California Drug Court

drug court in californiaThe third type of Drug Diversion Programs in California is the Drug Court. Like DEJ, the successful completion of the program results in a dismissal of charges. However, the main difference between DEJ and Drug Court is that in some cases there is no requirement to plead guilty in order to benefit from the program. The aim of drug courts is to reduce the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and related criminal activity as well as develop abstinence and law-abiding behavior.

Drug court‘s goal is to help an individual overcome problems of personal drug addiction. Addictions to all type of narcotics are considered to be eligible. Drug courts are not similar and serve various populations such as adults, juveniles, repeat drug offenders, multiple offenders, parents of children in the child welfare system and drug probation violators. Mostly, participants of drug court have abused alcohol and other drugs and have not received any treatment.

In general, Drug Court is enforced to complete the following tasks:

  • reduce drug usage and recidivism
  • provide court supervised treatment
  • integrate drug treatment with other rehabilitation services to promote long-term recovery and reduce social costs
  • reduce the number of children in the Child Welfare System
  • access federal and state support for local drug courts.

In 1998, The Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) started supporting the development of drug courts in California. Since the inception of the Drug Courts, it has been created diverse adult, juvenile and dependency drug courts.

Drug Courts work according to certain models:

1) Pre-plea models allow drug possession offenders a stay of prosecution if they participate in a treatment supervised by court. Upon successful completion of the program, the person’s criminal record will be dismissed. Otherwise, the proceeding will be reinstated from the point where it stopped.
2) Post-plea models state that a defendant has to enter a guilty plea before entering treatment. Treatment lasts from nine months to three years. Successful completion of the program leads to dismissal of the criminal record.
3) Post-adjudication models give opportunity drug offenders to reenter treatment after their conviction. However, the prior convicted has to serve the sentence. The person’s criminal record will be dismissed upon successful completion of the program. Otherwise, the proceeding will be reinstated from the point where it stopped. The benefit of this model is that the convicted enters drug treatment program in order to be sent to county jail or state prison.
4) Civil models allow individual to enter treatment as a condition of retaining or regaining custody of a child or children. Failure to complete the program can result in permanent loss of custody.

Successful completion automatically will lead to the dismissal of all charges; meanwhile failure to complete your program will result in reinstating of the charges.

The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. We will help you to understand the various aspects of your case. We are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning drug charges in California for free. Do not hesitate to contact us!

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000

California Penal Code Section 1000.5 PC

1000.5. (a) The presiding judge of the superior court, or a judge designated by the presiding judge, together with the district attorney and the public defender, may agree in writing to establish and conduct a preguilty plea drug court program pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, wherein criminal proceedings are suspended without a plea of guilty for designated defendants. The drug court program shall include a regimen of graduated sanctions and rewards, individual and group therapy, urine analysis testing commensurate with treatment needs, close court monitoring and supervision of progress, educational or vocational counseling as appropriate, and other requirements as agreed to by the presiding judge or his or her designee, the district attorney, and the public defender. If there is no agreement in writing for a preguilty plea program by the presiding judge or his or her designee, the district attorney, and the public defender, the program shall be operated as a deferred entry of judgment program as provided in this chapter.

(b) The provisions of Section 1000.3 and Section 1000.4 regarding satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance in a program shall apply to preguilty plea programs. If the court finds that (1) the defendant is not performing satisfactorily in the assigned program, (2) the defendant is not benefiting from education, treatment, or rehabilitation, (3) the defendant has been convicted of a crime specified in Section 1000.3, or (4) the defendant has engaged in criminal conduct rendering him or her unsuitable for the preguilty plea program, the court shall reinstate the criminal charge or charges. If the defendant has performed satisfactorily during the period of the preguilty plea program, at the end of that period, the criminal charge or charges shall be dismissed and the provisions of Section 1000.4 shall apply.

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