California Drug Courts - How it Works

California "drug courts" offer nonviolent drug offenders the opportunity to resolve their cases outside of the traditional criminal justice system.  Drug courts take a special exclusive interest in those who may benefit from drug rehabilitation.  And...as an incentive for participants to do well...successful completion of one's drug treatment program typically results in a dismissal of his/her criminal charge(s).

As California drug crimes defense attorneys,1 we know the most effective ways to keep you out of jail by

    1. helping you secure a place in California drug court (or in another drug diversion program), or
  1. presenting a compelling defense on your behalf.

In this article, our California drug crime defense attorneys provide an overview of California's drug court system by addressing the following:

1. An Overview of California Drug Courts
2. Eligibility

2.1. Regarding pleas

3. Treatment

3.1. Examples of California
drug court programs

4. Alternative California Drug
Diversion Programs

4.1. California Proposition 36

4.2. Penal Code 1000 PC deferred entry
of judgment

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. An Overview of California Drug Courts

As former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George stated, "Drug courts are a great example of what real collaboration in the justice system can accomplish.  These unique courts are an effective way for trial courts and other justice system agencies to work together to reduce drug-related offenses, improve lives, and protect communities."

California's drug court system began in the early 1990s as an alternative to traditional prosecution.  The most recent figures indicate that there are at least 203 California drug courts operating within the state's 58 counties.

The premise behind these courts is that alcohol and drug rehabilitation is preferable to incarceration when it comes to nonviolent drug offenders.  Some of the primary goals of California drug court include:

    • reducing drug use and recidivism (that is, repeat offenses),
    • integrating drug treatment with other rehabilitation services in order to promote long-term recovery, and
  • saving tax-payers' dollars (average per person treatment costs range from $900 to $1,600 compared to an average cost of $5,000 per person for a minimal period of incarceration).2

Since their inception, California drug courts have established programs in

    • adult courts (adult drug court focuses on adult offenders, typically by providing intensive drug treatment to adult offenders for at least one year),
    • dependency court (this court provides drug treatment to parents which not only allows them to safely care for their children but also decreases the number of children placed in foster care), and
    • the juvenile courts (these courts treat minors...and provide therapy to their families...in an effort to maintain long-term sobriety and prevent further criminal activity by providing immediate and intensive intervention).
        1. The pre-plea model: the "pre-plea" model...also referred to as a "preguilty plea" model...allows an offender to participate in court-supervised drug treatment without first having to enter a guilty plea to the charge(s).


        1. The post-plea model: the "post-plea" model...which is probably the most typical...requires an offender to enter a guilty plea before he/she enters treatment.  Treatment usually lasts from nine months to three years.


      ∗Successful completion of a program under either the pre-plea or post-plea models entitles the defendant to a dismissal of the related charge(s).



        1. The post-adjudication model: the "post-adjudication" model is specifically for repeat drug offenders.  This model allows the defendant to enter treatment following a conviction.  The benefit is that this treatment is in lieu of incarceration.  However, if the defendant fails to successfully complete the program, he/she most likely will be sent to county jail or the state prison.


      1. The civil model: the "civil" model focuses on treating those who are involved in civil actions...generally a child custody battle...by allowing the individual to enter treatment as a condition of retaining or regaining custody of his/her child(ren).  If the individual fails to successfully complete the program, he/she will be deprived of custody permanently.3
        • cocaine,














        • certain hallucinogenic substances, such as phencyclidine ("PCP"), and even certain prescription drugs such as












        • participate in individual and group counseling,


        • participate in drug education,


        • participate in educational or vocational counseling where appropriate,


        • subscribe to drug testing, and


      • successfully complete any additional requirements that the court believes will be helpful to the offender.

        • seek and/or maintain employment,


        • attend school,


        • dress appropriately for court,


        • submit to drug testing,


        • meet regularly with a probation officer, and


      • satisfy any other requirements that the court believes would be beneficial.

And within each of these drug court systems, there are essentially four models that are currently being used:

California drug courts are much less formal than traditional courts.  There is an ongoing dialogue between the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and defendant.  And, unlike California's two other prominent drug diversion programs -- Proposition 36 and Penal Code 1000PC deferred entry of judgment (both of which are described under Section 4. Alternative Drug Diversion Programs) -- drug court is much more loosely structured, giving each court some flexibility as to how it will run.

2. Eligibility

As is the case with all California drug diversion programs, drug court is designed to help an individual conquer his/her personal narcotics addiction.  Addictions to all types of drugs are addressed.

Some of the most commonly abused controlled substances include:

California drug crimes that involve personal possession...and are therefore the types of cases that qualify you for drug court...include (but are not necessarily limited to):

Conversely, being charged with a sales offense such as

generally renders you ineligible for participation in drug court. However, some drug courts, like the Los Angeles County drug court may make special accommodations for individuals who it believes would nevertheless benefit from treatment.

And as Orange County criminal defense attorney John Murray11 explains, "Even if you are charged with a sales offense that prohibits you from entering drug court, a skilled California drug crimes defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea to a possession charge so that you can ultimately have the charge(s) removed by successfully completing the program."

2.1. Regarding pleas

Whether or not you will be required to enter a plea prior to participating in drug court will depend on both your criminal history and the nature of your most current offense.  Someone who has a history of drug abuse but no other type of criminal history may not be required to enter a guilty plea.  However, someone with a history of other types of crimes may be required to enter a guilty plea before drug court will accept him/her as a participant.

If you must plead guilty, you will be placed on probation, usually for a period of 36 months. Then you will be required to participate in a drug treatment program as a condition of probation.  If, during that time, you successfully complete your program, your charges will be dismissed, and your probation will be terminated.

3. Treatment

All California drug courts generally incorporate a system of graduated rewards (or punishment for those who do not comply) and require that defendants

And it bears repeating that each drug court basically runs itself, which means that each establishes its own protocols and requirements.

3.1. An example of California drug court program

In Alameda County, the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse has a drug court that has a pre-plea program specific to adult defendants who are under 25.  This program...known as the Mentor Diversion Program...allows defendants who are charged with nonviolent drug sales offenses and who otherwise have no significant criminal history to participate in an intensive two-year diversion program.

Alameda's program requires that the defendant

If the defendant does not successfully complete the program, the felony charges are reinstated.  If he/she does successfully complete the program, the charges will be dismissed.12

4. Alternative California Drug Diversion Programs

California's Proposition 36 and Penal Code 1000 PC California's deferred entry of judgment program are the state's two other drug diversion programs.   Although each program has its differences, they...as well as drug court...all are premised on the idea that people who successfully complete drug rehabilitation should be rewarded by having their criminal charge(s) dismissed.

4.1. California's Prop. 36

California Proposition 36 (more commonly referred to as "Prop. 36) is defined in Penal Code sections 1210-1210.1 and in 3063.1 PC (as it relates to individuals on parole).

Prop. 36 is a mandatory drug diversion program for those who qualify.  It is only applicable to defendants who have been charged with very specific nonviolent drug possession offenses for a first or second time.  And defendants who have prior convictions for serious or violent felonies...that is, crimes that qualify as "strikes" under California's three strikes law...are automatically ineligible.13

4.2. California Penal Code 1000 PC deferred entry of judgment

Penal Code 1000 PC California's "deferred entry of judgment" (DEJ) program functions in much the same way as does Prop. 36.14

However, there are two major differences between the two treatment options.

The first difference deals with judicial discretion.  Under Prop. 36, eligible defendants must receive drug treatment in lieu of incarceration.  However, it is the judge who determines whether or not a defendant is suitable for deferred entry of judgment.  A defendant who is declared ineligible for DEJ may nevertheless be able to participate in California drug court.

The second difference deals with the length and requirements of the two programs.  Penal Code 1000 PC DEJ is an 18-month to three-year program, whereas Prop. 36 is a maximum two-year program.  You are not sentenced to probation when you participate in DEJ, yet Proposition 36 requires the judge to sentence you to formal probation while you participate in treatment.

Because there is no probation in connection with a DEJ case, the judge is not permitted to impose any additional restrictions on your participation.  Consequently, the requirements for DEJ are generally less onerous than Prop. 36, since a judge may impose additional terms of probation in connection with a Prop. 36 case.

In order to determine which, if any, California drug diversion programs are right for you, be sure to discuss all three options with an experienced California drug crimes defense lawyer.

Call us for help...

For questions about California drug court, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any questions about Nevada's drug court program.  For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.15

Legal References:

1 Our California drug crimes defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.  We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

2California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs - Drug Courts Overview.

See also California Court Information - Drug Court Benefits.

See also California Health and Safety Codes 11970.1 et seq.

3 California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs - Drug Courts Overview, endnote 2, above.

See also California Penal Code 1000.5 PC -- Preguilty plea drug court program; operation of program; effect of defendant's performance.  ("(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.")

4U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration - Controlled Substances Schedule List.

5 Health and Safety Code 11377 HS California's law against personal possession of a controlled substance.  ("(a) Except as authorized by law and as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) or Section 11375, or in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who possesses any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, and which is not a narcotic drug, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), and (20) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d), (e), or (f) of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year or in the state prison. (b)(1) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully possessing a controlled substance specified in subdivision (f) of Section 11056, and who has not previously been convicted of a violation involving a controlled substance specified in subdivision (f) of Section 11056, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (2) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully possessing a controlled substance specified in subdivision (g) of Section 11056 is guilty of a misdemeanor. (3) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully possessing a controlled substance specified in paragraph (7) or (8) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055 is guilty of a misdemeanor. (4) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully possessing a controlled substance specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (f) of Section 11057 is guilty of a misdemeanor. (c) In addition to any fine assessed under subdivision (b), the judge may assess a fine not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) against any person who violates subdivision (a), with the proceeds of this fine to be used in accordance with Section 1463.23 of the Penal Code. The court shall, however, take into consideration the defendant's ability to pay, and no defendant shall be denied probation because of his or her inability to pay the fine permitted under this subdivision.")  Because HS 11377 is a personal possession offense, it would typically qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

See also Health and Safety Code 11350 HS California's law against personal possession of controlled substances.  ("(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses any controlled substance specified in subdivision (e) of Section 11054 shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison. (c) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whenever a person who possesses any of the controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) or (b), the judge may, in addition to any punishment provided for pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), assess against that person a fine not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) with proceeds of this fine to be used in accordance with Section 1463.23 of the Penal Code. The court shall, however, take into consideration the defendant's ability to pay, and no defendant shall be denied probation because of his or her inability to pay the fine permitted under this subdivision. (d) Except in unusual cases in which it would not serve the interest of justice to do so, whenever a court grants probation pursuant to a felony conviction under this section, in addition to any other conditions of probation which may be imposed, the following conditions of probation shall be ordered: (1) For a first offense under this section, a fine of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) or community service. (2) For a second or subsequent offense under this section, a fine of at least two thousand dollars ($2,000) or community service. (3) If a defendant does not have the ability to pay the minimum fines specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), community service shall be ordered in lieu of the fine.") Because HS 11350 is a personal possession offense, it would typically qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

6 Health and Safety Code 11357 HS California's law against possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.  ("(a) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment, or shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison. (b) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). (c) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment. (d) Except as authorized by law, every person 18 years of age or over who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within, any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 10 days, or both. (e) Except as authorized by law, every person under the age of 18 who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within, any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to the following dispositions: (1) A fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), upon a finding that a first offense has been committed. (2) A fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or commitment to a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, forestry camp, or secure juvenile home for a period of not more than 10 days, or both, upon a finding that a second or subsequent offense has been committed.") Because HS 11357 is a personal possession offense, it would typically qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

7 Health and Safety Code 11550 HS California's law against being under the influence of a controlled substance.  ("(a) No person shall use, or be under the influence of any controlled substance which is (1) specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), (21), (22), or (23) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (d) or in paragraph (3) of subdivision (e) of Section 11055, or (2) a narcotic drug classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, except when administered by or under the direction of a person licensed by the state to dispense, prescribe, or administer controlled substances. It shall be the burden of the defense to show that it comes within the exception. Any person convicted of violating this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced to serve a term of not more than one year in a county jail. The court may place a person convicted under this subdivision on probation for a period not to exceed five years. (b) Any person who (1) is convicted of violating subdivision (a) when the offense occurred within seven years of that person being convicted of two or more separate violations of that subdivision, and (2) refuses to complete a licensed drug rehabilitation program offered by the court pursuant to subdivision (c), shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 180 days nor more than one year. In no event does the court have the power to absolve a person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) that is punishable under this subdivision from the obligation of spending at least 180 days in confinement in a county jail unless there are no licensed drug rehabilitation programs reasonably available. For the purpose of this section, a drug rehabilitation program shall not be considered reasonably available unless the person is required to pay no more than the court determines that he or she is reasonably able to pay, in order to participate in the program. (c) The court may, when it would be in the interest of justice, permit any person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) punishable under subdivision (a) or (b) to complete a licensed drug rehabilitation program in lieu of part or all of the imprisonment in the county jail. As a condition of sentencing, the court may require the offender to pay all or a portion of the drug rehabilitation program. In order to alleviate jail overcrowding and to provide recidivist offenders with a reasonable opportunity to seek rehabilitation pursuant to this subdivision, counties are encouraged to include provisions to augment licensed drug rehabilitation programs in their substance abuse proposals and applications submitted to the state for federal and state drug abuse funds. (d) In addition to any fine assessed under this section, the judge may assess a fine not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) against any person who violates this section, with the proceeds of this fine to be used in accordance with Section 1463.23 of the Penal Code. The court shall, however, take into consideration the defendant's ability to pay, and no defendant shall be denied probation because of his or her inability to pay the fine permitted under this subdivision. (e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b) or any other provision of law, any person who is unlawfully under the influence of cocaine, cocaine base, heroin, methamphetamine, or phencyclidine while in the immediate personal possession of a loaded, operable firearm is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not exceeding one year or in state prison.   As used in this subdivision "immediate personal possession" includes, but is not limited to, the interior passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. (f) Every person who violates subdivision (e) is punishable upon the second and each subsequent conviction by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years. (g) Nothing in this section prevents deferred entry of judgment or a defendant's participation in a preguilty plea drug court program under Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1000) of Title 6 of Part 2 of the Penal Code unless the person is charged with violating subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 243 of the Penal Code. A person charged with violating this section by being under the influence of any controlled substance which is specified in paragraph (21), (22), or (23) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054 or in paragraph (3) of subdivision (e) of Section 11055 and with violating either subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 243 of the Penal Code or with a violation of subdivision (e) shall be ineligible for deferred entry of judgment or a preguilty plea drug court program.") Because HS 11550 deals with personal addiction issues, it would typically qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

8 Health and Safety Code 11351 HS California's law against possession or purchase of a controlled substance for sale; punishment.  ("Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses for sale or purchases for purposes of sale (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.") Because HS 11351 deals with drug sales, it would typically not qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

9 Health and Safety Code 11352 HS California's law against transporting or selling a controlled substance; punishment.  ("(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years. (b) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of subdivision (a), any person who transports for sale any controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) within this state from one county to another noncontiguous county shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or nine years.") Because HS 11352 deals with drug sales, it would typically not qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

10 Health and Safety Code 11360 HS California's law against transporting or selling marijuana.  ("(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section or as authorized by law, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any marijuana shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of two, three or four years. (b) Except as authorized by law, every person who gives away, offers to give away, transports, offers to transport, or attempts to transport not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). In any case in which a person is arrested for a violation of this subdivision and does not demand to be taken before a magistrate, such person shall be released by the arresting officer upon presentation of satisfactory evidence of identity and giving his written promise to appear in court, as provided in Section 853.6 of the Penal Code, and shall not be subjected to booking.") Because HS 11360 deals with drug sales, it would typically not qualify for inclusion in California drug court.

11 Orange county criminal defense lawyer John Murray represents clients throughout Orange County, including Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Anaheim and Westminster, as well as in the South Bay (including Long Beach and Torrance).

12Adult Services - Probation Department - Alameda County: Mentor Diversion Program.

See also Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - Chapter 27. Deferred Entry of Judgment - 27.3 Narcotics and Drug Abuse Cases.

13 California Penal Code 1210.1 PC (also known as Proposition 36) -- Possession of Controlled Substances; Probation; Exceptions, subdivision (d)(3).  ("(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as provided in subdivision (b), any person convicted of a nonviolent drug possession offense [either through a guilty or nolo contendere "no contest" plea or based on a guilty verdict in a California jury trial] shall receive probation. As a condition of probation the court shall require participation in and completion of an appropriate drug treatment program. The court shall impose appropriate drug testing as a condition of probation. The court may also impose, as a condition of probation, participation in vocational training, family counseling, literacy training and/or community service. A court may not impose incarceration as an additional condition of probation. Aside from the limitations imposed in this subdivision, the trial court is not otherwise limited in the type of probation conditions it may impose. Probation shall be imposed by suspending the imposition of sentence. No person shall be denied the opportunity to benefit from the provisions of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 based solely upon evidence of a co-occurring psychiatric or developmental disorder. To the greatest extent possible, any person who is convicted of, and placed on probation pursuant to this section for a nonviolent drug possession offense shall be monitored by the court through the use of a dedicated court calendar and the incorporation of a collaborative court model of oversight that includes close collaboration with treatment providers and probation, drug testing commensurate with treatment needs, and supervision of progress through review hearings. In addition to any fine assessed under other provisions of law, the trial judge may require any person convicted of a nonviolent drug possession offense who is reasonably able to do so to contribute to the cost of his or her own placement in a drug treatment program.

See also People v. Davis (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 251, 256-257. ("Under the plain meaning of the words of the Three Strikes law and the deferred entry of judgment program, an otherwise eligible defendant is not excluded from deferred entry of judgment based on the allegation of a prior serious [felony] or violent felony conviction. The deferred entry of judgment program excludes defendants, inter alia, who have suffered any felony conviction within the preceding five years (� 1000, subd. (a)(6)), or if the current felony involved violence or the threat of violence (� 1000, subd. (a)(2)), but does not exclude potential participants based on the allegation of a prior serious or violent felony conviction. Thus, the deferred entry of judgment allows a strike defendant [that is, a defendant who has received a strike pursuant to California's three strikes law] to participate.")

14 California Penal Code 1000 PC -- Application of chapter to certain violations.  ("(a) This chapter shall apply whenever a case is before any court upon an accusatory pleading for a violation of Section 11350, 11357, 11364, 11365, 11377, or 11550 of the Health and Safety Code, or subdivision (b) of Section 23222 of the Vehicle Code, or Section 11358 of the Health and Safety Code if the marijuana planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed is for personal use, or Section 11368 of the Health and Safety Code if the narcotic drug was secured by a fictitious prescription and is for the personal use of the defendant and was not sold or furnished to another, or subdivision (d) of Section 653f if the solicitation was for acts directed to personal use only, or Section 381 or subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code, if for being under the influence of a controlled substance, or Section 4060 of the Business and Professions Code, and it appears to the prosecuting attorney that, except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 11357 of the Health and Safety Code, all of the following apply to the defendant: (1) The defendant has no conviction for any offense involving controlled substances prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (2) The offense charged did not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence. (3) There is no evidence of a violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the sections listed in this subdivision. (4) The defendant's record does not indicate that probation or parole has ever been revoked without thereafter being completed. (5) The defendant's record does not indicate that he or she has successfully completed or been terminated from diversion or deferred entry of judgment pursuant to this chapter within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (6) The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. (b) The prosecuting attorney shall review his or her file to determine whether or not paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (a) apply to the defendant. Upon the agreement of the prosecuting attorney, law enforcement, the public defender, and the presiding judge of the criminal division of the superior court, or a judge designated by the presiding judge, this procedure shall be completed as soon as possible after the initial filing of the charges. If the defendant is found eligible, the prosecuting attorney shall file with the court a declaration in writing or state for the record the grounds upon which the determination is based, and shall make this information available to the defendant and his or her attorney. This procedure is intended to allow the court to set the hearing for deferred entry of judgment at the arraignment. If the defendant is found ineligible for deferred entry of judgment, the prosecuting attorney shall file with the court a declaration in writing or state for the record the grounds upon which the determination is based, and shall make this information available to the defendant and his or her attorney. The sole remedy of a defendant who is found ineligible for deferred entry of judgment is a postconviction appeal. (c) All referrals for deferred entry of judgment granted by the court pursuant to this chapter shall be made only to programs that have been certified by the county drug program administrator pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 1211) of Title 8, or to programs that provide services at no cost to the participant and have been deemed by the court and the county drug program administrator to be credible and effective. The defendant may request to be referred to a program in any county, as long as that program meets the criteria set forth in this subdivision. (d) Deferred entry of judgment for a violation of Section 11368 of the Health and Safety Code shall not prohibit any administrative agency from taking disciplinary action against a licensee or from denying a license. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to expand or restrict the provisions of Section 1000.4. (e) Any defendant who is participating in a program referred to in this section may be required to undergo analysis of his or her urine for the purpose of testing for the presence of any drug as part of the program. However, urine analysis results shall not be admissible as a basis for any new criminal prosecution or proceeding.")

15 Please feel free to contact our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Neil Shouse for any questions relating to Nevada's drug court and diversion programs. Our Nevada law offices are located in Reno and Las Vegas.

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Our attorneys want to hear your side of the story. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a FREE consultation with a criminal defense lawyer. We may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. And if necessary, we will champion your case all the way to trial.

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Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Regain peace of mind...

Our defense attorneys understand that being accused of a crime is one of the most difficult times of your life. Rely on us to zealously and discreetly protect your rights and to fight for the most favorable resolution possible.

To contact us, please select your state:

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370