Those who receive citations for minor infractions at San Diego beaches between Friday and July 7 may be eligible for "Instant Justice" through a program spearheaded by the City Attorney's office.
The program, designed to benefit San Diego as a whole, works like this: if you get a citation during this time period – including on the 4th of July holiday – for a selected non-traffic infraction or misdemeanor, you could be eligible for “instant justice,” which includes completing community work service at local beaches to avoid a criminal charge on your record.
Infractions that may eligible for this program include citations for an open container, consuming alcohol in public, littering on the beach, having a dog off a leash, smoking in the park or urinating in public.
Offenders who are cited through July 7 can make good on their ticket on July 8 by bringing their ticket, valid photo I.D. and $40 in cash or cashier’s check to the parking lot of the Pacific Beach Shore Club at 4343 Ocean Boulevard at 9 a.m.
From there, eligible offenders will complete six hours of community work service in the beach area, giving back to San Diego while clearing their citations.
The office of City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says this program is being utilized in conjunction with the influx of out-of-town travelers and locals alike that will flock to popular areas such as Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, La Jolla and Clairemont over the days leading up to and after the 4th of July.
“This is a chance to give tourists and locals alike enjoying the 4th of July holiday a second chance,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “Instead of traveling back to San Diego and/or attending a 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.”
The Instant Justice program is a successful effort of the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Prosecution Unit (NPU). SDPD’s North Division, Discover Pacific Beach, Lifeguard Service and San Diego Department of Park and Recreation also partner in the program.
According to the City Attorney’s office, through this program 109 offenders completed 545 hours of community work service during the 4th of July holiday week in 2011 and 2012. Offenders cleaned up local beaches and surrounding areas hit hardest from the holiday crowds.
The NPU’s alternative sentencing programs like Instant Justice are aimed at intervention, diversion, reducing recidivism and restoring the community.