Drug Diversion There's No Alternative

WHAT IS DRUG DIVERSION SENTENCING?

Drug diversion is an alternative sentence for simple drug possession cases. It avoids jail time and allows a person to receive drug treatment program and earn a dismissal of their criminal case. It is typically for first time drug offenders who do not have a lengthy criminal record.

What Are the Different Types of Drug Diversion Sentencing Programs?

PC 1000

CA Penal Code Section 1000 (also called PC 1000) states what drug diversion is, who qualifies, and how it works. It is a “deferred entry of judgement” program where you plead guilty up front but then your case is continued until you complete a drug program (typically a 10 week drug class) and then come back to withdraw your guilty plea and get your charge dismissed completely in approximately 18 months.

In Order to Qualify For Pc 1000, You Must Meet These Requirements:

  • You have no conviction for any offense involving possession of drugs or controlled substances prior to this case,
  • The current case does not involve any violence or threats,
  • Your criminal record does not indicate that probation or parole has been revoked previously,
  • You have not completed or been terminated from a diversion or deferred entry of judgement program such as PC 1000 within 5 years of this case,
  • You have no prior felony convictions within 5 years of this case,
  • Your current charge is a drug or drug paraphernalia possession charge. (drug sales or trafficking does not qualify for PC 1000).

The Court has an office called the Alcohol Liaison Office which will have a list of PC 1000 programs in your area. You are free to pick a place of your choosing. Different programs will charge different rates so it is best to call at least a few of them and compare their schedules and prices.

Prop 36

CA Proposition 36 (Prop 36) is also another drug diversion program. It is a law that was passed by voters that allows drug offenders to get programs and drug treatment instead of doing jail time. It also allows the person to earn a dismissal of their drug charge. Unlike PC 1000, you can have a prior drug conviction on your record and/or have done a drug diversion or deferred entry of judgement previously. However, Prop 36 is stricter and a harder drug program than PC 1000. The way it works is that you will plead guilty up front and be sentenced to do Prop 36. You will be placed on informal probation and required to complete a drug treatment program. It may be an outpatient or inpatient residential drug treatment program depending on what your probation officer, the Court, and you may feel is necessary. The Judge may also require additional orders such as attending self-help meetings or additional counseling. At the end of 18 months, your conviction will be set aside and your case dismissed if successful in Prop 36.

In Order to Qualify for Prop 36, You Must Meet These Requirements:

  • The current case does not involve any violence or threats,
  • You have no prior serious or violent felony convictions on your record (unless you have remained free from state prison or any serious or violent convictions for 5 years,
  • Your current charge is a drug or drug paraphernalia possession charge. (drug sales or trafficking does not qualify for Prop 36)

What Charges Qualify for Drug Diversion?

Typically, the following possession, paraphernalia, and under the influence charges will qualify:

  1. Health and Safety Code 11377 and HS 11350 – Possession of a Controlled Substance
  2. Health and Safety Code 11357 – Possession of Marijuana
  3. Health and Safety Code 11358 – Cultivation of Marijuana
  4. Health and Safety Code 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  5. Health and Safety Code 11368 – Forgery of Prescription
  6. Health and Safety Code 11550 – Being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
  7. Penal Code 381 – Possession of toluene with intent to inhale or ingest
  8. Penal Code 647(f) – “Drunk in Public” or under the influence of drugs
  9. Penal Code 653(f)(d) – Solicitation of drug sales or transportation for benefit of personal use

What Charges Do Not Qualify for Drug Diversion Sentencing Program?

Drug sales or drug trafficking charges. Non-drug charges.

What Are the Benefits Of Doing A Drug Diversion Sentencing Program?

You will earn a full dismissal or your case and you will not have a conviction on your record.

How Long Does It Take to Complete A Drug Diversion And Get My Case Dismissed?

It typically takes up to 18 months.

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