Avoiding Jail in Pinellas County

Alternative Criminal Sentencing in St. Petersburg

No one wants to spend time in jail or prison. You have a family, a job, and a life. At The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger, we fight for our clients' freedom from the moment they learn of the allegations against them. Our St. Petersburg defense lawyer works hard to prevent formal charges from being filed or to reduce those charges. If charges are filed, we negotiate for our clients to serve their jail sentence outside of jail in community programs, house arrests and more. Your future may rest on one decision made by one prosecutor. We can work to give that prosecutor reason to think twice before filing serious charges against you.

Influencing the Prosecutor's Charging Decision

After a person is arrested, a prosecutor reviews the case and the evidence and decides whether to formally charge him or her (filing "Information") or drop charges (filing "No Information"). Usually, a month will pass between when the prosecutor hears about the arrest and when he or she files a charging document called an "Information" or drops the charges by filing a document called a "No Information." During this time, our criminal defense attorney can work to impact their decision.

Attorney Timothy Hessinger formerly served as a state prosecutor, where he made the very same filing decisions that the prosecutor will make in your case. We know where to look for potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case and how to impact the charging decision. We spend a significant amount of time before the charges are filed providing mitigating evidence and additional facts to the prosecutor to try to impact their charging decision.

Alternative Sentencing

There are several different programs that prosecutors or judges can put into place besides — or in addition to — jail time. We advocate for the best alternative sentencing option for our criminal clients, including:

  • Parks program: cleaning a state park/doing community service on the weekends (this is available to non-violent offenders with a sentence of less than 61 days in the county jail)
  • Negotiating fines in lieu of incarceration/time served
  • Electronic monitoring/work release: wearing an ankle bracelet with an electronic tracking device
  • Residential drug and alcohol treatment for DUI/DWI and drug crimes
  • Community control/house arrest for felony offenders: remaining in your home and work place with restrictions and random visits from Community Control Officers
  • Comprehensive probation for misdemeanors: similar to house arrest - you remain in your home and work place with random visits to ensure you are keeping to requirements

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin negotiating with your prosecutor to prevent serious charges from ever being filed, reduce your charges, or advocate for alternative sentencing. You can call us 24 hours a day at (888) 863-7415 or reach us by e-mail. Let us tell your side of the story. Contact us for a consultation so that we can intervene early.

We work to find alternative and creative solutions for our clients. Our criminal defense lawyer represents clients from St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.

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