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What to do if you are facing first-time criminal charges

There is a first time for everything, and unfortunately, this may also include criminal charges. If you or your child has been charged with an offense for the first time, you likely have lots of questions about what to expect next and what your options are. It is important to approach the situation conscientiously so that a single incident does not completely derail your life for years to come.

According to Vote New Orleans, first time offenders in Louisiana may benefit from legislation passed within the last year regarding early parole release. Anybody facing charges should be aware of this as well as the following three tips. 

Address underlying issues

You should not overlook the events leading up to criminal charges. While it is important to fight for your rights when you are facing charges, it is also important to understand underlying issues that may have contributed to the situation. If you are facing DUI charges, for example, you may want to consider seeking treatment for substance abuse.

Assess potential consequences

Do not assume that you will get off easy—or get off at all—simply because it is your first offense. Even juvenile defendants often face the potential for severe consequences, and a conviction can jeopardize the ability to receive educational financial aid, get a job or secure housing. You need to realistically assess the potential consequences of the charges you are facing if you want to get your life back on track.

Proactively protect future

It is wise to approach first-time criminal charges as an opportunity for intervention. Rather than continue on the path that led to this situation, you can overcome your legal challenges and work on improving your circumstances. In order to beat these challenges, though, you need an advocate who will help you navigate the legal system. Hiring an attorney may be the best option for first-time offenders facing criminal charges.

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Gretna, LA 70056

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