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Drug Diversion Programs in Orange County

An arrest for drug possession or any drug crime is stressful, embarrassing, and confusing. Getting convicted can result in harsh criminal penalties, such as a lengthy driver’s license suspension, costly fines, and a potential jail or prison sentence. 

However, Orange County courts and prosecutors understand that most people who face drug possession charges are suffering from addiction and require rehabilitative services, rather than incarceration and other forms of punishment. That is why there are several "diversion programs” designed to give defendants the treatment necessary to address their substance abuse issues, instead of going to jail for drug possession. 

Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) 

Under P.C. 1000, the DEJ program allows defendants to enroll in a drug treatment program, instead of serving jail time.  The program itself lasts up to 18 months. 

The following are the eligibility requirements for the Differed Entry of Judgement program: 

  • First-time offender 

  • No violence involved in the drug possession charge 

  • No felony convictions within the past five years before being charged with drug possession 

  • No revocation of parole or probation on record 

Successfully completing the program will lead to the dismissal of their cases. Failure to complete the DEJ program means the charges will be reinstated and a defendant will face jail time. 

Proposition 36 

Another program available to first-time offenders is Prop. 36, which has similar eligibility requirements as the DEJ program. If a defendant is accused of possession with intent to sell or distribute, they are not eligible for the program..  

Unlike the DEJ program, however, individuals must plead guilty to the charge(s) they face. A judge will then place defendants on formal probation and require them to complete the year-long drug treatment program. 

Common conditions of probation include: 

  • Court appearances 

  • Routine check-ins with a probation officer 

  • Payment of treatment costs 

  • Random drug tests 

  • Lifestyle restrictions 

A judge could revoke probation and reinstate the original sentence if a defendant violates any of the terms listed above. Just like the DEJ program, completion of the Prop. 36 program will lead to the case being dismissed. 

If you or a loved one has been accused of a drug crime in Newport Beach or Orange County, CA, contact Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC today at (949) 251-0330 and request a free initial consultation today. Our legal team has 100 years of combined experience!