~ Penal Code § 1000 - Drug Diversion ~

California has long been a leader in addressing the reality of drug use in our society. Specifically, in 1972 California enacted Penal Code § 1000 (more commonly known simply as PC 1000) to allow people charged with possession of certain drugs an opportunity to receive treatment in lieu of going to jail or prison.

If an accused meets the criteria set forth in PC 1000, they will typically enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the alleged charges. The Court, upon making a finding that the Defendant meets the criteria for sentencing under the provisions of PC 1000, will then order the Defendant to attend and complete a drug treatment program certified under the provisions of Penal Code § 1211. Typical sentences under PC 1000 include an order that the Defendant attend and successfully complete an 18 month drug treatment program, although the Court has the discretion to order that the treatment program last as long as 36 months. The Court will “defer” entry of judgment (imposition of the actual sentence) during the period time that the Defendant is to be attending the treatment program.

To be eligible for diversion under PC 1000, the accused must meet the following criteria:

  • No prior convictions for drug possession;
  • The current charges do not involve any allegations of violence;
  • The Defendant has never been convicted of a similar drug related crime;
  • The Defendant has never had probation or parole revoked;
  • The Defendant has not been sentenced to drug diversion within the prior five years;
  • The Defendant has not had a felony conviction within five years prior to the date of the current alleged violation.

Among the many benefits of drug diversion under PC 1000 is the fact that upon successful completion of the drug treatment program, the guilty plea entered by the Defendant is vacated and the case is dismissed without a criminal conviction being placed on the Defendant’s permanent record. This can have significant employment benefits, however, it is important to note that you will, for all intensive purposes, have to disclose this arrest if seeking employment with the government, a professional license or a security clearance. Specifically, Penal Code § 1000.4 states, in part that:

Upon successful completion of a deferred entry of judgment program, the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred shall be deemed to have never occurred. The defendant may indicate in response to any question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or granted deferred entry of judgment for the offense. * There are, however, exceptions set forth in § 1000.4 that will require disclosure under certain, limited circumstances (like applying to become a police officer).

Penal Code § 1000 reads, in part:

(a) This chapter shall apply whenever a case is before any court upon an accusatory pleading for a violation of Section 11350, 11357, 11364, 11365, 11377, or 11550 of the Health and Safety Code, or subdivision (b) of Section 23222 of the Vehicle Code, or Section 11358 of the Health and Safety Code if the marijuana planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed is for personal use, or Section 11368 of the Health and Safety Code if the narcotic drug was secured by a fictitious prescription and is for the personal use of the defendant and was not sold or furnished to another, or subdivision (d) of Section 653f if the solicitation was for acts directed to personal use only, or Section 381 or subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code, if for being under the influence of a controlled substance, or Section 4060 of the Business and Professions Code, and it appears to the prosecuting attorney that, except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 11357 of the Health and Safety Code, all of the following apply to the defendant:

(1) The defendant has no conviction for any offense involving controlled substances prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (2) The offense charged did not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence. (3) There is no evidence of a violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the sections listed in this subdivision. (4) The defendant’s record does not indicate that probation or parole has ever been revoked without thereafter being completed. (5) The defendant’s record does not indicate that he or she has successfully completed or been terminated from diversion or deferred entry of judgment pursuant to this chapter within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (6) The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense.

If you are sentenced under the provisions of PC 1000, you will not be eligable to utilize it again if you are arrested for a similiar drug related offernse in the future. You may, however, be eligable for drug diversion under the provisions of a program commonly known as Proposition 36 (Penal Code § 1210). For more information on Proposition 36, click here

If you would like information on how the Law Offices of Werno & Associates can help you, a family member or a friend with a legal problem, call us today at (714) 542-4466. Consultations are always free and are always confidential. We have been helping clients since 1999.

To view the list of crimes by code section (Statute), please click here.

To return to the list of California crimes in alphabetical order, please click here.


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