California Drug Programs?
California has two codified drug related programs that are aimed at non-violent drug offenders. These programs are commonly referred to as "Prop 36" and "PC 1000". PC 1000 and Prop 36 are both drug diversion programs, the goal of these programs are to "divert" a person away from the criminal justice system and into drug treatment programs. There are several differences between the two programs, however, they each offer the same result, a dismissal once successfully completed.
What is PC 1000?
PC 1000 or Deferred entry of judgment is defined in Penal Code 1000 and allows eligible defendants to have there criminal proceedings suspended while they attempt to complete a court recommended drug treatment program. If a person is qualified for PC1000 they generally fill out a form and enter a plea of guilty to the specified charge, despite entering the plea they are not sentenced, thus avoiding probation and additional terms. The drug treatment program must be approved by the court and it must be at least six months of treatment, this treatment is generally an outpatient program. A person may be able to finish the diversion as soon as 18 months or it can take as long as three years. A person can be removed from PC 1000 by failing to participate in the program, being convicted of a any felony or any misdemeanor that indicates violence. However, a person may not be removed from the program without a hearing in front of the judge and represented by counsel. If a person successfully completes the PC 1000 then the case will be dismissed.
What is Prop 36?
Proposition 36 is different from PC 1000 in that after a person enters a plea to the specified drug charge they are placed on probation, given a probation officer and will have many other obligations and restrictions beyond a drug treatment program. Prop 36 drug treatment can very well be an inpatient program and that determination is often times made by probation or the judge who presides over your matter. In addition, unlike PC 1000 once a person completes the diversion the charges are not automatically dismissed it is up to the discretion of the judge. As you can tell PC1000 is a better choice.
*the law has changed pursuant to proposition 47 regarding certain simple possession drug crimes, if you believe you may qualify under proposition 47 for either your current case or a previous case then contact an attorney.