The First Offender Program (FOP) is an alternative to prosecution of persons charged with a misdemeanor shoplifting crime who have no prior criminal convictions. The purpose of the program is to inform the defendant about the penalties if their actions result in a conviction of a crime, impose consequences for their acts, and upon successful completion a dismissal of the charge(s) against them.

ELIGIBILITY:

  • You have no prior felony convictions 
  • You have no prior misdemeanor convictions, or upon recommendation of the Prosecutor, you have no prior misdemeanor convictions in the last ten (10) years 
  • You have no other criminal, serious traffic, or juvenile charges pending against you  
  • You have not participated in a prior diversion or FOP program after your 18th birthday  
  • You are not currently on probation. 
  • After a review of the facts and circumstances in your case, the Prosecutor recommends FOP and refers you to the program. 

REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY INTO FOP

  • Waive your constitutional, statutory, and procedural rights as a criminal defendant which the Judge of the Girard Municipal Court will explain to you; and plead guilty to the charge pending against you . 
  • Be recommended for entry into the FOP by the Prosecutor 
  • Sign an agreement that you will successfully complete all FOP requirements by the deadline set for your sentencing date
  • Pay the program fee before you enter the program. 


PROGRAM FEE AND OTHER EXPENSES

  • You must pay the fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00). If you do not successfully complete the program, the fee will be applied to your probation fee. The fee must be paid to the Clerk of Girard Municipal Court before you enter the program.  
  • You must pay the fifty dollar ($50.00) fee to the Theft E.D. program by the class date 


SATISFACTORY COMPLETION

  • You will be required to appear before the Judge on your sentencing date and show proof that you completed the Theft E.D. course. You will have to produce your certificate of completion 
  • The Court will follow the recommendation of the Prosecutor that the charge(s) against you be dismissed 

FAILURE TO COMPLETE FOP

  • If you fail to complete the requirements of the FOP, or violate any terms or conditions of the FOP, the Court will sentence you on the charge(s) when you return to Court. The Court may follow the sentencing recommendation of the Prosecutor or may impose a sentence which the Court deems appropriate, including a jail sentence, fine, payment of court costs, community service, and/or probation or other community control sanction. 
  • If you are arrested or charged with violating the law while you are in FOP, you may be returned to the Court immediately for sentencing on the charge(s) in this case.