Depending on which route you want to take with your criminal charge, there are different paths available for different outcomes. What happens depends on your wants and needs and once I know them, I can get started.
Take college crimes for example. If Fort Collins put every underaged drinker in jail, there wouldn’t be any room for serious criminals. Instead, a citation and fine are issued and the student completes an educational program about alcohol. For many college crimes, there are better options than incarceration.
The same is true for felony charges. There are always alternatives to jail time.