There are more than 2,700 Drug Courts administering to over 150,000 people in the country each year. Californians charged with non-violent drug use or drug possession offenses may also be eligible for drug diversion programs as alternatives to traditional forms of sentencing and punishment. In this way, defendants may avoid much more serious consequences for their crimes. Over 1,500 individuals in Riverside County have successfully completed the programs provided by the Riverside County Drug Court since 1995.
Any Californian is eligible for alternative sentencing in a California drug diversion program. You can avoid serving any time in jail, and you are entitled to have the court dismiss your case upon successful completion of the program.
In California, drug diversion is authorized under a Deferred Entry of Judgment (California Penal Code § 1000), and “Proposition 36” (California Penal Code §§ 1210-1210.1 and 3063.1), and California Drug Court.
Most drug possession offenses in California are charged as felonies with sentences of up to three years in jail. If a drug treatment program is successfully completed, i.e., payment of all required fines and fees and compliance with any conditions that may have been imposed by the court, the court must allow you to withdraw your guilty plea and formally dismiss your charge. Your record is cleared of what could have been a felony conviction.
The potential benefits of Drug Courts are
- The dismissal of your drug case
- avoidance of serving jail time
- ability to keep a job
- ability to remain in school
- elimination of drug use
- elimination of criminal behavior
- dismissed conviction can’t be used against you in a later proceeding
- retention of a professional license
- ability to truthfully report no conviction
Riverside County Drug Court provides an intensive two-year program to rehabilitate offenders and help them recover from ongoing substance abuse. Participants in the program make a commitment to ongoing recovery.
If you are experiencing problems with substance abuse and have been charged with a crime, the resolution of your matter through the Riverside County Drug Court may be an option. Drug diversion programs allow some defendants charged with simple, non-violent drug possession crimes to complete drug treatment rather than serve jail time. John Patrick Dolan is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, the highest achievement awarded by the State Bar of California to attorneys in the field of criminal law. Call today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.