Criminal Defense in Orange County

California's Diversion Programs

When it comes to criminal cases involving drugs and alcohol, the state of California takes a different stance when it comes to punishing the accused. Many times, these cases aren't a question of guilt or innocence, but rather education, resources, and even addiction. That is why, in certain cases, those who plead guilty of these crimes become eligible for California's diversion programs.

What is a diversion program?

When the court recognizes that an accused individual perpetrated an alcohol or drug-related crime due to their struggle with an addictive substance, they may offer a sentencing option that forgoes jail time. That is because study after study has shown that incarcerating these individuals—especially for minor crimes—neither rehabilitates the accused nor prevents recidivism.

Instead, the court offers these diversion programs to give the accused resources and support they need to understand their relationship with drugs and alcohol. Along with any fines the accused may be sentenced to pay, they will be mandated to complete these programs and demonstrate an interest and investment in the betterment of themselves.

What diversion programs are available?

California offers several diversion programs to cover a narrow scope of minor and non-violent crimes. An accused's eligibility for these programs is largely dependent on the nature of their charge.

California offers the following diversion programs:

  • SB-1176 Program - First offender 12-hour "Wet Reckless" DUI program
  • AB-541 Program - First offender 3-month DUI program
  • AB-762 Program - First offender 6-month DUI program
  • AB-1353 Program - First offender 9-month DUI program
  • PC-1000 Deferred Entry of Judgement Program - addiction and recovery
  • Various drug & alcohol programs (from 10 Weeks to 12 months)
  • Traffic school (available to some accused of moving violations)

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a diversion program you must plead guilty to your drug or alcohol-related crime. It is also crucial that you have a dedicated and compassionate legal advocate on your side to assert your side of the story, your desire to become well, and your overall candidacy for the diversion program.

It is also important to note that even if you are accepted into a diversion program, jail time can still be possible. Your progress and completion of the diversion program must be carefully documented and if the court finds that you have failed to meet your responsibilities as a participant, they can enforce the jail time from your original charge.

If you or a loved one has been charged with an alcohol or drug-related charge and is interested in participating in a diversion program, we invite you to contact The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs today. Attorney Gibbs has handled more than 2,500 cases in our local court system and knows what it takes to protect his clients’ rights and interests both in and outside the courtroom.

Do not proceed without a proven Anaheim criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact our firm at 888.594.0660 today.