National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
RUE Ratings - Best Attorneys of America
"Brian Joslyn is an Award-Winning Criminal and DUI Defense attorney who, along with his team at The Joslyn Law Firm, have handled hundreds of criminal cases and helping their clients obtain the best results possible."

First-Time Offenders

The first time you are arrested is usually a frightening experience. Whether the arrest is due to a misunderstanding or an honest mistake, many first-time offenders receive a rude awakening from the assumption that it would never happen to them. In addition to the process being stressful, hurried, and overall bewildering, Ohio's sentencing standards are known for being punitive no matter if you're a first-time or repeat offender – something that can seem extremely intimidating when facing the charges alone.

However, exercising your right to an attorney and hiring a qualified Dayton criminal defense lawyer could help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Your status as a first-time offender can be a mitigating factor during pretrial negotiation and contribute to your overall defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to use your first-offender status as a tool to fight for a charge reduction or dismissal.

Dayton First-Time Offender Attorney

Brian Joslyn and the experienced legal team at Joslyn Law Firm are passionate about fighting for the rights and charge mitigation of first-time offender cases like yours in Montgomery County, Miami County, Clark County, and Greene County. This passion is rooted in Joslyn's personal experience as a first-time offender arrestee for a charge he was innocent of committing. If you've been charged with your first offense, you don't have to face the court alone. Call the experienced Dayton criminal defense attorneys of Joslyn Law Firm today at (937) 356-3969 to set up your free consultation.

Common First Offenses in Dayton

Since there is a first time for everything, the number of first-time offenses is as numerous as there are laws to be broken. However, there are some offenses that are more common as a first offense in the Dayton area than not. These are:

  • Petty theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Reckless Driving
  • OVI / DUI
  • Major traffic violations
  • Public Intoxication
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Assault
  • Domestic Violence

All of these offenses have serious legal and social repercussions. However, as a first-time offender there may be mitigating circumstances or pretrial diversion programs that could reduce or dismiss your charges. Every case is different, and pretrial diversion is usually handled on a county or municipal level, so contact an experienced Montgomery County criminal defense attorney to find out what specific options are available to your case.

Montgomery County Penalties for First-Time Offenders

Ohio law has punitive standards based on the degree of the offense. Depending on the case, there could be other punishments indicated in the chapter that covers your particular offense, so check with your attorney. Generally, first offenses are misdemeanors and felonies of the lower grades and have the following maximum punishments:


  • Fifth-degree
    • $150 fine
  • Fourth-degree
    • 30 days of jail
    • $250 fine
  • Third-degree
    • 60 days of jail
    • $500 fine
  • Second-degree
    • 90 days of jail
    • $750 fine
  • First-degree
    • 6 months of jail
    • $1,000 fine


  • Fifth-degree
    • 6-12 months of jail
    • $2,500 fine
  • Fourth-degree
    • 6-18 months of jail
    • $5,000 fine
  • Third-degree
    • 1-5 years of jail
    • $10,000 fine

Defense Options for First-Time Offenders in Dayton

As a first-time offender in Ohio, you may have a certain advantage over repeat offenders who are a serious danger to society, especially if you were arrested on a nonviolent charge. An experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney will be able to use your lack of a prior record and any other mitigating factors in the following defense strategies:

  • Prior to the formal filing of the charges against you, your attorney can intervene with the prosecution and make a case for dismissal or filing of lesser chargesPretrial case review and negotiation to point out mitigating factors, inadequacies, and flaws in the case as well as file any appropriate pretrial motions
  • Depending on the rules of the county or district, your case may be eligible for a pretrial diversion or intervention program that could reduce or dismiss your charges upon completion – however, not all first offenses are eligible
  • If your case comes to plea bargaining, your defense lawyer can fight for a more favorable outcome using the mitigating factor of being a first-time offender who is unlikely to repeat the offense

Available strategies, especially when it comes to pretrial diversion and intervention, vary greatly from county to county, district to district, and even city to city. Consult a criminal defense attorney who servACes Montgomery County and the surrounding areas for options available to your case.

Joslyn Law Firm | Montgomery County First-Time Offender Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with your first offense in Dayton or the surrounding areas of Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek, and Fairborn, the experienced legal team at Joslyn Law Firm may be able to use your lack of a record as a mitigating factor to fight for the retention of your freedom. Your first consultation is free, so call (937) 356-3969 to see what we can do for your first-time offender case today.

Click Here to Request Your Free Consultation

Free Consultation

All fields are required.

In The News

Check Out Our Latest Video

Fox 28, NBC 4, ABC 6, WBNS 10 - CBS, The Columbus Dispatch, the Plain Dealer