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First Time Offenders

A person who has no criminal record and has never been in any trouble with the law can be both confused and frightened when he or she is arrested for the first time. Many people in this position justifiably fear being sent to prison and the many ways their personal and professional lives will be impacted.

The truth is that many first-time offenders may be eligible to participate in one of many New York City programs as part of case resolutions instead of serving time in jail. An alleged offender can give him or herself the best chance at achieving the most favorable outcome to his or her case by making sure that he or she has legal representation before making his or her first court appearance.

Manhattan First Offenders Lawyer

Are you facing criminal charges for your first arrest in the greater New York City area? You should immediately contact Greco Neyland, PC for help evaluating your legal defense options.

New York City first offender attorneys Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland are both former prosecutors who understand the best ways to handle these types of cases. Our firm can review your case and answer all of your questions as soon as you call (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


New York City First Offenders Information Center


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Types of Charges Faced by First Offenders in Manhattan

A person’s first arrest could be for any violation of a New York law. Some of the most common criminal offenses include those listed below.

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Offenses —Includes arrests relating to Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by Drugs and/or Alcohol, Zero Tolerance DWI, Aggravated DWI, Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homicide, or Commercial Vehicle DWI.
  • Violent Crimes — Misdemeanor, Felony, or Aggravated Assault, Menacing, Reckless Endangerment, Kidnapping or Unlawful Imprisonment, or Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Drug Cases — Criminal Possession or Sale of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Manufacturing, or Prescription Fraud or Forgery
  • Domestic Violence — Domestic Assault, Obstruction of Breathing, Strangulation, Endangering the Welfare of a Child or an Elderly Person, Stalking, Cyberstalking, or Violation of a Protective Order
  • Sex Crimes — Rape, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Misconduct, Luring a Child, State Child Pornography Charges, or Prostitution
  • Property Crimes / Theft — Criminal Trespass, Arson, Burglary, Petit or Grand Larceny, Criminal Mischief, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property
  • White Collar Charges — Insurance Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Scheme to Defraud, or Falsifying Business Records
  • Firearms / Weapons Charges — Felon in Possession of Firearm, Criminal Possession of Weapon, Criminal Sale of Firearm, or Unlawful Discharge of Weapon
  • Serious Traffic Offenses — Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run), Unlicensed Operations, or Vehicular Homicide

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Possible New York Penalties for First Offenders

The consequences of a conviction for a first-time offender depend largely on the classification of the alleged crime. Additionally, the possible minimum amount of imprisonment as well as possible fines are also impacted by the categories of the crimes.

The general sentencing standards for misdemeanors and felonies are as follows:

  • Class B Misdemeanor — Up to three months in jail and up to $500 in fines;
  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines;
  • Unclassified Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fines specified by ordinances or laws;
  • Class E Felony — Minimum of one year (or one and half years for violent or drug felonies) up to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines or double the amount of the alleged offender’s gain from the commission of the crime (whichever is higher);
  • Class D Felony — Minimum of one year (or two years for violent or drug felonies) up to seven years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines or double the amount of the alleged offender’s gain from the commission of the crime (whichever is higher);
  • Class C Felony — Minimum of one year (or three and half years for violent or drug felonies) up to 15 years in prison and up to $5,000 (or $15,000 for drug felonies) in fines or double the amount of the alleged offender’s gain from the commission of the crime (whichever is higher);
  • Class B Felony — Minimum between one year and one-third of maximum sentence (or five years for violent or drug felonies) up to 25 years in prison and up to $5,000 (or $30,000 for drug felonies) in fines or double the amount of the alleged offender’s gain from the commission of the crime (whichever is higher);
  • Class A-II Felony — Minimum between three and eight years up to a life sentence in prison and up to $5,000 (or $50,000 for drug felonies) in fines or double the amount of the alleged offender’s gain from the commission of the crime (whichever is higher); and
  • Class A-I Felony — Minimum between 15 and 40 years (or three and half years for violent or drug felonies) up to a life sentence in prison and up to $5,000 (or $100,000 for drug felonies) in fines or double the amount of the alleged offender’s gain from the commission of the crime (whichever is higher).

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Ways First Offenders Avoid Jail Time in Manhattan

Working with a lawyer will give an alleged offender the best chance of having criminal charges reduced or completely dismissed. If the charges are thrown out, then there will be no consequences.

Even in cases in which a prosecutor seems determined to stand by the charges, an attorney can still negotiate any one of a number of alternatives to imprisonment. Depending on the age of the alleged offender and the nature of the alleged offense, some of the other resolutions that may be agreed to include, but are not limited to:


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New York Resources for First Offenders

New York City Department of Probation — This is the website of the city’s probation department that has information for family court and adult court clients. You can also learn more about probation, the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON), and other community programs.

100 Centre Street #1000
New York, NY 10013
(212) 361-8973

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Programs — You can find a directory of the ATI programs in New York City and the entire state on this website. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions, a glossary of frequently used terms and phrases, and rules, regulations, standards, and procedures of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA).


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Find the Best First Offender Lawyer in New York City

If you were recently arrested for the very first time, you will want to make sure that you have legal counsel before you make your first court appearance. Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland fight for the rights of clients in Manhattan and New York City.

Greco Neyland, PC handles all types of criminal charges in state and federal courts. Call (212) 951-1300 right now to have our Manhattan first offender attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.

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Jeff Greco
Jeffery Greco
Experience as a former prosecutor gives Jeffery Greco an edge in building the strongest possible defense strategy for the accused in New York City.
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Dustan Neyland
Dustan Neyland
A thorough investigation is key to finding every reasonable doubt and getting charges reduced or dismissed for NYC defense attorney Dustan Neyland.
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