What is the California PC 1000 Program?
Prior to arraignment or as expeditiously as possible, the district attorney will determine whether the defendant is eligible for the “PC 1000 Program”.
If you are eligible, you will have the option to complete court mandated program in return for having your case dismissed. You will be able to say that you were never arrested for the offense charged or that you have any convictions, including to employers.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR PC 1000 DIVERSION PROGRAM
PC 1000 no longer requires any guilty plea. This law was changed by the legislature in January 2018. It is now called pre-trial diversion and people can plead not guilty or can continue the arraignment and they will be referred to the drug program. The case is dismissed after completing the program.
A person will not be eligible for PC 1000 if they are charged with transporting controlled substances for sale or possession of controlled substances for purposes of sale.
To be eligible for PC 1000, you must be charged with a crime involving drugs for personal use and the following must apply:
- No prior convictions involving drugs.
- No violence or threatened violence was involved in the alleged crime.
- The is no evidence of anything other than the charged crime, such as sales or trafficking of drugs.
- No evidence that probation or parole has ever been unsuccessfully terminated. Another way to put this is, that the defendant has no record of having parole or probation revoked without being reinstated.
- The defendant has no record of having successfully completed or been terminated from a PC 1000 or deferred entry of judgment program within five years prior to the current alleged offense.
- The defendant has no prior felony convictions within the last five years.
Not Required to Plead Guilty First
You are not required to plead guilty prior to being accepted into the program.The following will apply to you:
- You must tell the judge you accept the program and sign an agreement to abide by its rules.
- The court case against you will be suspended.
- You will be required to participate in a program that is 18 months to three years long.
- Upon successful completion of the program, the criminal case against you will be dismissed and your arrest deemed never to have occurred.
- If you are kicked out or fail the program, then the criminal case against you will resume from where it left off. This is different from the other program because you could still go to trial and be found “not guilty.”
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF PC 1000 DIVERSION, AKA “DRUG COURT”?
Each county has a different approach, but all diversion programs are somewhat similar. The following general conditions apply to either the pre-plea or post-plea PC 1000 programs:
- You will be placed under the supervision of the probation department and then assessed for your particular drug addiction needs.
- You will be required to submit to random and repeated drug tests. Most courts will give you at least one “pass” on a positive drug test and in many cases three “passes” before being terminated from the program.
- You will be required to participate in some type of drug treatment, such as residential treatment, counseling, group therapy, and/or individual therapy.
- You may be required to participate in self-help meetings such as A.A. or N.A.
- You will have to appear at regularly scheduled court dates for reviews. The period of time between each review date will get longer if your reviews are positive. If you have bad things in your review, such as a positive drug test, your reviews may become weekly.
- The judge also has discretion to “flash incarcerate” you, meaning remand you into custody for brief periods of time (10 days or less) as punishment for misbehavior or positive drug tests.
INFORMATION THAT IS STILL PUBLIC OR THAT YOU HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT EVEN IF YOU SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE PC 1000
Even though PC 1000 law requires that upon successful diversion your case is dismissed and your arrest deemed never to have occurred, there are some very important exceptions:
- You will be able to tell potential employers that you have never been arrested nor convicted, except if you are applying for the job of a police officer. However, California law does state that employment may not be denied as a result of successfully completing PC 1000 drug court or the underlying record of your arrest.
- Despite the fact that your case is dismissed and the arrest deemed never to have occurred, your court file will still exist. This means that if someone wanted to know about your case, they can go down to the court house, and in some cases go online, and pull up your name and see that you were charged and that the case against you was dismissed.
- Law enforcement will have access to the record of your case and arrest.
- If you are an undocumented immigrant, also know has an illegal immigrant or alien, you will be considered to have a drug related conviction on your record even if you successfully complete PC 1000 drug court. However, this only applies if you are required to plead guilty prior to being accepted into the program. This is why it is extremely important to always have the right California attorney to understand the distinction.
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Please also see our dedicated webpage for DRUG CRIMES by clicking HERE