Proposition 36


Proposition 36, more commonly referred to as "Prop 36" a criminal sentencing initiative that was passed by California voters on November 7, 2000. Prop 36 allow eligible non-violent drug offenders to serve sentence in a drug treatment program instead of in jail or prison. Prop 36 is also known as the "Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000."



How Prop 36 Works

Proposition 36...which is defined in Penal Code sections 1210-1210.1 PC and 3063.1 (as it relates to people on parole) one type of California drug diversion. "Drug diversion" is the practice of allowing eligible defendants to have their criminal charges or conviction dismissed if they successfully complete a court-approved drug treatment program. The Other most popular drug Diversion program is 'PC 1000

A court-approved "drug treatment program" refers to a treatment program that includes one or more of the following, (1) drug education, (2) outpatient services or residential treatment,(3) detoxification services or narcotic replacement therapy; or, and (4) aftercare services

Most Prop 36 treatment programs are outpatient programs.

Specifically, Prop 36 changed California law to require that first and second-time defendants who have been convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses receive up to twelve (12) months of substance abuse treatment instead of time in jail or prison. This treatment period may be extended by up to two (2) more six (6)-month periods if necessary

Prop 36 does not apply to convictions for manufacturing or sales of drugs, for possessing a controlled substance while armed with a loaded, operable firearm or for cultivating marijuana (even if the cultivation is for one's own use). In addition, offenders are not eligible for Prop 36 if  they(1) prior "strike" convictions; (2) have previously been convicted of one or more violent or serious felonies, unless the current non-violent offense occurred at least 5 years after they were released from prison for the serious felony, (3) if they were convicted of either a felony other than a nonviolent drug possession offense or a misdemeanor that involved physical injury or the threat of physical injury to another person.

Proposition 36 additionally applies to many parolees who violate their parole by committing a nonviolent drug possession offense. In many cases, a parolee who commits a nonviolent drug possession offense while on parole...or violates a drug-related condition of parole...will not be returned to prison but will instead be required to participate in a drug treatment program.

Moreover, even if the defendant decides to take their case to trial and get convicted for your offense you can still do Prop 36 rather than going to jail.

Contact the Lee Law Group to determine if you are eligible for Prop. 36.


How You Are Sentenced to Prop 36

Prop 36 is closely related to the Probation and Parole system in California. In order to receive a Prop 36 sentence, you must:

1.         plead guilty or nolo contendere ("no contest") to a nonviolent drug possession charge,
2.         be convicted of such an offense following a judge ("bench") or California jury trial, or
3.         be a parolee and, while on parole, either commit a nonviolent drug possession offense or violate a drug-related term of your parole.

The judge then places the defendant on probation...or modifies his/her parole...with a requirement that they successfully complete a drug treatment program (which includes drug testing). The defendant may choose they own program, paid or charitable. If they are unable to locate a suitable treatment program the court will chose one for the defendant. The court may...but is not required to...impose additional terms of probation or parole, such as participation in vocational training, family counseling, and/or community service.

If Prop 36 is chosen by the court, it is prohibited from imposing any period of incarceration as a condition of probation because the entire concept behind Prop 36 is that the defendant is sick, and thus treatment is applied rather than punishment. That is, unless the defendant violates the terms of their probation. If they violate the terms of probation or parole, there are a number of different consequences that the judge may impose depending on the exact violation.

The Drug Treatment Period:

During the treatment period, the defendant must follow both the rules and requirements of the treatment program, and that of their probation or parole.

If your drug treatment provider believes that you are unable to benefit from any form of drug treatment because you committed a serious violation of the rules at the drug treatment facility, repeatedly violated the program rules or continually refuse to cooperate with the program, the probation department or parole board may move to revoke your probation or parole. If, during your California probation violation hearing or parole revocation hearing, the judge agrees, the court may revoke your probation or parole and sentence you to a period of incarceration based on the convicted offense.

If you violate the terms of your probation or parole the court must still allow you to participate in Prop 36 sentencing under most conditions. However, if the defendant continuously violate terms and conditions of probation or parole the court may officially violate your probation or parole incarcerate you for up to thirty (30) days while it determines whether or not to reinstate your terms. If it chooses to reinstate your probation/parole, it may modify your treatment plan as well as any other terms it deems necessary. The judge may also choose to impose a maximum 30-day jail sentence as a penalty designed to encourage your future compliance with drug treatment.36

If the court decides not to reinstate your Prop 36 sentencing, it will simply sentence you on the underlying offense(s).


Successful Completion of Drug Treatment

After you have successfully completed your California Prop 36 drug treatment, you may petition the court to dismiss your conviction. As long as the judge agrees that you have successfully completed treatment and have substantially complied with all terms of your probation he/she must set aside and dismiss your case. The phrase "successful completion of drug treatment" means that you have completed the course of drug treatment that was recommended by the treatment provider and ordered by the court. It additionally means that there is reasonable cause to believe that you will no longer abuse controlled substances

If, after your case is dismissed you get your charge expunged in accordance with California's expungement laws, you are released from all penalties and disabilities that resulted from the offense, except that you may not own or possess a firearm capable of being concealed on your person (that is, a concealed weapon). This will allow you to state that you have never been arrested or convicted for the offense that triggered your treatment, except in limited circumstances such as if you apply to be a peace officer, and in other limited situations.

* Contact the Lee Law Group if you think Prop 36 can be helpful to you or your loved ones, or with any questions, you may have about this useful program.

Penal Code (PC) 1000 Diversion, California Deferred Judgement Program

PC 1000 is a "Deferred entry of judgment". It is allowed by California law, Penal Code, (PC), 1000 and thus the program is nicknamed 'PC 1000' PC 1000 allows eligible defendants the opportunity to have their criminal proceedings suspended while they attempt to complete a drug treatment program. If drug treatment is successfully completed, the offender's case is dismissed without their having any conviction or arrest charges on their record. PC 1000 is a great opportunity for many offenders.


How PC 1000 Works:

Generally speaking, the defendant enters a guilty plea to the charge(s). If the judge determines that the defendant is a good candidate for drug diversion, he/she will suspend the criminal proceedings, typically for a period of 18 months, although it may be as long as three years, while the defendant participates in a drug rehabilitation program.


The Judge considers two factors in determining if a defendant is eligible for PC 1000:

(1) The charged offense(s), and

(2) the defendant's personal history.

California drug diversion is only offered in connection with certain "qualifying" offenses. If you are charged offense/offenses are not specifically listed under Penal Code 1000 PC in the Cali Penal code you will not be able to participate in this deferred entry of judgment program. In addition, whatever the charged offense, the defendant must not be charged with selling or attempting to sell drugs and the defendant must not have used or threatened violence in connection with his drug offense.



A drug rehabilitation program is one that has been certified or deemed credible and effective by the applicable county drug program administrator. The defendant may request to be referred to a program in any county, as long as the program meets these criteria. All programs include at least some of the following curriculum:

• an initial assessment of the defendant,

• a minimum of 20 hours of effective education and/or counseling, and

• an exit conference which shall reflect the defendant's progress during his/her participation in the program.

* Contact the Lee Law Group to determine if you are eligible for PC 1000, which is a good opportunity, or for any other questions, you may have concerning PC 1000.


Successful Completion of DEJ

What makes drug diversion so attractive is the fact that your criminal charge(s) will be automatically dismissed as long as you successfully complete the program. Once your charges are dismissed, it is almost as if the arrest legally never occurred, with the only exception being that you and the Department of Justice, must disclose the arrest if you apply to become a peace officer. Other than that, when you successfully complete your deferred entry of judgment program, "the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred shall be deemed to have never occurred". This means that: you can truthfully state that you have never been arrested or granted deferred entry of judgment for the offense, and the arrest record cannot be used in any way to affect your employment or a professional license or certificate.

* Contact the Lee Law Group if you think PC 1000 can be helpful to you or your loved ones, or with any questions, you may have about this useful program.



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