First time offenders

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First time offenders are treated differently in that they are given special consideration by all branches of government – executive branch, legislative branch and of course the judicial branch. In practicing within the federal state criminal justice systems for almost 30 years, Gregory Pagano has represented tens of thousands of first time offenders of all walks of life. Whether it is a DUI, a murder case, or a serious federal case, many times the accused are first time offenders. First time offenders are certainly entitled to many benefits in a criminal case. The fact that a person has never been in trouble with the law before entitles them to special consideration and mitigation by the prosecution and the court and the law as well.

Special consideration and mitigation comes with different titles and in different forms in different jurisdictions. In PA the legislature created what is called A.R.D. which stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. ARD is designed for first time offenders who commit non violent and relatively minor offenses. ARD enables such persons to have their arrest records expunged upon completion of conditions and probation imposed by the prosecutors and the courts. If a person is charged with a serious offense special consideration may come in a different form, and only upon exercising the right to a trial – good character evidence. In PA (and in federal court) good character evidence alone can raise a reasonable doubt. In some cases first time offenders may benefit from special consideration at sentencing after conviction. In federal court, Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, has created what is called the “Safety Valve”. The safety valve entitles first time offenders to significantly lower sentences – lower guideline ranges and an exception to applicable mandatory prison sentences.

All people – of all social backgrounds, color, gender, age, ethnicity, etc. – innocent people included – are subject to being arrested . Juveniles, teenagers, college students and young professionals, are very susceptible to behavior and activities which results in police contact, arrest and criminal charges. A clean record is an asset and it is essential for a college career and a professional career no matter what industry. I have represented many professionals who have maintained their careers and excelled in their professions because I assisted them in maintaining their clean records. Maintaining your clean record is my priority, second only to maintaining your freedom and liberty.

Hiring Sarah was the best decision I made and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. The minute I hired her I felt a lot more comfortable with my case and she did everything in her power to avoid my charges. Initially I was not offered a plea deal but Sarah went above and beyond to appeal the decision and we won the case. She is great at what she does and worked very hard for months to help me get the best possible outcome. I highly recommend to hire Sarah for any legal matters.



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