First Time Criminal Offenses

Advocacy from Our Dedicated Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys

Have you been charged with your first criminal offense? It is not uncommon for otherwise law-abiding citizens to be charged for their first crime due to a momentary lapse in judgement. While facing a first criminal charge can be intimidating for these accused, it is possible for skilled counsel to have their lack of criminal history asserted and make the court recognize other relevant factors in their life that call for added considerations.

At Keffer Barnhart LLP, our trusted and skilled Indianapolis attorneys realize that not every case is about proving innocence but can be about, rather, the challenges, integrity, and remorse of the accused. In these cases, it is necessary to petition to the court on the client's behalf and ensure that they are given every consideration they deserve under our criminal justice system.

Maximum penalties can be avoided. Contact us today to start exploring your defense options.

Diversion Programs

In some misdemeanor and low-level felony cases, the accused may be eligible for pre-trial diversion or conditional discharge programs. These programs allow the accused to plead guilty to a crime, but avoid significant penalties (including jail) by completing a state-run education program. Your case could even be dismissed. These programs are usually associated with alcohol and controlled substance-related offenses and recognize the fact that addiction and lack of awareness may have played a factor in the accused's perpetration of the offense. But other low-level offenses may also quality.

Offenses that may make the accused eligible for diversion program include:

  • Public intoxication
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage
  • Illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage
  • Shoplifting or Petty Theft
  • Driving While Suspended
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Criminal Trespass

Unfortunately, in most counties, DUI cases are not eligible for the pre-trial diversion program. For more information on these programs and how our firm can help petition for your eligibility, contact our proven litigators at Keffer Barnhart LLP today.

Use our online form to request a free case evaluation now.

What are special considerations?

In cases where there is a first time offender who is willing to enter a diversion or plead guilty to his or her offense, the court may be willing to hear specific arguments against substantial penalties. By pleading guilty, the accused is saving the court the time and resources needed for a trial, recognizing their wrongdoing, and demonstrating that they are willing to submit to a penalty of some kind.

Defense counsel can help assert:

  • The accused's lack of criminal history
  • The accused's genuine remorse for the crime
  • Whether the offense was committed under duress
  • The lack of any victims who were physically harmed
  • Whether the accused was compelled to participate as an accessory
  • Whether there are others (spouses, children, etc.) who are dependent on the accused

These elements, when properly put forth by the defense counsel, can help secure minimal penalties for the accused. To learn more about these arguments and how they might influence your case, call our firm at 317.857.0160 today.

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