The Georgia First Offender Act is a popular sentencing option which any experienced criminal defense attorney should discuss with you when you are faced with entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to a criminal charge. The First Offender Act provisions of Georgia law allow certain individuals to be sentenced in accordance with the Act and ultimately avoid a criminal conviction. If you complete all the terms and conditions of your sentence under the First Offender Act, you will not have a conviction and the arrest and charges will be restricted from your official criminal history.
Am I Eligible?
Generally, any person who has not previously been convicted of a felony and who has never been sentenced under the First Offender Act is eligible.
Is the Offense Eligible?
While many offenses, both misdemeanors and felonies, are eligible for sentencing under the First Offender Act, there are several offenses and categories of offenses that are excluded and not eligible. The following categories of offenses are not eligible for sentencing under the First Offender Act:
- Certain Serious Violent Felony Offenses
- Certain Sexual Offenses
- Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude
- Neglecting or Exploiting Disabled Adults or Elder Persons
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Electronically Furnishing Obscene Material to a Minor
- Computer Child Pornography and Child Exploitation
- Aggravated Assault and Aggravated battery if committed against a law enforcement officer
- Felony Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer if the Officer is Physically Harmed or Injured
A criminal defense attorney with extensive knowledge and experience in Georgia’s various sentencing options will help you determine your eligibility and discuss with you whether the First Offender Act is the right choice for you. Although the Georgia First Offender Act is an excellent option to use when resolving a criminal charge, it is certainly not the only option which should be considered.
If you, a friend, or family member has been arrested or accused of a crime, the Hawk Law Group has the knowledge and experience to ensure the best possible result for your legal situation.
The Hawk Law Group Criminal Division proudly represents clients in both State and Federal Courts in the Augusta area, including but not limited to, Richmond County, Columbia County, Burke County, McDuffie County, Lincoln County, Wilkes County, Warren County, Jefferson County, Jenkins County, Glascock County, Washington County, Screven County, Greene County, and Taliaferro County.