Pretrial Diversion for Drug Crimes in California, Part II

This is part II of an in-depth exploration of California’s pretrial diversion program under PC §1000 for certain drug offenses.

As stated in our last post, California’s pretrial diversion program is available for individuals accused of drugs crimes involving simple possession under California Penal Code §1000. Individuals arrested for low-level crimes are able to pursue drug treatment and education in lieu of jail time for resolution of their criminal charges.

What Drugs are Covered Under the PC §1000 Pretrial Diversion Program?

The types of drugs covered by PC §1000 are as follows:

  • Cocaine;
  • Ecstasy (“X”);
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (“GHB”);
  • Heroin;
  • Certain hallucinogenic substances, like asphencyclidine (“PCP”);
  • Ketamine (“Special K”);
  • Marijuana; and
  • Prescription opioids such as codeine and hydrocodone (“Vicodin”)
  • Peyote.

Factors Considered by Court When Offering Pretrial Diversion

An accused person is assessed by the court, not so much for the type of substance at issue, but whether the possession of the drug was for personal use. If the amount of drug seized at arrest is for personal use only, regardless of the type of drug, the court will determine whether the accused person would benefit from drug treatment. If the answer to both questions is a yes, an accused person can avoid jail and a jail sentence following the successful completion of drug treatment court.

Will I be Required to Take a Drug Test During Pretrial Diversion?

Yes. Regular drug testing is generally a requirement for program participation. A failed drug test can lead to an extension of program participation or being kicked-out of drug treatment and proceeding to a bench trial.

The purposes of drug testing in the California criminal justice system are to screen for persons who have recently ingested a drug, to identify chronic drug users, and to monitor and deter drug use. Most tests used to determine the presence of drugs in an individual’s body involve urinalysis.

An accused person can also be kicked out of drug treatment court if he or she is convicted of any felony, violent offense, or an offense with the propensity for violence, or he or she fails to meet a condition of program participation, like drug testing and drug treatment classes.

Addiction is Not a Crime but can Lead to Them

Drug abuse and crime continue to be linked in the minds of the public. A person arrested for simple drug possession because he or she is battling drug addiction can receive help for their addiction in drug treatment court or California’s pretrial diversion program for drug offenders. Our criminal defense lawyers specialize in drug related offenses and could significantly reduce the penalties associated with a drug possession arrest. The Law Offices of James E. Blatt has offices in Beverly Hills and Encino available to help you or a loved one facing criminal charges in Los Angeles. Call us toll-free at (877) 546-2528. We are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Speak to a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney today to begin your immediate defense to criminal charges.