Definition of first offender in English:

first offender


  • A person who is convicted of a criminal offense for the first time.

    • ‘From the later nineteenth century alternative punishments were possible, especially for first offenders who might be placed on probation to test their capacity for reform.’
    • ‘He came before the court as a first offender and a person who presumably had no anti-social behaviour in his past…’
    • ‘Many of the young offenders who are let out are not first offenders.’
    • ‘At the other end of the scale is the first offender, where the motivation for the offence is clear and does not point to a likelihood of re-offending.’
    • ‘It appears he was then before the court as a first offender.’
    • ‘The Court of Appeal has said that a very firm line must be taken with young men, even first offenders, who engage in street robberies.’
    • ‘As a first offender, however, he is likely to receive a sentence on the low end of that range.’
    • ‘Data from 1990 indicated almost half of federally sentenced women were not repeat offenders, with 41% being first offenders without any prior criminal record.’
    • ‘In 1992, when he was sentenced, the prevailing policy dictated that first offenders receive an automatic remission of one-third of their sentence.’
    • ‘Most of the victims are young, nonviolent male inmates, many of them teenaged first offenders.’
    • ‘The Act prescribes a minimum sentence of 15 years for first offenders, unless there are substantial and compelling circumstances.’
    • ‘Lenient punishments for first offenders have long been advocated on the theory that this might have been just a temporary lapse from good behavior, and that the person should be given a second chance.’
    • ‘Over 400 first offenders have been processed through an alternative community service agency and have avoided a criminal record.’
    • ‘The second thing is that we are going to deal compassionately with young first offenders, but we will reduce the age of criminal responsibility from 14 years to 12.’
    • ‘But first offenders are likely to receive just a warning.’
    • ‘Of course, the public too has to be protected and serious crime must continue to be punished with custodial sentences, but young first offenders will be better served by being forced to re-examine their attitudes.’
    • ‘I understand that a first offender these days on minor charges does not get convicted.’
    • ‘All ‘taking without consent’ offences are dealt with by magistrates who work within national sentencing guidelines which suggest community punishments for first offenders.’
    • ‘He says there were occasionally sexual assaults on inmates, many of whom were frightened ‘country boys’, first offenders or illegal immigrants.’
    • ‘Under new laws, failure to produce details of business ownership or of a customer's cancellation notice would lead to prosecution for first offenders.’


first offender

/ˈˌfərst əˈfendər/