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Drug Diversion Overview – P.C. 1000 & Prop 36


In California, individuals charged with certain drug crimes may be eligible for a drug diversion program. These programs provide education and treatment instead of jail time and a criminal record for the alleged drug user. Under California Penal Code Section 1000 (Deferred Entry of Judgment) or Prop 36, individuals charged with nonviolent drug possession offenses can enter into a drug diversion program to have their case dismissed or serve their sentence through a Prop 36 drug treatment program.

In some circumstances if an individual successfully completes a diversion program, they may truthfully answer that they have not been arrested or convicted of the charges unless they are applying for a job as a peace officer.

“Deferred Entry of Judgment”- California Penal Code Section 1000

Under California Penal Code Section 1000, “Deferred Entry of Judgment” allows an eligible defendant the opportunity to have their criminal proceeding suspended while they enter a drug treatment program. The drug diversion program permits the defendant to be “diverted” out of the court system and into a drug rehabilitation program.

How it Works: 

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If you have been charged with a drug crime, you may qualify for a drug diversion program.
Depending on the eligibility of the defendant, he/she will:

  1. Enter a guilty plea;
  2. Waive time for sentencing for 18 months;
  3. Provide proof of enrollment in a probation-approved drug program within two weeks to a representative of the court;
  4. Provide completion of the probation-approved drug program within 6 months after enrolling;
  5. Pay a diversion restitution fee pursuant to P.C. 1001.90 and an administrative fee pursuant to P.C. 1001.15 on felonies and P.C. 1001.15 on misdemeanors;
  6. Pay the cost of the drug program, based on ones ability to do so


The court will dismiss the underlying charges pursuant to Penal Code Section 1000 if:

  • The defendant successfully completes the 18 month period with no new violations of the law; and
  • The defendant has completed and paid for the drug program and all the required fees.

Proposition 36- the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000

If an individual has been previously convicted of a drug crime and is therefore not eligible for Deferred Entry of Judgment, they may qualify for a Proposition 36 program.

Proposition 36 is a statute that changed state law to allow eligible defendants convicted of non-violent drug possession offenses to receive probationary sentences instead of incarceration. Prop 36 is defined in Penal Code Sections 1210- 1210.1 and in 3063.1.

As a condition of probation, defendants are required to participate and complete a licensed and/or certified community drug treatment program. If the defendant fails to complete this program or violates any other term or condition of their probation, then probation can be revoked and the defendant may be required to serve an additional sentence which may include incarceration.

Pursuant to P.C. 1210.1(d) if the defendant successfully completes the treatment program and has substantially complied with all the terms of probation, he or she may have the court dismiss the case against them.

However, the accused can only qualify for “diversion” under Proposition 36 if they are only accused of a nonviolent drug  offense. The term “nonviolent drug possession offense” means the unlawful personal use, possession for personal use, or transportation for personal use of any controlled substance identified in Section 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 of the Health and Safety Code, or the offense being under the influence of a controlled substance in violation of Section 11550 of the Health and Safety Code. The term nonviolent drug possession offense does not include the possession for sale, production, or manufacturing of any controlled substance.

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today

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Contact the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich if you are seeking drug diversion

Drug charges are serious.  If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime, it is important that you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.  At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types drug related charges.  Our knowledgeable attorneys will aggressively defend your rights and fight to get you the best possible result.  Call us today at (877) 466-5245.  We will be there when you call.

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