Diversion programs are an opportunity for you to earn a dismissal of your case. To earn a dismissal, you must complete any court ordered requirements. There are a few different diversion programs with different eligibility requirements. Those include Drug Diversion, for people facing certain drug related offenses. We will discuss Drug Diversion in detail below.
You can also learn more about other diversion programs which include, Military Diversion, Mental Health Diversion, and Judicial Diversion.
Once the court determines that you are eligible for a diversion program, you will need to waive your speedy trial rights. Basically, the court puts a pause on your criminal case to give you time to complete the program. If you successfully complete the program, the court dismisses your case! If you do not successfully complete the program, the court will “un-pause” your case. At this point, and you and your attorney would fight the case through trial.
Drug Diversion – PC 1000
California Penal Code Section 1000(a) provides the requirements for you to be eligible for the Drug Diversion Program.
Eligible Drug Offenses
First, to be eligible for Drug Diversion, you have to be facing the particular drug related charges. These charges are listed under Penal Code Section 1000(a). Those charges include:
- Health and Safety Code 11350 (unlawful possession of a controlled substance)
- Health and Safety Code 11357 (unlawful possession of Marijuana)
- Health and Safety Code 11364 (possession of drug paraphrenia)
- Health and Safety Code 11365 (aiding and abetting unlawful use of controlled substance)
- Health and Safety Code 11375(b)(2) (unlawful possession of designated controlled substances)
- Health and Safety Code 11377 (possession of methamphetamines),
- Health and Safety Code 11550 (under the influence of a controlled substance)
- Vehicle Code 23222 (b), (possession of marijuana while driving)
- Health and Safety Code 11385 (Unlawful cultivation of marijuana, if for personal use),
- Penal Code 653f(d) (solicitation to commit a crime) if the solicitation was for acts directed to personal use only.
- Penal Code 381 (Possession of toluene or any substance/material containing toluene)
- Penal Code 647(f) (Public intoxication – if for being under the influence of a controlled substance)
Additional Drug Diversion Eligibility Factors
In addition to the specific charges you are facing, ALL of the following must apply to you for you to be eligible for Drug Diversion:
- In the past 5 years, you have not been convicted of any offense involving controlled substance other than the offenses listed in PC 1000.
- The offense charged does not involve a crime of violence or threat of violence.
- There is no evidence of a contemporaneous violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the offenses listed in this subdivision.
- You have NO prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense.
I’ve been accepted into the Drug Diversion Program, now what?
Once you’ve agreed to enter the program, the court will order that you complete a drug program that has been certified by the county drug program administrator, or to a program at no cost to you, that the court and county drug program deem to be credible and effective.
In addition, the court may require you to undergo drug testing as part of the program. If those results show you have drugs in your system, they cannot not be admissible for new charges against you, but they may affect your ability to successfully complete the program.
As always, if you are facing criminal charges, you should discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We can help you determine whether you may be eligible for one of these court diversion programs, and work with you to ensure the court has all the information necessary to accept you into the appropriate diversion program.