California law maintains a very strict handling of DUI offenders. First time offenders, depending on the jurisdiction, can expect probation, [...]
For those facing drug possession charges (misdemeanor or felony), there are alternatives that can result in a dismissal of their case. For first offenders, a program called deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) requires an individual to successfully complete an outpatient drug treatment program for a specified period of time. After a probation period of at least 18 months, the court can then dismiss the case. For offenders with prior drug convictions, a program known as “Prop 36″ requires a more structured drug placement, usually in a licensed residential (live-in) program for a specific period of time. Similar to DEJ, the Prop 36 program also will cause the case to be dismissed if the treatment program is successfully completed. For those offenders who do not meet the eligibility requirements for DEJ or Prop 36, a drug offender can still seek a treatment in an approved drug treatment center, but there are no provisions allowing for the case to be dismissed, even if the offender successfully completes the program. However, if the offender is sincere in seeking the treatment, and the prosecutor and court concur, jail time may still be avoided!
Important note: For those arrested for possession for sales of drugs, the charge will always be filed as a felony, and generally, the treatment programs will not be readily available as an alternative punishment to jail. Having said that, there may still be alternatives to consider depending on the circumstances of the case.