First Offender Vs Conditional Discharge In Georgia

For some first-time offenders, the state of Georgia has some leniency in allowing them to return to normal life without a criminal record following their case. At Gladden Legal, LLC, I help first-time offenders by exploring these options to determine if they can avoid serious criminal convictions and get a second chance at living their lives.

Good people make mistakes. If you are facing criminal charges or are arrested, and have never been convicted of a crime before, you may be able to avoid a conviction and have your charge sealed.

What Is Georgia's 'First Offender Act'?

The First Offender Act allows those charged with certain crimes to plead guilty and avoid a conviction, as long as they have no other felonies on their record and have not used their first offender rights before.

This law only applies to some cases, so it is best to consult with an attorney to determine if you are eligible. For instance some crimes — such as serious violent crimes and DUI — are exempt from this act. This may only be used once.

What Is Conditional Discharge In Georgia?

Conditional discharge is similar to first offender treatment, but only is applicable to drug crimes. You also must complete a probation program, during which you will still retain your sentence. After you are finished with the program, your case will be dismissed without a conviction, and your arrest record will be restricted.

This may also only be used once, and may only be used for a drug crime. In some instances, it may be used for a property crime that resulted from drug use.

Get Trusted Guidance From A Criminal Lawyer Who Cares

Without proper legal counsel, you may take on a conviction that you could otherwise avoid. Alternatively, you may waste your first offender privileges on a drug crime, when you may have used conditional discharge instead. You may regret this later if you are facing more serious charges in the future.

I have practiced criminal defense in North Georgia my entire career and can help you explore every option available to you, helping you choose the best path forward for your future and your goals. Call my Roswell office at 770-615-7198 to discuss your case with me today, or reach out online to get started.