ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING AND DRUG DIVERSION PROGRAMS
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You may be eligible for alternative sentencing to incarceration through a diversion program if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony charges related to drug use in Orange County. These alternative sentencing programs often allow juveniles, first-time offenders, and low-level offenders to avoid their criminal convictions upon completing addiction treatment programs.
Alternative sentencing of drug court and pretrial drug diversion programs must be done by a certified drug program within the county. Sober Partners’ Huntington Beach rehabs have licensed drug treatment centers in Orange County that have been deemed credible and effective by the county.
Sober Partners Network can also refer you to top criminal justice consultants in the industry. We have been helping clients for close to 40 years and provide State-licensed residential treatment and Sheriff-approved sober living that helps save clients from incarceration and a damaging felony record.
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A diversion program in California allows one to avoid jail or prison time through alternative sentencing, typically requiring community service, self-help programs, or treatment programs. Depending on the circumstances, the court may demand a combination of the above orders to be completed.
Alternative sentencing to drug charges in Orange County typically entails a county-approved drug treatment program, mandatory self-help meetings, and a long term plan for sobriety.
A variety of California law applies to drug-related civil and criminal circumstances including PC 1000, Prop 36, California drug courts, and PC 1001.36. Our court-approved Huntington Beach drug treatment programs are appropriate for each situation.
Under Penal Code 1000, criminal low-level drug offenders can be sentenced to complete drug abuse education and counseling as an alternative to incarceration. Orange County, CA PC 1000 programs include at least 32 hours of education and counseling, self-help meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous).
In the State of California, PC 1000 uses “pretrial diversion programs” for simple drug possession charges. Some may also refer to these programs by their former name — deferred entry of judgment programs.
Criminal offenders who meet the following criteria may potentially be offered alternative sentencing and a PC 1000 drug diversion program:
- They have NOT convicted of a crime involving substance abuse within the past 5 years.
- The defendant has not been deemed a threat to society.
- There is no evidence that the defendant engages in more serious crimes or violent activity (such as drug sales).
- The defendant has not been charged with a felony in the past 5 years.
Participation in a pretrial diversion also requires the defendant to waive their rights to trial by jury. If the defendant doesn’t wish to participate in drug treatment or the court denies alternative sentencing, the defendant’s right to a speedy trial will be restored.
Upon completion of your PC 1000 alcohol or drug treatment class, your charges may be completely dismissed or lowered. Once official with the court, it will be as if you were never charged. The only thing that will remain should be an arrest history, which won’t come up on background checks by any employer or credit check.
Also known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000, Proposition 36 is another type of alternative sentencing for “non-violent drug possession offenses” for first-time and second-time offenders.
Court-approved Prop 36 drug treatment programs may include one or more of the following:
- Detox services or medication-assisted treatment
- Drug education programs
- Outpatient or residential inpatient treatment
- Aftercare plans and services
Prop 36 requires the defendant to plead guilty to their charges or be convicted of their offense following justices processes. Prop 36 may also apply to parolees who commit non-violent drug offenses and violate their parole.
The two alternative sentencing drug diversion programs serve nearly the same function. Though, the two alternative sentences have distinct differences:
- Prop 36 requires the defendant to enroll in probation. PC 1000 does not.
- PC 1000 programs are 18 months or up to three years. Prop 36 has a maximum of two years.
- Successful completion of diversion is left up to the discretion of court justices in Prop 36. Defendants who complete treatment in PC 1000 are entitled to dismissal of their case.
The California drug court system is a unique criminal justice system within each county of California. They were created in the 90s to reduce drug abuse and incarceration of the state’s population.
Most cases require the defendant to plead guilty as they would in PC 1000 and Prop 36, though the pre-plea model allows some offenders to enter court-supervised treatment without pleading guilty.
The post-adjudication model is used in place of jail-time for convicted defendants. As long as the defendants complete treatment, they can avoid their incarceration times.
One unique thing about the California drug court is that it can help those in civil suits such as custody battles. Drug courts can establish a treatment program to regain or retain such custody if substance abuse is being used as a reason to take away custody of their children.
Unlike formal processing in PC 1000 and Prop 36, drug courts are ongoing discussions with a loose structure. The court’s decision is left to up the judge after dialogue and debate of a given situation.
A mental health diversion program may also apply to our clients who have been charged with crimes indirectly related to a substance use disorder with other co-occurring disorders. California’s Penal Code 1001.36 “Diversion of Individual with Mental Disorders” allows those with a dual diagnosis of co-occurring disorders — including a substance use disorder — to enter a diversion program.
The process and eligibility requirements are very similar to PC 1000. Those with a disorder pleading for alternative sentencing must complete a program that effectively treats their disorder. If appropriate, the criminal justice system may deem you eligible for diversion through our mental health and substance abuse programs.