Certain individuals may be able to qualify for a
drug diversion program as an alternative form of sentencing rather than face other penalties of a
drug crime conviction such as fines and jail time. Under California Penal Code (CPC)
1000 of the California Statutes, those who qualify may be able to secure
a sentence involving drug counseling or rehabilitation. Specifically,
California refers to this provision as a Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ).
Not all drug offenders can qualify for this program.
The first qualifying standard that must be met is that the individual must
agree to a guilty plea. While this does not sound like a favorable option,
it can mean the difference between imprisonment and the alternative of
drug counseling. By pleading guilty to your drug offenses, you may be
able to secure the opportunity to enter into DEJ. The reason this type
of diversion program is referred to as "deferred" is because
sentencing in these cases is not final.
For example, if you were charged with simple
possession of heroin and you pled guilty in order to qualify for the DEJ program,
your sentencing would be withheld until after a certain period. An easy
way to look at it is as a "suspended" sentencing until the offender
successfully completed their drug diversion program. If the offender is
granted DEJ but fails to comply with drug counseling or is arrested at
some point during this period, then sentencing may still include imprisonment.
By hiring a drug crimes attorney, they can advise you on all the necessary
steps that you must take in order to successfully complete drug counseling
through the drug diversion program. For example, your attorney will be
able to inform you as to when you are required to attend drug treatment,
when you are required to appear in court and when you may have to go in
for drug testing.
What does it mean to successfully completed a drug diversion program as
an alternative form of sentencing? In these cases, the criminal drug crimes
are completely dismissed. This means that this drug conviction will never
appear on their criminal record. In order to find out whether or not you
might qualify for this type of program, CPC 1000 details the qualifying
drug offenses. This can include, but is not limited to, possession of
cannabis, cultivation of cannabis for personal use, possession of
prescription drugs without a prescription.
There are also additional requirements in order to qualify for California's
Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) program. For example, the offender must
have no prior drug-related convictions on their record. If the drug crime
involved the use of violence or excessive force, then the offender likely
will not qualify. Another qualifying factor is the successful completion
of all prior parole or probation sentencing. The option of a drug diversion
program will differ from case to case.
To learn whether or not you might qualify for a DEJ so that you do not
have to face sentencing that involves imprisonment and heavy fines, please
get in touch with our firm today. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs,
we have years of experience defending those arrested for drug and related
offenses. We are one of Orange County's premiere criminal defense
law firms and you can trust us to provide strong representation of your
case so that you get the best outcome possible. To learn more,
contact us today for a free consultation!