First Offenders Program for Alcohol Offenses

Wake County allows first-time individuals charged with misdemeanor alcohol related offenses an opportunity to enroll in a “first offenders” program.  This program allows “first offenders” an opportunity to have the alcohol charges dismissed from their record.  In addition to keeping you from having a criminal record, another purpose of this program is to allow alcohol offenders with an opportunity to receive education and life skills related to abstaining from substance abuse.

While this program is a great opportunity provided by the court, sometimes it may not be in a Defendant’s best interest to sign an admission of guilt to a criminal offense or a criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a dismissal of your charges without you having to enter into a court approved “first offenders” program.  Additionally, there may be facts and evidence in your case that support suppression of evidence and dismissal of your case by the court.

If you have been charged with an alcohol related offense in Raleigh or Wake County, contact Dozier Law Firm, PLLC today at (919) 443-0911 for a free consultation to discuss the best options for your criminal defense.

Eligible Alcohol Offenses:

  1. Misdemeanor possession of alcohol under the age of 21;
  2. Misdemeanor consumption of alcohol under the age of 21;
  3. Misdemeanor purchase of alcohol under the age of 21;
  4. Misdemeanor possession of false identification (fake id);
  5. Aiding and/or abetting under age possession or consumption of alcohol; and
  6. Selling alcohol or tobacco to minors.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Accused must be at least 16 years of age;
  2. Accused must have no previous criminal convictions either as a juvenile or an adult;
  3. Accused must not have participated in any other deferral programs; and
  4. Not accepted for any DWI, drinking and driving or impaired driving offenses.

Defendants are referred to this program by attorneys, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers.  The prosecutor will determine whether or not the defendant is eligible and then a representative from SouthLight will interview the Defendant.  If deemed eligible, prosecution for the alcohol offense will be deferred for six (6) months pursuant to N.C.G.S. 15A-1341(b)(2).  Defendants will be monitored by SouthLight for compliance with all of the terms and conditions of the deferral program.

Program Requirements:

  1. Defendant must admit guilt;
  2. Defendant must successfully completed alcohol education classes conducted by SouthLight or any recommended treatment requirement;
  3. Defendant must pay a $250 program fee and pay cost of court to the Wake Couty Clerk of Court;
  4. Defendant must not be charged and convicted of any new criminal offenses during the 6 month period of the deferral;
  5. Defendant must resolve any new pending criminal charges before the case can be dismissed;
  6. Defendant must remain in school or work in some gainful employment;
  7. Submit to a urinalysis for the detection of controlled substances;
  8. Abide by any other reasonable requests made by the court.

At the conclusion of the 6 month deferral period, if you have successfully complied with all of the terms and conditions of the program, the original charge will be dismissed.  You will then be eligible for expungement of the charge at a cost of $175 payable to the Clerk of Court.  If your criminal defense attorney is able to have your charges dismissed without you entering into this “first offenders” program or the case is dismissed or found not guilty by the court as a result of a trial or pretrial hearing, there is no expungement fee.  If however, you were to violate any of the terms or conditions of the program then judgment in the alcohol offense can be entered against you by the court.

Contact the Dozier Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation to discuss your criminal defense to any alcohol related charges.