First-Time Offenders

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 20,000 criminal cases and consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s Best Criminal Defense Firms. We treat our clients like family with a non-judgmental approach. Knowledge is power in any situation. We are here to help educate you about your circumstances. Use our resources below to contact us and learn how we can help you.

Begin Your Defense Today: (937) 356-3969 Begin Your Defense Today:
(937) 356-3969

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

If you’ve been charged with your first offense, you don’t have to face the court alone. Brian Joslyn is passionate about fighting for the rights and charge mitigation of first-time offender cases like yours. This passion is rooted in Joslyn’s personal experience as a first-time offender arrestee for a charge he was innocent of committing. He can work hard to obtain the best outcome possible for your case.

Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in Ohio including areas such as Montgomery County, Miami County, Clark County, and Greene County. Call the experienced Dayton criminal defense attorneys of Joslyn Law Firm today at (937) 356-3969 to set up your free consultation.

Back to top

Information Center

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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

Back to top

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 services Montgomery County and the surrounding areas for options available to your case.

Back to top

Additional Resources for First-Time Offenders in Ohio

Ohio Criminal Bureau of Criminal Investigation – Click the link to visit the official website for the Ohio Attorney General. The site lists information about the The Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation which serves as Ohio’s crime lab and criminal-records keeper.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
1560 State Rt. 56 SW, P.O. Box 365
London, OH 43140
Phone: 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446)

City of Columbus Alcohol and Drug Services – Follow the link to view the official website for the City of Columbus, OH. The city offers an Alcohol & Drug Services Program that has prevention and outpatient treatment services for residents of the state. Access the site to learn more.

Crossroads Recovery Services – Crossroads Recovery Services is a full-service counseling agency n Columbus, OH that personal counseling services and drug education. Access the site to view the variety of program they offer to the community.

Back to top

Joslyn Law Firm | Montgomery County First-Time Offender Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with your first offense in Dayton, it is imperative that you seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Being charged with a crime in Ohio can be a stressful experience, especially if this is the first time that you have experienced any trouble with the law.

Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek, and Fairborn. Your first consultation is free, so call (937) 356-3969 to see what we can do for your first-time offender case today. 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.

Back to top

  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Our Team is Ready to Begin Your Defense Today
Joslyn Law Firm Group Photo Joslyn Law Firm Group Photo

    All fields required. Use this form to request a free and confidential evaluation of your case and consultation with one of our attorneys. Please do not send sensitive information via this form. The use of this form does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. For your convenience, consultations are available via phone, in person or over video conference. Our office will get back to you as soon as possible.