminal Defense for First-Time Offenders in Miami
Also Protecting the Rights of Clients throughout Fort Lauderdale
Anyone who hasn’t ever been charged with a criminal offense can be confused and frightened about what happens after being arrested for the first time. In these cases, an alleged offender’s lack of a criminal record can often lead to more lenient sentencing and generally favorable outcomes. Even for first-time offenders, prosecutors will still bring harsh allegations against them. At The Hoffman Firm, our Miami criminal defense lawyer understands how to fight for you.
While an alleged offender may be offered reduced penalties in exchange for a guilty plea, a conviction can still have many other long-term consequences. Moreover, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to get the criminal charges completely dismissed. A person’s first arrest could be the result of any one of a number of criminal offenses. Certain crimes are classified as misdemeanors while others are considered felony offenses.
Our firm handles many first-time offenses, such as:
- Reckless driving
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Child abuse
- Computer crimes
- Date rape
- Drug paraphernalia
- Juvenile charges
- Indecent exposure
- Petit theft
- Possession of a fake ID
- Traffic violations
- Worthless checks
Alternatives to Jail for First-Time Offenders
The primary concern for most people who have been arrested for the first time is whether or not they will be incarcerated. Prison overcrowding concerns have generally led most courts in Florida to prefer probation to imprisonment—especially for non-violent alleged offenders with no prior criminal records. If a criminal defense attorney is unable to convince a prosecutor to drop the criminal charges, a more favorable outcome may still be achieved through plea bargaining.
Some of the other resolutions that may be achieved in lieu of jail time could include:
- Drug courts: Alleged offenders receive intensive treatment and rehabilitation for drug addiction instead of being prosecuted. Eligibility for drug court programs is limited to alleged offenders who have been charged with nonviolent felonies and are identified as having substance abuse problems or charged with a felony of the second or third degree for purchase or possession of a controlled substance, prostitution, tampering with evidence, solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance, or obtaining a prescription by fraud.
- Florida Youthful Offender Act: Those at least 18 but less than 21 years of age at the time of sentencing or are under 18 years of age and have had their cases transferred to adult court for prosecution may be eligible for supervision on probation or in a community control program if they plead no contest or are found guilty of a felony offense and have not been previously classified as a youthful offender.
- Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP): Alleged offenders with serious mental illnesses (SMI), a co-occurring SMI, and substance use disorders who have been charged with misdemeanors may be diverted from the criminal justice system into community-based treatment and support services. If an alleged offender is adjudicated incompetent to stand trial and is found to meet the criteria for involuntary hospitalization, the court may commit him or her to the Department of Children and Families for competency restoration and stabilization.
- Post Arrest Diversion (PAD) or Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD) Program: First-time juvenile offenders charged with misdemeanors may be eligible to participate in a program that keeps them out of the juvenile justice system and get their arrest records expunged upon successful completion of the program.
- Veterans Treatment Court: Similar to drug courts and mental health courts, substance abuse or mental health treatment is offered as an alternative to incarceration. A veteran is defined as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under honorable conditions only or who later received an upgraded discharge under honorable conditions, notwithstanding any action by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs on individuals discharged or released with other than honorable discharges.”
Applicants for the PTI program must have no prior adult felony convictions and no more than one prior conviction for a non-violent misdemeanor crime.
The Hoffman Firm is here for you. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 305-928-1669 if your case is out of Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, or contacting us online.
Client-Focused RepresentationOur Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.
Decades of ExperienceAttorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.
Premier Criminal Defense FirmExperienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.
Proven Track RecordClient satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.
Florida Former State ProsecutorAttorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.
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