Program Keeps Misdemeanor Tickets Off Record

Violators Can Perform Community Service To Avoid Criminal Charges

If you're ticketed during the month of March for selected non-traffic infractions or misdemeanors, such as drinking in public or having a dog off the leash, you may be eligible for the city of San Diego's Instant Justice program.

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The program has been a successful effort of the City Attorney's Neighborhood Protection Unit in conjunction with the San Diego Police Department's Northern Division, Discover Pacific Beach and the Park and Recreation Department in the city of San Diego.

In 2012, in consideration of the influx of spring break revelers from all cities as well as local St. Patrick's Day festivities, potential offenders from Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs and North Park who are cited through March 25 and complete five hours of community work service in the beach area on March 26 will avoid having their citations being filed.

"This is a chance to give college students and others enjoying spring break and St. Patrick's Day a second chance," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. "Instead of having [to travel] back to San Diego to attend your court proceeding at a future date, you'll have the chance to give back to our community and avoid a criminal charge on your record."

In 2011, the July 4th and Labor Day holidays brought out 74 offenders who completed more than 370 hours of community work service, such as cleaning up the beaches and surrounding areas hit hardest by the holiday crowds, Goldsmith said.

Eligible participants need to bring their citation, valid photo ID, $40 cash or cashier's check and show up at the parking lot of Pacific Beach Shore Club on Ocean Boulevard at 9 a.m. on March 26.

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