Criminal Defense in Orange County
What is Drug Diversion?

Drug Diversion (DEJ) in Orange County, CA

Deferred Entry of Judgment for Drug Crimes

Have you been convicted of a drug offense? If so, you may be eligible for enrollment in a drug diversion program. According to California Penal Code § 1000, some people are entitled to drug diversion as an alternative method of sentencing. Drug diversion is closely associated with deferred entry of judgment (DEJ). If you've been convicted for a drug offense, but you qualify for a drug diversion program, your sentencing will go into the DEJ process.

This means that, upon successful completion of drug diversion, your conviction could be dropped. It is called deferred entry of judgment because the sentencing is deferred or "suspended" until the drug diversion program is finished. The drug diversion program must take place at an accredited facility. Depending on the court's requirements, the individual will likely have to undergo an assessment, which includes at least 20 hours of drug abuse education and an exit conference.

Who qualifies for drug diversion?

Qualifying for this DEJ is heavily dependent on whether or not the judge thinks you would benefit from it. This is why many individuals charged with minor drug offenses or their first drug offense so often qualify.

Who qualifies for drug diversion? Typically, those who qualify for diversion:

  • Were charged with a drug crime that involved personal use
  • Were charged with a non-violent drug offense

If you meet these criteria, then you may be eligible. If you have been convicted of prior drug offenses, are currently on probation or you have previously participated in a DEJ program, you may not qualify. Speak with an Anaheim drug lawyer to learn if you qualify. This is an extremely favorable option, as successful completion of the program could result in a dismissal of your charges.

Completing a Drug Diversion Program

Good candidates for drug diversion are asked to enroll in and successfully complete a drug counseling program. This decision means that you have not yet been convicted and sentenced. This will be put off until the end of your drug counseling program. If you fail to complete the program, you will be convicted and have to serve out your sentence. California implements this program as a means to rehabilitate rather than to punish those who have been charged with drug offenses.

Wondering what type of drug counseling program you would have to participate in? This will vary from case to case, and the judge is ultimately the one who decides. What qualifies as "failing" this program? If at any time the judge, prosecutor or your probation officer believes that you are not benefiting from the treatment or are not doing all that is required of you, you could be convicted of your charges.

The Benefits of Deferred Entry of Judgment

The major benefit of DEJ is that you will be able to say truthfully that you were not convicted of that particular drug offense. That offense will not go on your record as a conviction, so you will not have to suffer the consequences when it comes to applying for jobs, housing, etc. If you have been arrested for a drug crime such as possession for personal use, DUI with drugs, cultivation for personal use or a related offense, you may qualify.

Talk to Anaheim drug defense attorney Barney B. Gibbs today to learn more. We will fight to see that you get the most favorable outcome possible.


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