Gladden Legal, LLC

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Can the First Offender Act benefit me?

Having a criminal record can limit housing and job opportunities, making it difficult to put the past behind you. However, if you are a first-time offender, you may be able to be sentenced under the First Offender Act. Then, if you successfully complete your sentence and probation, a conviction or charge will not appear on your record.

This act can offer an opportunity for a fresh start after a mistake. Without a conviction or charge on record, it is easier to get quality jobs and housing. However, for this act to benefit you, you must meet the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible, you must have no previous felony conviction and have never been sentenced as a first offender before.

Also, to qualify, your charge cannot be:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • A serious crime committed against a law enforcement officer
  • A serious violent felony
  • A serious sexual offense
  • Related to child pornography
  • Related to computer pornography and child exploitation

What the process looks like

Before you are sentenced, your attorney must request your sentence to be under the First Offender Act. If a judge decides to sentence you as a first offender, your criminal history report will show “First Offender Act” as you complete your sentence. If you successfully complete your sentence and your probation, the probation officer will request an Order of Discharge, which will be issued by a judge and filed with the clerk of court. The record of your case will then be sealed for most employers.

Being convicted of a crime has its legal consequences, but having a criminal record can lead to employment and housing consequences that end up being paid even after you have completed your sentence. If you are a first-time offender who meets the eligibility requirements, the First Offender Act can be an option toward a better future.

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Gladden Legal, LLC
300 Colonial Center Parkway, Suite 100
Roswell, GA 30076

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