Can First-Time Offenders Expect Leniency in Indiana?
It’s embarrassing and upsetting, but you have been arrested for the first time in your life. You’ve never broken the law before, but now you’ve made a mistake and you’re possibly going to be punished for it.
Because it’s your first time, you may be wondering whether first-time offenders can expect leniency in Indiana. In some cases, you could receive a less serious punishment for your crime. But don’t just assume that’s going to happen in your case, or you could end up paying dearly for the crimes you’re accused of.
A solid way to protect yourself from your charges, whether it’s your first time or fiftieth, is to have a good defense attorney on your side. With the right lawyer on your side, you have a chance at a clear record.
Some First-Time Offenses Are Punished Less Severely
Some crimes come from a lack of judgment, rather than malicious intent, and judges may recognize that. While serious crimes like assault might not be easy to dismiss, some less serious offenses might warrant a deferral or diversion.
To get this treatment, it will depend largely on the type and violence of the crime, as well as whether you’re a first-time offender. As such, you’ll need to act carefully and focus on the fact that you’re a first-time offender to get leniency in Indiana.
Some of the following crimes are generally nonviolent and may have a better chance at a minimum sentence:
- Public intoxication
- Criminal mischief
- Marijuana possession
- Driving with a suspended license
Don’t Expect Lenient Treatment
While you do have a chance to get a more lenient sentence as a first-time offender, it’s best not to assume that you will.
Instead of simply hoping for the best, call a defense lawyer. The prosecutor generally needs to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you committed the crime in question, so your attorney will need to focus on disputing evidence the prosecution says it has.
An experienced attorney can guide you through the process of fighting the charges you’re facing. Acting aggressively or speaking in an incriminating way could hurt your case. While being a first-time offender can help your case for less serious crimes, you’ll need to follow your attorney’s advice to get your case dismissed or your sentence reduced.
Speak with a Terre Haute Criminal Defense Lawyer
A first arrest can be scary. The prospect of jail time can be even scarier, so you’ll of course be wondering whether first-time offenders can expect leniency in Indiana. Unfortunately, the answer is a little complicated.
In some cases, you may find that the courts will be lenient in the hope that your first offense will also be your last. But don’t rely on this. Instead, call a lawyer with the experience and knowledge necessary to get your sentence reduced or your charges dropped completely.
The team at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm understands how to help those accused of a crime avoid harsh punishments, and we’re ready to help you. Give us a call at 812-232-7400 or complete the form below to speak to an attorney about your case.