As a former prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office, I have extensive experience with first time offender cases that I will use to give you an advantage. Working these cases on a daily basis, I've learned the ins and outs of the various programs offered by the State as well as the other means of legal recourse that we can use to have your case handled in the most efficient and beneficial way.
This is my first arrest by law enforcement? What do I do now?
After an arrest, the arresting law enforcement agency writes a report containing the "facts" as they remember them. That report, along with any evidence they may have, is then sent to the State Attorney's Office and ultimately a prosecutor who decides whether or not to file formal charges against you.
With my experience, I can tell you that the reports sent by law enforcement often times do not contain all facts of the case. If you hire me to represent you before formal charges are filed, I can contact the prosecutor and point out any mistakes. We can work together to build your case and provide facts, evidence, and witness statements to the prosecutor that weren't included by law enforcement in their original report. Through this work, we can hopefully prevent the prosecutor from filing charges at all.
What happens if the State Attorney's Office decides to file formal charges?
If we are unable to persuade the prosecutor to drop the case before they file formal charges, there are still plenty of options available to you. As a former prosecutor, I am intimately familiar with the best ways to resolve first time offender cases.
What is Pretrial Diversion?
Pretrial Diversion is a program run by the State Attorney's Office for first time offenders. It is available to those charged for misdemeanor cases, DUI cases, and non-violent felony offenses. It functions similar to probation, however, if you complete the entire program, the State Attorney's Office will dismiss your case. This provides many benefits; one of them being the ability to seal and expunge your record once the program has been completed and the charge have been dismissed.
For those who don't want to risk taking their case to trial and would rather have the charges dropped in other ways, Pretrial Diversion is a great option.
What if I get kicked out of Pre Trial Diversion?
If you don't successfully comply with the requirements of Pre Trial Diversion, you can be kicked out of the program, and your case will be set back before a Judge on the criminal docket. However, since the Pre Trial Diversion program is run by the State Attorney's Office, they often make bureaucratic mistakes that can result in you being kicked out of the program erroneously. Again, you need the counsel of a skilled attorney who has experience dealing with this. As a former prosecutor, I saw first hand the mistakes made by the State Attorney's Office that led to people being unfairly kicked out of Pre Trial Diversion. By hiring the criminal defense law firm of Grozinger Law, P.A. , we can help pinpoint those mistakes and get you put back into the program.
If you truly didn't comply with one or more of the program requirements, and you are kicked out of the program, you will need an attorney to negotiate a plea deal or take the case to trial. Many times there are uncontrollable factors that cause individuals to break a requirement of the program. With an experienced lawyer, we can use that to try and negotiate better plea deal. We can ask the State or the Judge to consider withholding adjudication on your case, which means that you would never have to admit that you were convicted of a crime. We could also use the mitigation factors to ask for lesser terms on your plea deal.