First Time Offenders
People arrested for the first times in their lives have little to no understanding of the criminal justice system. Many alleged offenders mistakenly assume that they are doomed to ultimately enter guilty pleas and hope for lenient punishments because of their otherwise clean pasts.
The truth is that an arrest and a conviction are not mutually exclusive, and the absence of prior encounters with the law can certainly work to a person’s advantage. Many of the courtrooms in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the surrounding areas of Texas have special programs that are specifically tailored to alleged offenders facing criminal charges for the first time.
Fort Worth Lawyer for First-Time Arrests
Were you recently arrested in Texas for the very first time in your life? It will be in your best interest to make sure you go to court with experienced legal counsel.
The Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys of Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC represent many clients facing criminal charges for the first time in communities throughout Tarrant County, Parker County, Johnson County, and surrounding areas in North Central Texas. Our lawyers will help you understand all of your legal options when you call 817-502-3600 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Tarrant County Information Center for First-Time Offenders
- What crimes are first arrests typically for?
- Are there any alternatives to prison time for alleged offenders with no criminal history?
- Where can I learn more about first-time arrests in Fort Worth?
An arrest for any one of the thousands of laws in the Lone Star State could technically be a person’s first offense, but some crimes are more common than others. Some of the misdemeanor and felony offenses that clients are charged with for the first time include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal Mischief;
- Criminal Trespass;
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI);
- Family Violence;
- Minor in Possession / Consumption of Alcohol;
- Misdemeanor Assault;
- Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession;
- Possession of a Controlled Substance;
- Reckless Driving;
- Shoplifting; and
- Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon.
While people with no previous history in the criminal justice system believe that the only possible outcomes to their case are not guilty verdicts or jail time, the truth is that first-time offenders frequently have programs that were created specifically for their unique situations.
In addition to rehabilitative sentences that may involve community service, counseling, and/or drug or alcohol education courses, Tarrant County also has diversion and other kinds of programs for certain types of alleged offenders and/or alleged offenses.
Some of the programs in the county include, but are not limited to:
- Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) — DPP is available to alleged offenders between 17 years of age and 24 years of age at the time of the alleged offense who have not been previously convicted or supervised for a Class B misdemeanor or above.
- Drug Impact Rehabilitation Enhanced Comprehensive Treatment (DIRECT) Court Program — The DIRECT Court Program is a post-plea felony probation offered through Community Supervision and Corrections Department for alleged for drug offenders.
- First Offender Drug Program — First time alleged drug offenders with no prior convictions, community supervision, or deferred adjudication may be eligible for this program that can result in the case being dismissed upon successful completion.
First Offender Drug Program — Non-violent first-time offenders charged with certain drug crimes may be eligible for this limited-supervision program. Participants initially enter a guilty plea, after which the judge will postpone sentencing pending completion of the program. When a participant successfully completes the program, he or she will be allowed to withdraw his or her plea and the district attorney will dismiss the case.
Tarrant County First Offender Drug Program
401 West Belknap Street
Fort Worth, TX 76196
Statewide Criminal Justice Recidivism and Revocation Rates — This 2013 report by the Legislative Budget Board contains various statistics relating to adult and juvenile recidivism and revocation. Key findings address arrest and incarceration trends, offense type, age, time to rearrest, and revocation trends. An appendix also compares reincarceration rates in Texas to those of other states.
Find a Lawyer for First-Time Offenses in Fort Worth, TX
If you are facing criminal charges for the first time in your life, don’t go to court expecting mercy from the prosecutor handling your case. Get legal representation as soon as possible so you can achieve the best possible outcome with the fewest penalties.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC aggressively defends clients with no prior arrests in the greater Fort Worth area, including Arlington, Weatherford, Cleburne, and many surrounding communities in North Central Texas. Call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form so our attorneys can review your case during a free initial consultation.