*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.
California's Penal Code 1000 (PC 1000) is a pre- trial diversion program for defendants in drug crime charges involving simple possession. The program allows its participants, these eligible drug offenders, to obtain treatment and education instead of jail time.
Following successful completion of the drug diversion, the charges are dismissed, leaving no criminal record for most purposes. The great thing about this program is that you do NOT have to enter a guilty plea to participate in this program. This is in contrast to this law's previous incarnation as ‘deferred entry of judgment” or DEJ. In that version of the law, the participant would have to enter a guilty plea and would automatically face sentencing if they fail the drug program or otherwise fail the requirements for DEJ.
Let's discuss eligibility for this program. As stated above, this program is meant for drug crimes involving simple possession. Simple possession is classified under Health and Safety Code section 11350, making it illegal under California law. There is also a list of other related charges that also are eligible for PC 1000. A violation of section 11350 means that someone was found with a "controlled substance" in their possession, generally in a small quantity and without any other indicators that there was an intention to sell the substance or another crime in progress.
There are some things that can preclude you from this option, even if you were charged with an eligible offense. First, you cant also have been charged with anything violent. SO that offense cannot have anything related to violence or the threat of violence. Second, there can be nothing indicating the offense is related to other controlled substances not covered by this option. Third, within five years of the offense in question, you must also not have any felonies or controlled substance charges on your record.
Now what does this option actually entail? To meet the requirements of PC 1000 pre-plea diversion, you must complete an approved course or drug rehabilitation program that meets their requirements. The other requirement would be that the defendant obey all laws until the charges are officially dismissed. This would mean no new arrests or detentions in any state for any misdemeanor or felony.
Now that this law has been updated to be a pre-plea option, it truly is a great option for an eligible defendant. If it still required that the participants to enter a guilty plea, then we would have to caution that it is only a good option for someone who can truly stick to the requirements of no arrests and successful rehabilitation.
If you are interested in seeing a list of different approved programs for LA county, give this link a look. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/cjp/PC1000.pdf. You can also request that the court recommend a program in your county, assuming you are eligible for this program and a judge has assigned you to it.
Here is a complete list of the offenses eligible for PC 1000;
Health & Safety Code 11350 HS – possession of a controlled substance,
Health & Safety Code 11357 – unlawful possession of cannabis,
Health & Safety Code 11364 — possession of drug paraphernalia
Health & Safety Code 11365 — aiding or abetting the use of an unlawful controlled substance,
Health & Safety Code 11375(b)(2) – unlawful possession of certain prescription sedatives,
Health & Safety Code 11377 HS – possession of methamphetamines for personal use,
Health & Safety Code 11550 HS – being under the influence of a controlled substance,
Vehicle Code 23222 (b) – possessing an open container of Cannabis in a motor vehicle,
Health and Safety Code 11358 – unlawful cultivation of Cannabis for personal use,
Health and Safety Code 11368 – possessing or using a forged prescription to obtain drugs for personal use,
Penal Code 653f(d) – soliciting someone to commit a crime to facilitate the defendant’s personal use of narcotics,
Penal Code 381 — possession of toxic substances for “huffing,”
Penal Code 647 (f) — lewd conduct related to being under the influence of a controlled substance, and
Business and Professions Code 4060 — possession of a controlled substance. Penal Code 1000 (a)(2).
In general, the controlled substance in question is less important for the court/DA in determining whether you are eligible for this program. The main thing they are concerned with is 1) whether the matter is just about possession and 2) whether the defendant in question will benefit from drug treatment.