ALTERNATIVES TO PROSECUTION
Frequently first offenders and certain drug abuse offenses are eligible to avoid pleading guilty or no contest my entering in to a pretrial program which, if completed successfully, will result in dismissal of charges.
Pretrial Diversion is a diversionary program run by the State Attorney's Office and is usually reserved for first time, nonviolent offenders.
Diversion is like probation, only it does not require a person to plead guilty or no contest. Once accepted into the program you must report to a supervising officer, undergo random drug testing, complete community service hours, and not become involved in any other crimes.
If diversion is successfully completed you may have the charges dismissed and your record sealed and or expunged.
COUNTY PARKS PROGRAM IN LIEU OF JAIL
Day Reporting (County Parks) Program
The Day Reporting Parks Program is a Pinellas County Jail diversion program that targets low risk, nonviolent offenders who are sentenced on misdemeanor charges. The Parks Program is available to those persons who do not have a prior violent criminal record and are sentenced to less than 61 days. In lieu of serving “straight” jail time, individuals that have been ordered into the Parks Program by the Judge perform community service type work at various Pinellas County Public Park locations.
House Arrest or the Work Release allows selected, low risk offenders to work at their regular paid employment and/or attend school, while completing the terms of their sentence. Work Release allows you to keep your job or staying in school. If the Judge allows Work Release you will not spend any time in jail, however you will have to wear an ankle monitor, which allows the sheriff's office to track your every move. Usually, you may only travel for work or school. In order to be qualify for Work Release the sentence must be 30 days or more, but cannot exceed a period of one year. The Electronic Monitoring Program is available only to those persons who do not have a prior violent criminal record.
Drug Court is an intense judicial driven diversion program created to address the issue of felony drug offenders.
The program allows the court the ability to identify, evaluate, manage, and place substance abusing offenders in the drug court program thereby avoiding prosecution.
The Drug Court Judge reviews progress reports on each participant. Incidents of noncompliance are reported immediately to the Drug Court Judge, along with recommendations as to consequences to be imposed. Failing to comply with the rules and recommendations of drug court will result in removal and further prosecution
If successfully completed the charges will be dismissed.