Los Angeles County Drug Court

The first Los Angeles County drug court opened downtown as a pilot project in 1994. Judge Stephen Marcus...a "true believer" in the concept...presided over the court. Today, Los Angeles County drug courts have an astounding success rate. Only about 10% of those who graduate from the program go on to commit new offenses, as opposed to the 70% of repeat offenders that go through "traditional" L.A. criminal courts.

What's more is that the new offenses committed by graduates of drug court are rarely drug related...oftentimes only involving simple misdemeanors such as driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license.

In this article, our California drug crimes defense attorneys1 provide a summary of the Los Angeles County drug court system by addressing the following:

1. An Overview of Los Angeles County
Drug Courts
2. Eligibility

2.1. The benefits of drug court

2.2. Regarding pleas

3. Treatment Regimen

3.1. Specific example - Van Nuys
drug court

3.1.a. The "phases"

3.1.b. The end result

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.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California Drug Courts; California Drug Crimes; Health and Safety Code 11350 HS Personal Possession of a Controlled Substance; Health and Safety Code 11377 HS Personal Possession of Methamphetamines; Health and Safety 11357 HS Possession of Less than One Ounce of Marijuana; Health and Safety Code 11351 HS Possessing or Purchasing Controlled Substances for Sale; Health and Safety Code 11352 HS Transporting or Selling Controlled Substances; Health and Safety Code 11360 HS California's Law Against Transporting or Selling Marijuana; Health and Safety Code 11550 HS California's Under the Influence Law; California's Three Strikes Law; California Proposition 36; and Penal Code 1000 PC Deferred Entry of Judgment ("DEJ").

1. An Overview of Los Angeles County Drug Courts

California drug courts were established with three basic goals in mind:

  1. to end drug abuse,


  2. to keep nonviolent criminals out of overcrowded jails/prisons, and


  3. to save money (*the average drug treatment costs range from $900 to $1,600 per person compared to an average cost of $5,000 per person for a minimal period of incarceration).2

Catering almost exclusively to nonviolent drug possession offenders, these courts encourage defendants to become sober in exchange for either

  • a dismissal of their criminal charges, or


  • the opportunity to participate in drug rehabilitation in lieu of a jail or prison sentence.

Los Angeles County drug court follows this same lead. It promotes sobriety by offering a collaborative, non-confrontational environment where the defendant's individual needs are truly given priority. At each appearance,

  • the judge,


  • the defendant,


  • a deputy public defender (or a private attorney),


  • a deputy district attorney,


  • and one or more drug counselors from the local drug treatment facility that works with the court
    1. have a prior drug and/or other criminal history, or


    2. are charged with something other than simple possession,
    1. drug addicts need help, and


    2. those who pursue help...and are successful in attaining it...should be rewarded by having their criminal charge(s) dismissed.
    • participates in therapy (both individually and in a group setting),


    • takes drug education classes,


    • participates in some type of educational or vocational training (if/where appropriate),


    • submits to frequent drug tests, and


    • completes any additional requirements that the court believes will be helpful to the offender.
    • is benefiting from the program and should spend more time in the program,


    • should be transferred either to a residential or an outpatient facility (Van Nuys defendants receive their services through the Tarzana Treatment Center), or


    • is not benefiting from treatment and should simply remain incarcerated.
    • sentencing (if participation was pursuant to a guilty plea), or


    • arraignment (if participation was pursuant to a pre-plea negotiation).

  • all discuss the defendant's case. They review the defendant's drug history, progress, set-backs and motivation for success in an open and honest manner. And as long as the defendant appears sincere in his/her efforts to become "clean", these parties will continue to try to help.

    As two original L.A. County drug court judges explain,


    "Drug Court philosophy recognizes that the optimum time for intervention and treatment is when the defendant is most highly motivated, i.e., when in custody or facing a state prison sentence. By securing the defendant's release from custody, and insisting on an immediate treatment plan, followed by early and frequent court-monitored progress reports, the program can achieve a period of sobriety and stabilization from which the defendant can begin the long-term process of treatment for the self-destructive tendencies of drug abuse, and for improving the defendant's self-esteem. The drug court judge must be part big brother, cheerleader and taskmaster."3

    Los Angeles County drug court operates out of traditional L.A. criminal courthouses. Typically, one courtroom functions as a drug court at least a couple of mornings or afternoons a week. The judges assigned to these special divisions request these assignments, as they truly believe in the benefits of the program.

    2. Eligibility

    Los Angeles County drug court is run according to the basic state guidelines that govern all California drug courts. That said, drug court is much less formal than traditional court, and each county is given some flexibility in how it wishes to structure its program.

    The basic principle of drug court is that it is supposed to treat individuals who suffer from drug addiction as opposed to those who are charged with drug sales offenses. This means that California drug crimes such as




    are the types of charges that will generally qualify a defendant for drug court. And conversely, charges such as



    will typically disqualify you from participation in drug court. But because Los Angeles County drug court has quite a bit of autonomy, it has much broader flexibility in determining who is eligible to participate.



    2.1. The benefit of Los Angeles County drug court


    California's additional drug diversion programs, Proposition 36 and Penal Code 1000 PC deferred entry of judgment (discussed below under Section 4. Alternative California Drug Diversion Programs), are strictly regulated by statute. This means that there is very little flexibility within these programs as to who may or may not participate.

    This means that, for example, a person who has been previously convicted of a sales offense is automatically excluded from these drug diversion programs. However, a Los Angeles County drug court may accept this person into its program if it appears that the individual has a long history of drug abuse and that the sales offense was committed solely as a means of supporting his/her own drug habit.

    Similarly, let's say that an individual has been charged with felony theft and not an actual drug crime. If that individual only stole to support his/her drug habit, a Los Angeles County drug court judge may nevertheless admit that individual into the program.

    Even an individual who has one or two violent misdemeanor convictions that took place many years ago...convictions that were based on drug-related incidents...may still be admitted into drug court at the judge's discretion. And if a judge is willing to dismiss a former serious or violent felony that constitutes a "strike" under California's Three Strikes law, L.A. drug court may accept that individual if it appears his/her current problems stem from a drug addiction.



    2.2. Regarding pleas


    If you are charged with a straight personal possession case...and it's your first criminal offense...chances are that you will not be required to enter a plea before you participate in Los Angeles County drug court.

    This means that you will simply waive the time frame for your California arraignment and enter drug rehabilitation. If you graduate from the program, your charge(s) will be dismissed.

    If, however, you



    you will most likely be required to enter a guilty plea before you are allowed to participate in a Los Angeles County drug court. You will then be placed on probation for 36 months and will be required to complete drug court as a condition of probation. If you graduate, your charge(s) will be dismissed and your probation will be terminated. If you do not graduate, the judge will sentence you on your plea...possibly to county jail or state prison time.

    3. Treatment Regimen

    Again, because Los Angeles County drug court is part of the state's program, it incorporates the same type of graduated reward system that is common to all California drug courts. This system requires that each defendant



    As long as these basic objectives are met, how and when they are imposed is within each court's discretion.



    3.1. Specific example -- Van Nuys drug court


    At the Van Nuys Courthouse, for example, defendants are typically required to spend the first 45-90 days in a jail drug treatment facility before they will be allowed to participate in the additional programs offered by the drug court.

    This "in-custody" program is run by the IMPACT drug and alcohol treatment center. Female inmates are treated at the Lynwood detention center, and male inmates are treated at the Wayside jail.

    IMPACT takes the defendant off the streets and closely monitors each individual in an effort to provide a basic foundation for success. It is a very structured environment which serves as a basic model for the treatment that is to follow.

    At the end of a defendant's stay, an IMPACT counselor tells the court whether he/she thinks the defendant




    3.1.a. The "phases"


    Once a defendant makes it through the IMPACT program, he/she officially enters the drug court and begins Phase 1 of the program.


    Phase 1

    During phase 1, the defendant must report back to court every one to four weeks. The individual participates in individual and group therapy for a minimum of three to four hours a day / five days a week. He/she must also attend a 12-step program such as Narcotics Anonymous on a daily basis.

    Phase 1 defendants used to be required to submit to daily drug testing. Today, however, that testing takes place about three times a week due to the expense of daily testing and based on the fact that drugs will typically remain in one's system for at least a couple of days which means that they will still show up on a test.

    Phase 1 is the longest phase, typically lasting about five months.


    Phases 2 and 3

    Phases 2 and 3 each last about three to four months (the entire "phase" portion of drug court lasts about one year). During this time, meetings are cut back, and court progress reports are reduced to about once every six weeks.

    Because the court wants to ensure that "clean" individuals don't simply go back to their previous lifestyle once treatment is complete, phases 2 and 3 begin to incorporate outside activities. Most defendants participate in some type of schooling (either in a traditional educational institution such as a community college or in a vocational training center) or are required to work.

    By the end of phase 3, the defendant is expected to be a full-time student or employee.



    3.1.b. The end result


    If the defendant successfully completes this regimen, he/she attends a formal "graduation", and the judge dismisses the charge(s). If the defendant can't...or more likely isn't willing to...complete the program, he/she faces




    The good news is that the Van Nuys drug court...as well as most of the other Los Angeles County drug courts...really want to see participants succeed. This means that as long as the defendants appear to be making a sincere effort to remain clean, the court will work with them.

    An individual who "falls off" the program may have to be transferred out of an outpatient treatment center back into a residential program...or even back into the IMPACT program...multiple times before he/she graduates the program. Consequently, some people may participate in drug court for much longer than one year.

    4. Alternative California Drug Diversion Programs

    Los Angeles County drug court...and, for that matter, California drug court...is definitely the most informal, most forgiving type of California drug diversion. California's other two programs, Proposition 36 and Penal Code 1000 PC California's deferred entry of judgment program, are much more structured and rigid.

    And while each program has its differences, all three are based on the concepts that




    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. If you are charged with very specific nonviolent drug possession offenses...and those charges are only your first or second criminal charges...you will automatically be enrolled in this program. If you have a prior conviction for a serious or violent felony...that is, a crime that qualifies as a "strike"...you are ineligible for this program - period.10

    While on Prop. 36, you are placed on probation. If you successfully complete your treatment, your charge(s) will be dismissed, and your probation will be terminated. If you are disqualified, you may still be eligible to participate in drug court.



    4.2. California Penal Code 1000 PC deferred entry of judgment


    Penal Code 1000 PC California's "deferred entry of judgment" (DEJ) program is very similar in form to Prop. 36 but is a bit less restrictive.11 This is because DEJ involves a certain amount of judicial discretion.

    Unlike Prop. 36 which is automatic in its application, DEJ is a judge-based program. This means that it is the judge who determines whether or not a defendant is suitable for the program. A defendant who is rejected from DEJ...or who "fails out" may still be eligible to participate in California drug court.

    Penal Code 1000 PC can also last longer than Prop. 36. DEJ is an 18-month to three-year program, whereas Prop. 36 is a maximum two-year program. And because DEJ does not involve formal probation, the judge does not impose any additional restrictions on your participation. Consequently, the requirements for DEJ are less onerous than Prop. 36.

    As Burbank criminal defense attorney Darrell York12 explains, "Because each of these California drug diversion programs operates in a different manner...and according to a different structure...be sure to discuss all of your options with a California drug crimes defense attorney who understands the intricacies involved in each. And...if you are an L.A. county resident...be sure to consult with a local attorney who is familiar with the Los Angeles County drug court who can explain first-hand what you face if you participate in this particular program."

    Call us for help...

    For questions about Los Angeles County 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 programs. For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.13


    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.

    3Drug Courts Take Aim at the Drug Problem.

    4 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 a Los Angeles County 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 a Los Angeles County drug court.

    5 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 a Los Angeles County drug court.

    6 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 less than 90 days or 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 and, except as provided in subdivision (c), shall in all cases in which probation is granted require, as a condition thereof, that the person be confined in a county jail for at least 90 days. Other than as provided by subdivision (c), in no event shall the court have the power to absolve a person who violates this subdivision from the obligation of spending at least 90 days in confinement in a county jail. (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 a Los Angeles County drug court.

    7 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 a Los Angeles County drug court.

    8 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 a Los Angeles County drug court.

    9 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 a Los Angeles County drug court.

    10 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 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.

    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.")

    11 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 California 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.")

    12 Burbank criminal defense lawyer Darrell York uses his former experience as a Glendale Police Officer to represents clients at the Ventura Hall of Justice, the Van Nuys courthouse, the Pasadena courthouse, the Burbank courthouse, the Glendale courthouse, the Lancaster courthouse, the San Fernando courthouse, and the Criminal Courts Building.

    13 Please feel free to contact our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Mike Castillo 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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