In California, Penal Code § 1000 permits certain nonviolent misdemeanor drug offenses to be diverted from the official records of the California criminal justice system. If a defendant fails a diversion program, his or her case will no longer advance to sentencing as it did before 2018 when defendants were required to plead guilty as a prerequisite to diversion eligibility.
If diversion is chosen by the defendant, he or she will be required to waive his or her right to a speedy trial. Defendants will then have a certain amount of time to complete their diversion programs, which may include treatment for drug and/or alcohol abuse, restitution, and probation. The charges may be resolved if the defendant completes the required drug treatment or other courses. If the defendant successfully completes diversion, the charges will be dismissed and sealed. If defendants fail to complete the diversion program, their cases resume where they were when diverted.
The following offenses may be resolved through diversion programs under Penal Code 1000:
- Penal Code 381 Possession of toluene and similar toxic substances
- Penal Code 647 (f) Public intoxication
- Penal Code 653 (d) Solicitation of a crime to support personal narcotic use
- Vehicle Code 23222(b) Possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle
- Business and Professions Code 4060 Possession of a controlled substance
- Health & Safety Code 11350 Possession of a controlled substance
- Health & Safety Code 11357 Unlawful possession of cannabis
- Health & Safety Code 11358 Unlawful cultivation of cannabis for personal use
- Health & Safety Code 11364 Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Health & Safety Code 11365 Aiding or abetting the unlawful use of a C.S.
- Health & Safety Code 11368 Using a forged prescription to get C.S. for personal use
- Health & Safety Code 11375(b)(2) Unlawful possession of prescription sedatives
- Health & Safety Code 11377 Possession of methamphetamines for personal use
- Health & Safety Code 11550 Being under the influence of a controlled substance
Further, all the following must apply to the defendant applying for diversion:
(1) Within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense, the defendant must not have been convicted for any offense involving controlled substances other than the offenses to which diversion applies as listed in PC § 1000.
(2) The offense charged does not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence.
(3) There is no evidence of a contemporaneous violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the offenses to which diversion applies.
(4) The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense.
California Penal Code § 1000 permits a deferred entry of judgment for certain drug offenses. This permits offenders who commit misdemeanor drug crimes the chance to divert their days in court for substance abuse treatment and education. Once a diversion program is successfully completed, a defendant may have the charges dropped from their record.
John Patrick Dolan defends those Californians charged with criminal offenses but he also helps them find the road to recovery through diversion programs and other available programs. Mr. Dolan has over forty years of experience helping well-intentioned Californians move forward from their criminal past and make lasting contributions to the Coachella Valley as valued members of the community. Call the Dolan Law Firm today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.