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PC 1000 California Drug Diversion Program

By Spodek Law Group | July 8, 2021
(Last Updated On: March 19, 2023)

Last Updated on: 19th March 2023, 01:40 am

California’s pretrial diversion program for drug charges involving simple possession is outlined in Penal Code 1000 PC. The program, formerly known as deferred entry of judgment (“DEJ”), permits many nonviolent drug offenders to get treatment and education rather than serving time in prison.

The charges are dismissed after successful completion of drug diversion, leaving no criminal record for most purposes.

To help you better understand the law, the California criminal defense attorneys at Spodek Law Group will give you an overview of the following, below:

  1. What exactly is drug diversion under California PC 1000?
  2. What eligibility rules are there?
  3. How would a defendant be referred to pretrial diversion?
  4. How does California’s drug treatment program work?
  5. What effect does successful completion of pretrial diversion have?
  6. What alternative drug diversion programs are there?

1. What exactly is drug diversion under California PC 1000?

California’s “pretrial diversion” law is Penal Code 1000 PC. It allows eligible offenders who have been arrested for low-level drug offenses to have their charges erased if they successfully finish drug treatment.

Penal Code 1000 was previously known as “deferred entry of judgment” (“DEJ”). To participate in drug diversion, the offender had to submit a guilty plea to the charge(s) under the previous version of the statute.

The charges would be dismissed if the offender completed the drug rehabilitation program. However, if the person does not finish treatment, he or she will be found guilty of the accusations.

Changes that took effect from January 1, 2018

Participation in the PC 1000 drug diversion program has been classed as a “pre-trial” diversion program as of January 1, 2018. The defendant can now enter a “not guilty” plea to all applicable counts and be admitted to drug treatment.

Even if the offender completes the program successfully, the charges against him will be dismissed by the court. However, if the defendant fails the program, he or she will not be declared guilty automatically. He or she will be entitled to a judge-led trial, often known as a “bench trial” in California.

2. What eligibility rules are there?

Certain Eligible offenses

There are specific offenses that make a defendant eligible to participate in Penal Code 1000 pretrial diversion.  They include a list of statutes from the California Health & Safety Code, and a few from the California Vehicle, Penal and Business and Professions Codes. 

What drugs does PC 1000 cover?

The controlled substances that are covered by PC 1000 are the ones connected to the eligible statutes.   Cocaine, heroin, peyote, marijuana, certain hallucinogenics  and prescription opioids are among these drugs. 

In general, the court’s concern is not so much with the substance’s nature as it is with whether the violation is one of personal use possession and whether the defendant might benefit from drug treatment.

Pretrial diversion has additional requirements.

To be eligible for pretrial diversion under Penal Code 1000 PC, a defendant must meet all of the following criteria:

The defendant has not been convicted of any controlled substance offense other than those enumerated in the Act in the five years preceding the alleged commission of the charged offense.

There was no crime of violence or threat of violence involved in the charge.

Other than a breach of the statute’s offenses, there is no evidence of a concurrent violation involving narcotics or prohibited dangerous drugs.

The defendant had never been convicted of a felony offense in the five years leading up to the alleged commission of the charged offense.

3. How would a defendant be referred to pretrial diversion?

The prosecuting attorney will first look through the defendant’s case. The prosecution will notify the defendant and his or her attorney in writing if the defendant looks to be qualified for pretrial diversion.

Written notice from the prosecutor

Written notification of potential eligibility from the prosecutor will include:

The prosecuting attorney will first look through the defendant’s case. The prosecution will notify the defendant and his or her attorney in writing if the defendant looks to be qualified for pretrial diversion.

  1. A basic explanation of the roles and authorities of the probation department, the prosecuting attorney, the diversion program, and the court in the process;
  2. A clear statement that the defendant must meet the following requirements in order to receive pretrial diversion:
    1. Waive the right to a rapid trial, a speedy preliminary hearing, and a jury trial, and
    2. Plead not guilty to the charge or charges.
  3. The notification that the court will dismiss the charge(s) against the defendant if the defendant successfully completes drug treatment and receives a good recommendation from the program authority;
  4. A notification that pretrial diversion may be discontinued if the offender fails to comply with the program’s treatment requirements or commits a felony that disqualifies him or her; and
  5. An explanation of the defendant’s rights regarding the retention and disposition of his or her criminal record, as well as how the defendant may respond to questions concerning his or her arrest and pretrial diversion after successfully completing the program.

Probation Officer Investigation

A hearing will be held in order to assess whether the defendant is eligible for pretrial diversion and consents to it.

However, the court may, at its discretion, order the probation department to investigate the defendant’s case before making its decision. Age, work and service records, educational background, community and family links, prior controlled substance use, treatment history, if any, demonstrable motivation, and other mitigating circumstances may be considered by the probation officer assigned to the offender.

 Can statements I make during the investigation be used against me?

No, statements made by the defendant to a probation officer or a drug treatment worker during the inquiry by the probation department are not admissible to substantiate the original charges.

This information will only be used by the probation department and the court to decide whether the defendant would benefit from education, treatment, or rehabilitation.

 The final determination of eligibility

If an investigation has been ordered, the probation department will inform the court of which programs it believes the offender would benefit from and which would accept him.

The court will then make the final decision on whether or not education, treatment, or rehabilitation is necessary, as well as what form of education, therapy, or rehabilitation is required.

The defendant will be offered the opportunity to opt out of participating in the investigation. If the defendant so chooses, he or she will enter a plea of “not guilty” to the charge(s) and proceed to a swift trial, a speedy preliminary hearing, and a jury trial.

The defendant will be allowed to enroll in drug treatment after the court dismisses any bail bond or other deposit.

The probation department may file progress reports with the court as treatment advances. This will assist the court in determining whether the offender is still eligible under California Penal Code 1000.

What if I’m not interested in doing pretrial diversion?

If the accused refuses to participate in drug treatment or the court determines that pretrial diversion is not appropriate, the original drug case will proceed.

The right to a prompt pretrial hearing, trial, and jury trial will be protected for the defendant.

4. How does California’s drug treatment program work?

 Which drug treatment providers may I use?

Pretrial diversionary programs must be one of the following:

Chapter 1.5 of Title 8 of the California Penal Code requires certification by the county drug program administrator (commencing with Penal Code Section 1211),

Programs that provide services at no cost to the participant and have been found credible and successful by the court and the county drug program administrator.

The defendant may request that he or she be referred to a program in any county that meets these requirements.

Under PC 1000, how long does drug treatment last?

PC 1000 pre-trial diversion usually lasts no less than 12 months and no more than 18 months.

The court may, however, grant an extension of time to finish an approved drug treatment program if good cause is shown.

During pretrial diversion, will I be compelled to take a drug test?

Yes, for the most part. Drug testing by urine may be required of defendants who participate in pretrial drug diversion under Penal Code 1000.

However, the good news is that the results can only be used to assess program compliance.

Failure to pass a drug test cannot be used to bring new charges against you. Pretrial diversion may be terminated as a result of this.

Is it possible that what I say during my drug treatment may be used against me?

No, a defendant’s statements made during drug treatment cannot be utilized against him or her unless they are related to the specific offense(s) charged.

Is there a fee associated with pretrial diversion?

Yes. A “diversion restitution fee” will be required by the court. The charge covers all or part of the cost of any probation monitoring or pre-plea investigation and report that is reasonable.

The diversion restitution fee may be charged in addition to any other administrative fees that are needed or permitted by law.

The diversion restitution charge will be between $100 and  $1,000.

The court will decide the actual amount at its discretion, taking into account all relevant circumstances such as the defendant’s financial ability, the nature of the crime, and the amount to which any other person sustained a loss as a result of the crime are all factors to consider.

However, the charge cannot be more than the real average cost of the defendant’s services. Regardless of the defendant’s current financial situation, a minimum cost of $100 will be imposed.

That said, if the court is convinced that there are compelling and extraordinary circumstances, the charge may be waived.

What happens if I require narcotic drugs during pretrial diversion?

Pretrial diversion participants may utilize drugs to treat substance use disorders, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or levoalphacetylmethadol (LAAM), under the supervision of a registered health care practitioner.

The defendant’s participation in pretrial diversion will not be terminated if he or she uses such substances in compliance with the drug treatment program’s rules.

Is it possible to end pretrial diversion before the therapy is completed?

The defendant’s participation in PC 1000 pretrial diversion may be revoked if the following conditions are met:

  • The defendant does not receive drug treatment or does not follow any program conditions, 
  • the defendant is convicted of a felony, or 
  • the defendant is convicted of an offense that demonstrates a proclivity for violence.

The prosecuting attorney, the judge, or the probation department can file a move to end the defendant’s participation in the pretrial diversion program.

After that, the court will convene a hearing to decide whether or not to end the pretrial diversion program. The original case against the defendant will proceed if the court believes that the defendant is not functioning satisfactorily in the allocated program or that the defendant has been convicted of one of the crimes listed above.

5. What effect does successful completion of pretrial diversion have?

For most purposes, the arrest for the related charge(s) will be assumed to have never occurred after successful completion of Penal Code 1000 pretrial diversion.

The offender may therefore honestly state that he or she was not arrested or awarded pretrial diversion for the offense in response to any query about his or her prior criminal record.

If the defendant is applying for a position as a law enforcement officer, there is an exception.

Is my arrest record going to be sealed?

As outlined in California Penal Code 851.92, the court may issue an order sealing the arrest records. However, the authority of a criminal justice agency to access and use those sealed records in compliance with relevant law is unaffected by such an order to seal the arrest record.

Completion of a pretrial diversion program does not preclude the California licensing authorities responsible for doctors, pharmacists, and dentists from taking disciplinary action against a licensee or refusing to renew a license because of professional misconduct.

Finally, under Section 144 of the California Business and Professions Code, information about diversion participation may be shared upon request to authorities that license certain other related professions (such as veterinarians, nurses, and therapists).

6. What alternative drug diversion programs are there?

California has many drug diversion programs in addition to Penal Code 1000 PC pretrial diversion, including California Proposition 36, California drug court, local drug courts and rehabilitative justice programs, military diversion and mental health diversion.

An experienced drug offenses defense attorney in California can assist you in determining which programs you are eligible for and which are best suited to your case and personal requirements.

Reach out to us to learn more about your legal options

We invite you to call us for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been charged with a California drug felony.

Our drug offenses defense lawyers in California can assist you in deciding whether to fight the charges or seek treatment under Penal Code 1000 pretrial diversion or another California drug diversion program.

Call Spodek Law Group to speak with a caring and professional attorney about your situation in private.

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