First Time Criminal Offenders

If this is your first time being charged with a crime, you are likely under a tremendous amount of stress and feel overwhelmed by the possible consequences.

Fortunately, your lack of criminal record provides an excellent basis to resolve your situation favorably; including having the charges reduced, dropped, or abandoned.

How Richard Hornsby can help

While this may be your first time being involved in the criminal system, I have handled thousands of cases like yours.

In that time I have developed early-intervention methods that allow me to provide mitigating information to the prosecutors who determine if formal charged are filed; and if charges are filed, the degree of the formal charge.

Ultimately, I know how to use your status as a First Time Offender to your advantage to either keep charges from being filed or minimize the seriousness of the formal charges.

Pre-Filing Intervention with the Prosecutor

An arrest is only the first step in the formal charging process, which means that there is still a chance we can have the case thrown out.

In legalese, a police report is little more than a complaint alleging criminal conduct. Just because the complaint has been filed; it does not mean the prosecutor has to pursue the charges against you.

However, prosecutor thinks case looks solid on paper. But, if you hire me, I will point out problems in the case, identify exculpatory evidence, and provide witness affidavits. In doing so, I may be able to persuade the prosecutor to drop the case or file reduced charges.

What if formal charges are filed?

Even if formal charges are filed, there is a good chance I can negotiate a resolution that will result in either your case being dismissed or a result that will allow you to seal or expunge your criminal record in the future.

To do so, we would have to resolve your case in one of the following ways:

Pretrial Diversion

Pretrial Diversion is run by the State Attorney and is usually reserved for first time, nonviolent offenders. The diversion program is similar to probation, in that you must report once a month to a probation officer, undergo random drug testing, complete community service, and are required to refrain from being involved in any criminal activity.

If you successfully complete the program, the formal charges are dismissed and you can truthfully state you have never been convicted of a crime.

Plea Bargaining

If your admission into Pretrial Diversion can not be obtained, the next best alternative, short of a trial, would be to negotiate with the trial division prosecutor. By emphasizing your lack of criminal history, I can usually obtain a resolution that results in minimal sanctions.

Most importantly, I can likely obtain a "Withholding of Adjudication;" which allows you to lawfully deny that you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense.

Jury Trial: When a plea is unacceptable

When all other legal defenses have been exhausted and you are unwilling to accept anything less than a dismissal, it is often necessary to present your case to a jury to prove your innocence.

Importantly, I conduct jury trials regularly and I have the experience to take your case to trial. I also welcome you to review the criminal case results I have obtained so that you can see the types cases I have tried and results I have obtained.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Central Florida or the Greater Orlando area, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.