Can I go back and get First Offender Act status in my criminal case if I didn’t get it the first time?
Yes! If you were not offered First Offender in a previous case, you can go back and ask for it now.
A law that passed in 2015 allows someone to go back and ask for First Offender if they were eligible and weren’t offered First Offender at the time. We call this Retroactive First Offender.
This is an incredible tool that can be used both for felony convictions and for misdemeanors. First Offender results in a non-conviction, so people who get First Offender can honestly tell an employer they have never been convicted of that crime. First Offender also prevents most employers from using the charge against the defendant.
We often use Retro First Offender for people who have a single conviction on their record – which is the case with 60% of people with a misdemeanor record.
To qualify, the prosecutor must agree to the motion being filed. As lawyers often have a relationship with prosecutors in their area, this is a situation where you should hire an attorney who can reach out to the prosecutor on your behalf. You must also show that you were eligible for First Offender.
Once the prosecutor agrees and the motion is filed, a hearing may be held. If the judge agrees to the motion, the defendant will be re-sentenced as a First Offender without having to serve any additional time or pay any additional penalties. The charge will then become a non-conviction, and the case record will often be sealed (if requested) so that the public will no longer have access to the record.
Are you eligible for Retroactive First Offender? Call us to get started on your case today!
- What is the First Offender Act in Georgia?
- When can I seal my First Offender case?
- Can I get my record expunged in Georgia?
DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE STATEMENTS ARE GENERAL INFORMATION AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR CASE MAY BE DIFFERENT. DEVETTER LAW MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF ANY OUTCOME. THE ABOVE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED BY PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION.