People get arrested every day, yet many Ohioans still adhere to the idea that "it will never happen to me." Believing this misconception can make your first-time arrest in Columbus or the surrounding areas as shocking as it is scary and stressful.
Having an experienced defense lawyer as your side as early in the process as possible can help you deal with the shock and the stress while the attorney protects your rights and fights for favorable outcomes.
Columbus First-Time Arrest Lawyer
Your status as a first-time arrestee or first-time offender in Ohio won't dismiss the charges against you, but it can be used as a mitigating factor in your case, and even a qualifier for pretrial diversion programs in certain counties. The experienced criminal defense lawyers of Joslyn Law Firm in Franklin County are skilled at using first offender status as a tool in every step of the Ohio criminal process.
If you have been arrested for the first time in Franklin County or the surrounding areas in Pickaway, Madison, Delaware, Licking, or Fairfield County, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Your first consultation is free, so call (614) 444-1900 to schedule yours and find out what we can do for your Franklin County first-time arrest.
Common Charges for First Arrest in Columbus
There may be a first time for everything, thus making every Columbus area arrest a possible first-time arrest, but there are certain offenses that show up in first-time arrests in Franklin County and the surrounding areas more frequently than others. A first offender arrest for murder, for instance, is less common than a first offender arrest for a misdemeanor theft crime. Some of the most common Columbus first-time arrests are for the following offenses:
- Petty theft
- Reckless Driving
- Public Intoxication
- OVI / DUI
- Major traffic violations
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Controlled Substance
- Criminal Mischief
- Domestic Violence
If you experience a first-time arrest for one of these offenses, you should know that all of these charges, both felony and misdemeanor, have serious repercussions if you are convicted. An experienced criminal defense lawyer serving Franklin County or the surrounding areas can fight to protect your rights and for a favorable outcome. Your attorney will argue your status as a first-time offender is a mitigating factor, or that it qualifies you for certain pretrial diversion programs.
Penalties for First Ohio Misdemeanors
With a few exceptions, like with certain cases of OVI, most Ohio misdemeanors are penalized according to what the statutes say is generally appropriate for that class. Misdemeanors are classed on a scale of 1-5, with five being the lowest class and one being the highest. For a first offense, the maximum penalty for a fifth-degree misdemeanor is $150 fine. Maximum for a fourth-degree misdemeanor first offense is a $250 fine and 30 days in jail, while a third-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum $500 fine and 60 days of jail time.
If you are a first-time offender convicted of a second-degree misdemeanor, you could face a maximum of 90 days in prison and a $750 fine, or 6 months of prison time and a $1,000 fine for a first-degree misdemeanor. Depending on the specific offense, additional sanctions may be added to these penalties by statute or according to the judge's discretion – such as a mandatory minimum prison sentence or drug and alcohol treatment. In all cases of misdemeanor first-time arrests, it is advised you have an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for dismissal or another favorable outcome every step of the way.
Ohio First Offender Felony Penalties
Though many felony charges in Ohio are due to repeat offenders, there are crimes that are felonies even if you are a first-time offender. These include certain drug crimes, vehicular crimes like manslaughter, violent crimes like rape, and property crimes like arson or robbery.
In addition to the statutory penalties assigned by class and the other sanctions applied by judge or statute, a convicted felon also loses some rights and privileges, is barred from certain professional and educational endeavors, and faces the social stigma attached to being a felon. If you are a first offender charged with a felony in one of the following classes and wish to fight the subsequent penalties, an experienced Franklin County criminal lawyer can help you:
- Fifth-Degree Felony
- 6-12 months of jail
- $2,500 fine
- Fourth-Degree Felony
- 6-18 months of jail
- $5,000 fine
- Third-Degree Felony
- 1-5 years of jail
- $10,000 fine
- Second-Degree Felony
- 2-8 years of jail
- $15,000 fine
- First-Degree Felony
- 3-10 years of jail
- $25,000 fine
Joslyn Law Firm | Franklin County First-Time Arrest Attorney
If you have been arrested for the first time in Columbus, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Grove City, Delaware, Worthington, or any of the surrounding areas, the Joslyn Law Firm can build a comprehensive defense strategy using your first offender status as a mitigating factor.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will fight to obtain a favorable outcome for your case. To find out how, call (614) 444-1900 to schedule your free initial Ohio first offender case consultation.