If I was arrested after an accident due to a suspended license and my court date is approaching, what can I expect as a first-time offender?

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If I was arrested after an accident due to a suspended license and my court date is approaching, what can I expect as a first-time offender?

Asked on September 22, 2015 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

At your first court date, the judge is usually just wanting to find out how you want to plea and if you are going to hire an attorney.  For the purposes of this first setting, you can enter a plea of not guilty.  Some judges will also give you an opportunity to talk to a clerk, prosecutor, or other court person to see what they are willing to offer by way of plea bargain.  This isn't necessarily a bad idea---however, keep in mind that anything you tell them about your case, can and will be used against you later if you have to go to trial.
Because you are a first time offender, you have a better chance at getting a more lenient sentence.  Some jurisdictions have programs where you can "earn" a dismissal by completing a program or paying a fine.  It's always good to ask about these types of programs because they are some of the easiest ways to obtain a dismissal.


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