Your first arrest can be an intimidating experience. Whether you’ve been charged due to a misunderstanding or because you made an honest mistake – the whole process is stressful, hurried, and confusing. Since Texas is notorious for cracking down on crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to start protecting your rights.
If you been arrested and charged with your first offense in Dallas County, Collin County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County, Ellis County, Tarrant County, Denton County,Parker County, Grayson County or any of the surrounding areas don’t face the harsh punishments of Texas law alone. Call an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will protect your rights and use your first-time circumstances as a mitigating factor in your case.
Dallas First-Time Arrest Lawyer
With thousands of case successes the legal team at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy review each case on an individual basis to determine the best defense strategy for you. They will make every effort to help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy to schedule a free consultation for your first-time offender case in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Mckinney, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Frisco, or the surrounding areas today.
Common First Offenses in Dallas
Dallas County is a vast area with a large, multicultural population. Therefore, there are as many common first-time offenses as there are things to do in the area. Whether you reside in the area or are visiting from the surrounding counties of Denton, Collin, Tarrant or other counties like Grayson or Van Zandt, you should be aware of the following common first offenses:
- Driving While Intoxicated or DWI
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Public Intoxication
- Possession of Marijuana
- Reckless Driving
- Criminal Mischief
- Domestic Violence
Texas law takes all of these offenses very seriously; however, Dallas County has several different programs available to first-time offenders. An experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the defense process and find the best defense and/or program for your case.
Options for First-Time Offenders in the Dallas Metroplex
Since the priority of prosecutors and judges is to put proven criminals who are a serious danger to society behind bars, a dedicated Metroplex criminal defense attorney can make a case based on your lack of a prior record and any other mitigating factors. There are several options available for first-time offenders, including:
- Intervention with prosecution prior to filing of formal charges that emphasizes this was a one-time mistake
- Review of case with prosecution and/or judge to point out inadequacies or flaws as well as file related motions for evidence or case dismissal
- Programs, Services, and Specialty Courts – These are designed by the corrections department to provide education, counseling, and other services in lieu of or in addition to probation and jail time. Your defense attorney can work with the prosecution on negotiating with these options
- Plea bargaining – When all other options fail, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can usually use your lack of criminal history and unlikelihood to become a repeat offender to negotiate special recovery programs, probation terms, or deferred adjudication in exchange for a guilty or nolo contendre plea.
Once your negotiations and terms are completed, you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged. This may or may not be an automatic process, so consult your lawyer about the specific process for your case.
Dallas County Specialized Diversion and Intervention Programs
The following are specific diversion and intervention programs you may be eligible for as a first offender depending on your case:
- DWI Court – This court is for residents of Dallas County and the surrounding counties only. This 12-month program involves mandated sobriety through intensive outpatient treatment including individual counseling and the twelve-step recovery program, as well as random tests for alcohol and drug use. Upon completion, the participant’s probation sentence is reduced to one year of supervision.
- Mental Health Court – Available pre-adjudication through the District Attorney’s office and involves 6 months of treatment participation. Completion of the program qualifies the participant for case dismissal.
- PRIDE Court – Designed for misdemeanor prostitution cases, this court involves a 6-9 month program and is for pre-adjudication cases only.
- DIVERT Court – This court is for first-time felony arrests where the client is diagnosed with a substance abuse problem that requires treatment. Two years after a client completes the 12-18 month program, the arrest will be expunged. You or your attorney must contact the court within 90 days of indictment to participate.
- STAC Court and 4C/SAFPF Re-Entry Court– Drug court programs involving 6 months of inpatient treatment and subsequent outpatient programs while on probation. Both promote successful reintegration into society – length depends on your case and which program you are participating in.
- Dual Diagnosis Court – This post-adjudication program is for defendants with both a mental health diagnosis and a substance abuse problem. It is 6-9 months long and involved 90 days of inpatient treatment.
- ATLAS Court – This court is for defendants either pre-adjudication or post-adjudication with a motion to revoke probation who haave a mental health diagnosis. It involves 12 months of medication compliance, meeting all probation conditions, and counseling attendance.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Dallas County First-Time Offender Attorney
Texas law is harsh on criminal offenses, even if you are a first offender. The good news is that many counties like Dallas County have several options available for people just like you.
If you’ve been charged with a first-time criminal offense in DFW Metroplex including Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, Collin County,Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County or any of the surrounding areas call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700.