Drug Diversion

The laws in California regarding incarceration and drug possession have allowed individuals charged with a non-violent drug crime to engage with a rehabilitation program. California began implementing drug diversion programs since 1972 with sections 1000-1000.4 of the California Penal Code after Congress had passed the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act. This act allowed first-time drug crime offenders the ability to engage in a drug rehabilitation program instead of serving a jail sentence. Those with no criminal drug history and those who did not commit a serious crime could avoid prison if they remained faithful to a rehabilitation program. The foundation set forth by the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act brought upon the adoption of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 which is more commonly known as the Proposition 36. Though they have some differences, both acts allow individuals found in possession of a drug to dismiss their case if they complete and abide by the standards of a rehabilitation program.

The rehabilitation program provides education on drug use, allows members of drug use to meet and talk about drug abuse, and provides treatment if needed to help the person get off drugs. The purpose of the law is to help aid drug abusers’ transition back into a healthy drug-free lifestyle. If you are a person who has been found in possession of a controlled substance, you may want to speak with an attorney about how to avoid jail time. In most cases, if you are a first-time offender and you were not found with drugs while committing a violent crime, you may be eligible for a drug treatment program. The drug treatment program under California Penal Code 1000 and Proposition 36 differ in length and in requirements for completion. To learn which one you qualify for, you may want to speak with a local criminal law expert.

As the law differs from state to state, you want to speak with an attorney who is can apply the laws of your state to your specific case. A California criminal law attorney will be able to assess your case and provide consultation so that you know about the different options you have regarding your case. Furthermore, a California criminal law attorney will provide representation in a court of law to ensure your side of the story is well illustrated. To speak with a local attorney, you may contact the Long Beach Criminal Lawyer at 562-304-5121. We are ready to consulate your case and provide options for individuals found in possession of a controlled substance. Do not enter a courtroom before you speak with an attorney it is crucial that you understand your rights before you present yourself in a courtroom.

In the following section, you will learn more about the eligibility for a drug diversion program, the types of crimes that can be dismissed through a diversion program, the types of controlled substances, and the differences between PC 1000 and Prop 36. Keep in mind that the following is a broad interpretation of the law. If you wish to learn the exact details of your case, you are encouraged to speak with a local law expert from your state.

California Penal Code 1000

In California, the PC 1000 allows offenders of simple possession of a controlled substance the right to a pretrial drug diversion program. Individuals that are found in simple possession (without the intent to sell) of cocaine, peyote, ecstasy, marijuana, ketamine, heroin, and hallucinogens, may be eligible for a diversion program if it is their first offense. To be eligible for the program, the court will consider the amount of drugs you were found with and past criminal history. To be eligible for the program, the individuals must not have a felony criminal drug conviction on their criminal record within the last five years. In addition, to be eligible the judge must assess whether the program would be beneficial for your situation.

One of the benefits of PC 1000 is that the offender does not have to plead guilty. If the prosecuting party things you are eligible for the program, they will notify your party about your eligibility. The program will last around 12 months; however, it may be increased to 18 to 3 years. The length of the program will be determined by the nature of your offense. Additionally, the court will consider eligibility based on the offender's age, education, prior offense, history of service, and the ability of the person to stick with the program. If the prosecuting party believes this program suites your situation more than jail time, you may be able to differ entering a court trial.

Another benefit of the Penal Code 1000 is that after completing your program your criminal record will not reflect the offense. This means that you are legally allowed to say you have a clean record when applying for employment or housing. However, if you are applying to a city or government job such as applying to the unified school district, the police department, the United Post Office, and other related positions, you may have to disclose this type of information.

Some of the drug crimes that can be dismissed through this program include simple possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The law extends to those found under the influence of a controlled substance or for those growing marijuana for personal use. Under PC 1000, individuals who have committed some of these crimes may be eligible for a diversion program. However, keep in mind that quantity will allow the jury to determine your intentions to sell. If you are found with more than can be consumed by one person, you may be charged with possession with the intent to sell which means you will not be eligible for a drug diversion program.

If you are eligible for the program, the judge will hold a final determination to create the details regarding the type of rehabilitation program, the type of drug education program, and the type of drug treatment. To learn if you are eligible for a PC 1000, you are encouraged to speak with a local attorney about the specific details of your case.

Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000

The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 also known as Proposition 36, allows individuals who are found in possession of a controlled substance to defer jail if they complete a drug diversion program. Like with PC 1000, individuals may be eligible for a drug diversion program if they are found in simple possession of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, other controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia. Simple drug possession means that you were found with a small amount of a controlled substance that is intended for personal use. Additionally, if you are found transporting drugs it must also not exceed the amount that a person can use for one self. Individuals found transporting large quantities of controlled substances may be charged with 'transportation with intent to sell'. If the jury believes you were transporting with the intention to sell, then you may not be eligible for the program.  The proposition 36 programs are usually shorter than a PC 1000 program, however, it may extend to up to 18 months.

To be eligible for a Proposition 36 program 1) you must not have been convicted of a drug-related crime with a misdemeanor or a felony, 2) you must not have a served a jail sentence for a drug-related crime in the last 5 years 3) you must not have been found with a loaded weapon, 4) you must not have participated in the program more than two times in the last five years, 5) you must be willing to cooperate with the program. Like PC 1000, this program intents to allow individuals the ability to live a drug-free lifestyle. Most individuals charged with a non-violent drug crime may be eligible for a Proposition 36 program. The program may entail drug education, drug treatment, and weekly meetings. Furthermore, the individual may be subject to a drug test.

Individuals who are charged or convicted of a drug crime while on a Proposition 36 program, will be required to re-enter court to discuss the penalties for violating the program. However, individuals who successfully complete the program will have their charges dismissed. This means that their criminal record will not reflect the drug-related incident. To learn more about Proposition 36 you are encouraged to speak with a local attorney about your eligibility. Do not enter a court room before you understand your rights to a drug diversion program.

Penal Code 1000 vs Proposition 36

Some of the main differences that exist between PC 1000 and Proposition 36 includes the length of the program, the types of offenses that make you eligible for the program, and the matters behind your conviction. Unlike with Preposition 36, under PC 1000 a person is eligible for the drug diversion program if they are found cultivating marijuana, if they have forged a prescription to obtain a controlled substance, or if they are driving while under the influence of marijuana. One of the major differences is that under Prop 36 a person must plead guilty to the drug-related crime. A person that pleads guilty has the opportunity to have the statement removed from their record once they complete the diversion program. On the other hand, PC 1000 is a pretrial occurrence which means that if you qualify you will not be required to plead guilty if you agree to a diversion program. One important thing to consider is that under PC 1000 if you derail from your program you may be charged and sentenced to a jail. However, if you fall out of a PC 1000 program you may be able to proceed with a Prop 36 program which is usually more controlled.

Ex: Tom is charged with possession of cocaine and since it was a small amount he will be able to complete a drug diversion program under PC 1000. Tom will only be charged if he derails from the program or if they find that the program is ineffective which means he either fell back into using the drug or has been convicted of another drug-related crime.

Ex 2: Tom is admitted to a Prop 36 for simple possession of cocaine. Unlike in example one, Tom is convicted of a crime under for possession of cocaine. This means that the crime is on his criminal record and will not be removed unless he completes the program. 

Ex 3: Tom is found with simple possession of cocaine. He wants to avoid all drug diversion programs and wants to proceed with a fair trial. Tom is able to prove that the substance is not his and therefore he is able to challenge the findings. By taking this step, Tom is taking a big risk, however, he had enough evidence to prove his innocence.

The drug diversion program is not for everyone especially for those who have been wrongly charged. However, keep in mind that once convicted you may be required to serve a jail sentence or a much more controlled drug diversion program through Proposition 36. To learn which measure you should take to address your drug-related incident, you may want to speak with an attorney.

Contacting a Drug Diversion Attorney Near Me

Being charged with possession or transportation of a drug can result in a jail sentence. Before you enter a courtroom, you may want to consult a law professional about the specific details of your case. More often than not, we have been able to help individuals found possession of a drug avoid a jail sentence. During consultations, you will understand the specific issues of your case and if there is a possibility for diversion we will let you know. If you find yourself in California, you may contact the Long Beach Criminal Lawyer at 562-304-5121. We are ready to provide representation and consultation. Do not enter a courtroom and accept the verdict before giving us a call.

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