Drug charges are intimidating. After all, the potential penalties can leave you facing jail time, fines, and a criminal record that can affect your job. But going to trial can be risky, especially when the deck is stacked against you. That’s why a lot of individuals who have been charged with a drug offense seek to negotiate some sort of plea deal that lessens the penalties they’ll face. However, depending on your circumstances, you might have another option.
California’s diversion programs
There are a lot of different diversion programs in California that meant to keep low level and non-violent offenders out of jail and rehabilitate them. For example, under Penal Code 1000, individuals who are facing charges for simple drug possession can opt into a drug treatment and education program that is mean to address any underlying addiction issue. If successfully completed, then the charges levied against the individual are dismissed, meaning that their experience with law enforcement won’t leave a mark on their criminal record.
Penal Code 1000 eligibility
To be eligible for this diversion program, you have to meet certain qualifications. For example, you can’t have been convicted of a drug crime in the last five years that was non-eligible for the diversion program, and your simple possession cannot have involved any type of violence or threat of violence. Any indication that you were involved in drug distribution will render you ineligible for the program. You also can’t have any felony convictions in the last five years.
Know you defense options moving forward
Drug charges can be intimidating, oftentimes leaving individuals fearful of what the future has in store for them. But by knowing your criminal defense options, including the possibility of entering a diversion program, you can develop a strategy that is right for you and works to protect you and your future.