Drug diversion programs give felony, non-violent substance-using offenders a fresh start. Riverside County operates four adult offender drug court programs in Riverside County (Blythe, Indio, Riverside, and Southwest). Highly structured and accelerated programs, participants receive outpatient treatment allowing them to avoid serving any jail time, entitled to have their case dismissed by the court upon successful completion of the program.

A conviction for a drug-related crime, such as mere possession, may result in jail time and fines. For any working individual, this may result in the loss of employment, as well as a professional license. For any student, this may result in having to drop out of school. Anyone suffering from substance abuse problems may pay their debt to society for their crimes, but they may find no help for their afflictions. Also, their substance abuse may be causing certain criminal behaviors like repeatedly driving under the influence of drugs or engaging in acts of domestic violence.

Thus, drug diversion provides benefits aside from the dismissal of the diversion participant’s case and the avoidance of serving jail time. Diversion provides participants the ability to keep a job or remain in school, as well as retain a professional license.

Also, a dismissed conviction may not be used against a successful diversion participant in a later proceeding. Of course, a successful participant may also truthfully report that he or she has no conviction on employment applications and in employment interviews.

However, where diversion truly provides meaningful, long-lasting benefits to participants is allowing them the opportunity to obtain a fresh start in life by treating their substance abuse and eliminating any correlating criminal behavior. Participants in the program commit to ongoing recovery.

Many helpful resources are available through these programs as treatment utilizes a collaborative approach that includes teams comprised of the Superior Court, Probation, District Attorney, Public Defender, and the Department of Mental Health. Riverside County Drug Court provides an intensive two-year program to rehabilitate offenders and help them recover from ongoing substance abuse.

The goals of these programs are to eliminate drug use and criminal behavior among participants, reduce court calendars congested with lower-level drug offenses, and reduce associated prison costs and thereby save state tax dollars by diverting participants from imprisonment.

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.

Getting A Fresh Start Through Drug Diversion

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