First-Time Arrest

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced with first-time arrest defenses in Ohio. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case by case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

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(614) 444-1900

First-Time Arrests Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH

First-time arrestees often have a better chance at avoiding jail or prison. A first-time arrests defense lawyer in Columbus can help you make the most of your otherwise clean record.

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 elsewhere in the state as shocking as it is scary and stressful. Having an award-winning defense lawyer on your side as early in the process as possible can help you deal with the shock and the stress while they protect your rights.

Your status as a first-time arrestee or first-time offender in Ohio might be a mitigating factor in the case and even a qualifier for pretrial diversion programs in certain counties. The attorneys of Joslyn Law Firm in Franklin County know how to use first-offender status as a tool in every step of the Ohio criminal process. Our team understands how much you want to preserve your good name and avoid the harshest penalties.

We have helped in 20,000 criminal cases. Attorney Brian Joslyn, our firm’s founder, is consistently recognized for his exceptional trial skills. Some of Attorney Joslyn’s honors include:

  • Top 25 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Lead Counsel rating
  • Columbus CEO Magazine’s Top Lawyer
  • Top American Lawyers award
  • Top Ten Attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys

The Joslyn Law Firm has built a reputation for aggressive, effective criminal defense combined with personalized client service. Here are a few of the many positive reviews from satisfied clients:

  • “(Everyone at) the law firm was polite and treated me with the utmost respect. I’m extremely happy with the outcome, and I’m more than happy that I chose this law firm.” Nikki B.
  • “From the initial call to his firm until the eventual resolution of the case, Brian and his staff conducted themselves in a highly professional, responsive and caring manner.” Chas R.
  • “Brian and his staff took excellent care of me as a person and handled my case with an outcome that was more than I could have hoped for.” B.

Being arrested, especially if this is your first brush with the police, is frightening. You deserve a strong defense. Our first-time arrest lawyers are here to help.

Our Attorneys Get Results for Columbus Clients

The Joslyn Law Firm has helped many clients get their charges dismissed or reduced, including those facing misdemeanors and felonies. If you are a first-time arrestee in Franklin County or the surrounding areas of Pickaway, Madison, Delaware, Licking, or Fairfield County, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Your first consultation is free.

We can meet with you and explain what we can do for your Columbus first-time arrest case. Call us today at (614) 444-1900 to get started.

First-Time Arrests in Columbus Information Center

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Common Charges for First-Time Arrests in Ohio

There may be a first time for everything, including an arrest in Columbus, Ohio. Certain offenses show up in first-time arrests in Franklin County and the surrounding areas more frequently than others. For instance, a first-offender arrest for murder is less common than one for a misdemeanor theft crime. Some of the most common Columbus first-time arrests are for the following offenses:

All these charges, both felony and misdemeanor, have severe repercussions if you are convicted. A first-time arrests defense lawyer serving Franklin County is here to represent you and help fight for the best possible outcome.

Our team could make the argument that your status as a first-time offender is a mitigating factor. Depending on the specifics of your case, you could qualify for a pretrial diversion program under Ohio Revised Code Section 2935.36.

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Recommended Steps for First-Time Arrestees in Columbus

Our criminal defense lawyers understand that you are likely overwhelmed and may be unsure of what to do after a first-time arrest. We recommend the following steps for you or a loved one who is facing arrest for the first time:

  • Tell the police that you are using your constitutional right to remain silent.
  • Ask for permission to call a lawyer or call a loved one who can reach out to a lawyer on your behalf.
  • Call a lawyer who focuses on criminal defense only.
  • Try to remain calm.

There is one exception to your right to remain silent. If you are arrested in a public place, you must give your name, address, and date of birth.

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Bail for First-Time Arrests in Ohio

Individuals arrested for the first time are more likely to qualify for bail or be released on their recognizance. A first-time arrests defense lawyer with the Joslyn Law Firm can connect you with bail bonds agencies if the court sets bail.

How Bail Works in Ohio

According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2713.03, defendants who qualify receive a bond from the court. A bond is money paid to the court in exchange for the defendant’s release from jail while awaiting trial.

Bonds are either paid in full or with the help of a bail bond agent. A bail bond agent typically charges 10 percent of the bond. For example, you would pay $1,000 to a bail bond agent for a $10,000 bond.

A bail bond is similar to a promissory note. In exchange for paying a percentage of the bond, the defendant must appear at all court dates and obey any rules set by the court (for example, remain in the county).

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Penalties for First Offenders: Ohio Misdemeanors

Most Ohio misdemeanors are penalized according to what the statutes say is generally appropriate for that class. However, there are some exceptions for drunk driving charges.

Misdemeanors are ranked on a scale from one to five. First-time arrests generally receive a lighter sentence within the state sentencing guidelines. The following are misdemeanor penalties for a first-time arrest:

  • Fifth-Degree Misdemeanor
    • $150 fine, no jail
  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor
    • $250 fine, 30 days jail
  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor
    • $500 fine, 60 days jail
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor
    • $750 fine, 90 days prison
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor
    • $1,000 fine, six months prison

The penalty will typically involve community service, along with some financial sanctions and court costs. Fines are generally more common than jail time for misdemeanor offenses.

Additional sanctions may be added to these penalties by statute or according to the judge’s discretion, depending on the specific offense. These other sanctions could include a mandatory minimum prison sentence or drug and alcohol treatment.

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Penalties for First Offenders: Ohio Felonies

Though many felony charges in Ohio are due to repeat offenders, some crimes are felonies even if for a first arrest. 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 specific professional and educational endeavors, and faces the social stigma attached to a felony conviction.

A felony charge is also classified on a scale from one to five. A first-time offender charged with a felony in one of the classes listed below may expect the following sentence:

  • Fifth-Degree Felony
    • 6-12 months prison
    • $2,500 fine
  • Fourth-Degree Felony
    • 6-18 months prison
    • $5,000 fine
  • Third-Degree Felony
    • 1-5 years prison
    • $10,000 fine
  • Second-Degree Felony
    • 2-8 years prison
    • $15,000 fine
  • First-Degree Felony
    • 3-10 years prison
    • $25,000 fine

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Pretrial Diversion Programs for Columbus Arrestees

If this is the first time you have been arrested, you could be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. These are alternatives to traditional jail or prison sentences, such as substance abuse treatment centers, community service, and probation.

According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2935.36, some of the qualifying factors to gain entry into a pretrial diversion program are as follows:

  • You did not harm, threaten, intend, or cause serious physical harm to anyone.
  • You have no history of prior criminal activity or delinquency.
  • Your offense was the result of unique circumstances that are not likely to recur.
  • There are substantial grounds that could excuse or justify the alleged crime.

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Resources for First-Time Arrests in Franklin County

Law Facts: Your Rights if Questioned, Stopped, or Arrested by the Police

A real-life arrest does not unfold like a television show. You could jeopardize your case and ultimately your freedom even with an innocent or inadvertent remark. This resource from the Ohio State Bar Association explains your rights and responsibilities if arrested or under investigation.

Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure

The Supreme Court of Ohio sets forth specific procedures when it comes to handling juvenile criminal cases. This resource covers every aspect of these cases, including guidelines for juvenile arrest, intake, court proceedings.

Ohio Crimes Victims’ Rights Booklet

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office provides an excellent source of information for crime victims or surviving family members. This free booklet explains what victims may expect, from the right to attend court proceedings to financial compensation.

City of Columbus Police News Releases

The City of Columbus Division of Police issues regular updates on the latest arrest and crime news in Franklin County and surrounding areas. There are also links for Crime Stoppers, where people can give anonymous tips to the police.

March 30, 2021

“Ohio Supreme Court Approves Rule Changes Expanding Bail Reform

The Ohio Supreme Court approved rule changes for a uniform monetary bail schedule in 28 counties with more than one municipal or county court. The justices ruled in favor of the bail reform law to improve equal access for defendants.

May 18, 2021

Significant Criminal Justice Policy Changes from the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many state officials to reduce or commute prison sentences in an attempt to reduce infection rates. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine authorized the release of 105 people nearing the end of their sentence and commuted the sentences of seven others.

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FAQs First-Time Arrests in Columbus, OH

  • How Can I Avoid Going to Jail?
    • The court considers your previous clean record and other mitigating factors when deciding on your sentence. Your history as a law abiding-citizen works in your favor toward having the charges reduced or dismissed. You could also receive probation or a fine rather than going to jail.
  • How Soon Could I Get Bail?
    • The judge may determine bail at your first court proceeding, called an arraignment. Depending on the nature of your crime (even if this is a first-time arrest), you could be returning to your home within a few hours of receiving bail.
  • Does a First-Time Arrest Show Up on a Background Check?
    • It is possible to have your record expunged (erased) to hide your first arrest or conviction from employers and others who run a background check.
  • Is There Such a Thing as Answering a Police Officer’s Questions “Off the Record” So That My Answers Can’t Be Used Against Me?
    • No. Everything you say to an officer, whether in an interrogation room or a hallway, can be used against you. You should politely decline to speak with the police until you have legal counsel.

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First-Time Arrests Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH

Call a criminal defense lawyer with the Joslyn Law Firm if you or a loved one was arrested for the first time in Columbus. With the help of a first-time arrests defense lawyer from our team, you could avoid the harshest punishment, including jail.Get a free case evaluation today. Call the Joslyn Law Firm 24/7 at (614) 444-1900.

Note for client: We have two stories here that are related to the practice area, but news stories for this area are limited. Please let us know if these will suffice.

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  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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