California Penal Code § 1000 sets forth California’s pretrial diversion program for drug crimes involving simple possession. The Penal Code 1000 program typically replaces jail time with drug education classes or pretrial diversion. All participants must be referred and deemed eligible by a California court. The sole remedy of a defendant who is found ineligible for pretrial diversion is a postconviction appeal.
This program represents a meaningful solution for anyone wishing to avoid any serious consequences related to a mere offense for drug possession. The attorneys at the Dolan Law Offices are skilled and experienced in helping clients take advantage of PC 1000 and similar diversion programs.
Under the prior version (pre-2018) of PC 1000, the defendant was forced to enter a guilty plea to any charges as a requirement to participate in the program. If the defendant completed the drug rehabilitation program, the charges would be dismissed. But if the defendant failed to complete PC 1000, he or she would be guilty of the possession-related charges based on the prior guilty plea.
Before 2018, Penal Code 1000 was known as “Deferred Entry of Judgment” (“DEJ”). With Proposition 47 passing in California, as of January 1, 2018, participation in PC 1000 drug diversion was reclassified as a program for “pretrial diversion.” (the name of the program was changed from “Deferred Entry of Judgment” to “Pretrial Diversion”).
With the advent of the 2018 changes, a defendant may now plead “not guilty” to charges of eligible offenses and still participate in drug treatment. Upon successful completion of the program, the court still dismisses the charges against the defendant as it did under the old scheme. However, if the defendant fails to complete the program as required, he or she will not automatically be found guilty and will instead be entitled to a bench trial.
For a defendant to be eligible for PC 1000 pretrial diversion, he or she must be charged with some crime of simple possession of drugs for personal use. A defendant charged with selling or transporting a controlled substance or possession of a controlled substance for sale is generally not eligible for pretrial diversion under Penal Code 1000. The offenses to which the program applies are listed in California Penal Code § 1000.
As to these controlled substances, the issue for the court is generally not so much the nature of the substance but whether the offense is one of possession for personal use, and whether the defendant would benefit from drug treatment. Eligible offenses are unchanged from the prior law, but as the result of the effects of Proposition 47, they are now primarily misdemeanor offenses.
The length of PC 1000 was decreased to 12-18 months, though a participant may request a longer period. Prior to the 2018 changes, PC 1000 treatment typically lasted from 18 to 36 months. Also, most prior drug convictions disqualified the person from PC 1000 drug treatment before Prop 47 passed. In 2019, a participant will only be deemed ineligible if he or she has a serious drug conviction within the five-year period immediately preceding participation in PC 1000.
In addition to applicable offenses being listed in Penal Code 1000, the following four conditions must be met for a defendant to be eligible for “Pretrial Diversion.”
- The defendant must not have been convicted of a non-PC 1000 eligible drug crime within the previous five years;
- The charged offenses must not have involved a crime of violence or threatened violence;
- There must be no evidence of any additional and more serious drug offenses such as sale or possession for sale; and
- The defendant must not have any felony convictions within the preceding five years.
Any defendant who is participating in a program authorized in this section may be required to undergo urinalysis for the purpose of testing for the presence of any drug as part of the program. However, urinalysis results are not admissible as a basis for any new criminal prosecution or proceeding.
To help you better understand pretrial diversion under PC 1000, talk to John Patrick Dolan, 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.