first offender

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first offender

a person convicted of a criminal offence for the first time. Many systems impose a lesser punishment and try to avoid imprisonment lest the offender become worse in such an ‘academy of crime’; others prefer a ‘short sharp shock’ to discourage re-offending before the offender has become a hardened offender.
References in periodicals archive ?
So one obvious way to increase the proportion of first offenders who get interlocks is to require them for alcohol-related negligent driving.
The estimated communitywide savings if all first offenders in the study group had been sent through peer courts was $325,530 because of reduced victim losses and law enforcement costs, Wagner said.
DeYoung added: "It's true that our study showed that court orders to first offenders to install an ignition interlock device are not effective in reducing recidivism among that group -- perhaps because many first offenders tend to be in denial, resent the devices and refuse to install them.
First offenders could face suspension or transfer to another school, while second offenders will be expelled.
William Reid hit out after hearing how naive first offenders are put to work alongside hardened crooks.
The first offenders were just 15 when they offered the drug to classmates at James Hamilton Academy, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, in December and January.
First offenders could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and repeat offenders to state prison.