Drug Diversion Program in California - Penal Code 1000 PC
Penal Code Section 1000 under California law is called deferred entry of judgment for drug crimes, which gives people who have been charged with possession of narcotics an opportunity to avoid a conviction upon successful completion of a one-year program followed by a probationary period.
The probationary period is usually set for three years but will be reduced to 18 months if no subsequent arrests have occurred. The beauty of Penal Code Section 1000 is that if a person can successfully complete the program, then they will not only avoid a conviction but will end up with a dismissal of everything and a clean record.
Who Is Eligible For This Program?
Anyone who does not have prior possession or selling charges and no additional charges attached to the charge of possession would be eligible for the Penal Code Section 1000 deferred entry of judgment. There is typically a five-year washout period, which means that the court will look back five years to see if the person was offered the program within that time period.
The program is designed for people who do not have a lengthy or serious criminal record, have never sold drugs before, have no weapons, and are not harming society or themselves. The goal of the program is to help these types of people escape the vicious cycle of drug use and have the opportunity to maintain a clean record.
The program is really not that difficult if a person does not continue to violate its conditions and requirements. If they do, then they will end up with a conviction and possibly jail time.
The levels of the program really come into play once someone has violations, additional arrests, or absences. For someone who is serious about completing the Penal Code Section 1000 drug program, doing so is pretty simple. Most clients tell me that it was just a matter of keeping pace with the course, being vigilant, and completing it correctly.
Violating Drug Diversion Programs
For most drug programs in LA County, a person must plead guilty before being admitted to one. If they end up violating the program, then they will be subject to being sentenced with the maximum sentence for the crime to which they pled guilty.
This means that if someone pled guilty to a felony and violated the drug program, then they could face three years of prison or jail time. If someone pled guilty to a misdemeanor and violated the drug program, then they could face one year in jail. In addition, a person who violates a drug program runs the risk of losing the benefit of having their case eventually dismissed.
In order for a person to determine which diversion program in LA County best suits their circumstances, they should speak to a criminal defense attorney who handles a lot of drug cases in LA County. When I meet with clients, I discuss with them their background, current employment situation, whether or not they are attending school, and the details of any prior criminal convictions they've received.
I will also ask questions regarding prior drug use and whether or not they believe they need help in order to stop using drugs. If someone insists that they are not addicted to drugs and do not want to participate in a drug program, then I will help them come up with a different solution.
We always have an eye toward keeping a client's record as clean as possible and setting them up for success. LA County probation departments and various other entities have the means to help people find programs that make sense for them, give them a good chance of success, and allow them to avoid going to jail.