A first-time felony offender is going to wonder if their lack of a criminal record is going to work in their favor. Once again, television and movies seem to have people convinced that first-time offenders get off easy and then everyone just rides off into the sunset. While it would be great if everything worked that way, reality can be quite different.
The one area where a first-time offense might help is in the case of a misdemeanor. While getting a traffic ticket for the first time is not going to cause the court to drop the ticket, other more intense misdemeanors could be reduced if it is a first offense. The key is to hire a good Staten Island lawyer who can help you use your first-time offender status to potentially make a misdemeanor go away.
A felony is a more serious type of crime that the courts look at with a more serious light. In most cases, courts divide felonies into violent and non-violent crimes. For first-time non-violent felonies, it is possible that you could get a reduction in your sentence if you have a good attorney. But you need to find the criminal defense attorney Staten Island residents turn to when they get in trouble to find the professional who will get you out of serious trouble.
There is a small chance that a good Staten Island lawyer can use your first-time offender status to reduce your sentence on a violent felony, but that depends on the judge and the crime. If your violent felony was particularly heinous, then it is going to be difficult to find a judge who cares if it is your first crime or not.
Sometimes your attorney can arrange it so that your case is heard by a judge with a reputation for giving first-time offenders a break, but those judges are hard to find. In most cases, a judge is not going to care if a violent felony is your first offense. More than likely, you are going to prison.
The Bottom Line
Will your lack of a criminal record prevent you from going to prison for a felony? The chances are very good that you will do some kind of time for your crime, even if you have no criminal record. But if you get a good Staten Island lawyer, there is a chance your sentence could be reduced for a non-violent felony because it is your first time crossing paths with the law.
Whenever you break the law, be it your first time or not, you can expect to be punished in some way. But when it is your first offense, there are some judges who would reduce your sentence and give you a break. Will you go to jail for your first offense? That depends on the severity of the crime and the judge who hears your case. But you can improve your chances of avoiding jail time by making sure that you have a good Staten Island lawyer on your side.