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Could You Qualify for a Diversion Program for Your California Drug Charges?

 Posted on April 25, 2023 in Criminal Defense

san jose drug crime defense lawyerOver the past decade or so, there has been a significant change in how the criminal justice system handles those defendants who are charged with low-level drug crimes. Whereas defendants would often face jail time for these offenses, prosecutors and judges now look at those who commit these crimes with less of a punitive stance and instead focus on sentencing that focuses on substance abuse treatment.

These drug diversion programs are a vital component of the state's efforts to reduce drug-related crimes and provide treatment to individuals struggling with addiction, with the goal of helping the individual overcome their addiction so they will not find themselves dealing with drug-related offenses in the future. The following are the three types of programs that the California courts provide.

Pretrial Diverson Program

Pretrial diversion programs are those offered to defendants who have been charged with a drug-related offense but have not yet gone to trial or been convicted. The goal of this program is to provide participants with access to treatment and support services that can help them overcome addiction and avoid further arrests and convictions.

Deferred Entry of Judgment Program

With the Deferred Entry of Judgement (DEJ) program, a defendant who is facing jail time or probation if they are convicted is allowed to plead guilty or no contest, and the court will allow the defendant the opportunity to enter a treatment program in order to overcome their substance abuse addiction. If the defendant successfully completes the program, their charges will be dismissed.

Substance Abuse Crime Prevention Act (Prop 36)

In 2000, California voters passed Prop 36, the Substance Abuse Crime Prevention Act (SACPA). Under Prop 36, the courts are required to mandate treatment instead of jail time for defendants charged with non-violent drug crimes, as well as those on probation and parole due to simple drug possession convictions. The defendant is required to complete a drug treatment program of up to 12 months. In some cases, the court may extend the participation for up to six months (not to exceed two extensions).

Drug diversion programs in California are an important tool in the state's efforts to reduce drug-related crimes and support individuals struggling with addiction. By providing access to treatment and support services, these programs can help individuals overcome addiction and build a better future for themselves and their families. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, contact a skilled San Jose drug crimes attorney to find out if you could qualify for alternative sentencing options for the charges you face. Call Fuller Law Firm at 408-234-7563 to schedule a free consultation.





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