If you or a loved one face charges for possession of an illegal drug, a common response is, “prison will not solve the problem; treatment and education would be better.”
Our legislature in Sacramento has recognized this, too, and has passed provisions that offer a drug offender a chance to “divert” from the criminal court system to drug rehabilitation programs in lieu of incarceration.
The most common programs are Prop 36 and PC 1000. These programs, however, are not available to everyone faces drug charges. Neither program, for example, is available to a defendant when the underlying arrest also involved a firearm, violence (or threats of violence) or sales of drugs. However, in each program, dismissal of the case is available if the defendant successfully completes the program (it is mandatory under PC 1000; discretionary under Prop 36).
The programs have many differences. PC 1000 is available for more types of offenses, which Prop 36 is available for both first and second time offenders. In other words, one may qualify for PC 1000, but not Prop 36. The list of offenses that qualify for rehabilitation under PC 1000 is long, but the more commonly seen offenses are:
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