What should I do first if arrested? Not many people know the answer to this question. The first thing you should do is hire an experienced lawyer. Robert A. Dees has worked as a prosecutor and is now a dedicated defense attorney.
An Effective Lawyer for First Time Offenders
As a former prosecutor and now defense attorney, I have been representing clients in Florida for over 12 years. I have developed the legal skills to help guide you through the legal system and to help you achieve the results you need. Whether it is to avoid jail time or to get the charges dismissed, we are here to help you. A common misconception is that a first offender does not face jail time. This couldn’t be more wrong. The facts and circumstances surrounding an arrest are important factors which could lead to jail time. It is the lawyer’s job to argue and put forth the facts which are favorable to you, to make the prosecutor understand why you do not deserve jail, or why your case should be dismissed. I have represented thousands of clients in and around the Florida Panhandle, including Fort Walton, Destin and Pensacola. Your discussions with me are private and FREE. Contact me today at 850-439-0999 or [email protected].
Common First Offenses Represented by Robert Dees
In Florida, some of the most common offenses committed by first time offenders are:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) (Misdemeanor or Felony)
- Drug Charges (Felony or Misdemeanor)
- Domestic Violence (Misdemeanor or Felony)
- Theft or Property Destruction (Misdemeanor or Felony)
Being arrested for the first time is devastating and often followed by a period of time in which a person is confused as to what to do first. First, protect your rights. Most people do not know the consequences of being arrested for the first time. Innocence can be shown though the process, but through the process you must go. All charges may eventually be dismissed. It is how you handle the charges as a first time offender that can have a lasting impact on future jobs or background checks for any reason. Remember that anything you say to the prosecutor or police investigators is going to be used against you. Let a lawyer speak and fight for you.
Avoiding Jail Time as a First Time Offender
Pretrial Diversion or Pretrial Intervention programs are available to people who have been arrested for the first time and others whose cases may also qualify.
Pretrial Intervention Program/Pretrial Diversion Program
These programs allow the charges against a person to be dismissed if they complete specific requirements negotiated by your lawyer. These terms usually include fines, counseling, rehabilitation/treatment, and community service work.
Intervention Before Charges are Filed
In some cases, an agreement can be entered into before charges are filed. Your lawyer can show the prosecutor that you are a first time offender or this arrest was an isolated incident and will not happen again.
An experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer will use a person’s lack of criminal record to negotiate a plea agreement that avoids jail time. This allows a person to remain home and continue to work and support.
Contacting a defense lawyer who has experience representing first time offenders in Florida could have a lasting impact on the outcome of your case. If you have been charged with a crime, consulting with the right lawyer could mean the difference between serving jail time, having a conviction on your record, or having your case dismissed.
Specialty Courts for First Time Offenders
Judges and prosecutors have come to recognize that rehabilitation is better than punishment. To help divert people around the criminal justice system, three specialty courts have been created.
These courts use a “non-adversarial” approach. This is where judges, prosecutors and lawyers work together to make sure a person is not punished, but rehabilitated. These different programs help rehabilitate the offender, but failure to abide by the terms of the program may result in a jail sentence.
Drug court is for persons charged with a crime that have a drug or alcohol addiction. Charges allowed to be referred to drug court include drug possession, possession of paraphernalia, grand theft, petty theft, and dealing in stolen property; however, many different charges are also referred to drug court. Talk to lawyer Robert A. Dees to find out if your case is eligible for drug court. Participants enroll in a program that includes treatment, counseling and therapy. Random drug and alcohol testing are always going to be a requirement of drug court.
Mental Health Court
This specialty court serves defendants who have a mental or psychological disability. Defendants may be referred by their lawyer. At The Law Offices of Robert A. Dees, we will evaluate the mental health records of our clients and work with the prosecutor to determine whether a person is eligible. Mental health court is a judicially supervised treatment program.
Veterans’ Court is designed for members of the Armed Forces who have psychological problems and mental issues from serving our country. These issues range from PTSD to substance abuse. Robert A. Dees has represented a member from each branch of our Armed Forces.
Address for Specialty Courts
Okaloosa County Courthouse
1940 Lewis Turner Boulevard
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547