Dismiss Drug Charges In California With A Pretrial Diversion – Penal Code 1000 (Legal Guide)

Today, I am going to explain California’s pre-trial drug diversion program which is known as penal code 1000.

In fact:

I regularly use this program to have our eligible clients drug cases dismissed.

Let’s get started…

Overview Of Penal Code 1000

[Estimated read time: 11 Minutes]

Penal Code 1000 refers to a disposition formerly called Deferred Entry of Judgment, but is currently called a pretial diversion where an eligible drug defendant asks to have their case suspended for 12 to 36-months while the defendant completes an approved drug education or rehabilitation program.

Underlying offense

Requirements Include:

  • A defendant may ask that he/she participate in an approved program in any California county.
  • These programs must assess the defendant and provide a minimum of 20-hours of drug education or rehabilitation.
  • Lastly, there must be a report, or exit conference, that reports on the defendant’s progress in the program.

What Happens If You Successfully Complete The Program?

Once you complete the program, the court is obligated to dismiss the drug charges against you.

Underlying offense

The Benefits of Completing a Pretrial Diversion Program Are:

  • You may lawfully and truthfully state under oath or penalty of perjury on any application for employment, credit, rent, school or other document that you have never been arrested for the charge or that you were granted a pretrial diversion1.
  • Your arrest record cannot be used to affect your ability to obtain a professional license (e.g., real estate, law, medical) or have adverse effects on your employment.

The only exception is that you must disclose your arrest and grant of a pretrial diversion if you apply to become a police officer.

What Happens If The Court Determines You Failed The Program?

During your participation in a court-approved program, the court could determine that you are not fully participating or that some other circumstance has arisen that has rendered you no longer eligible for the diversion.

Underlying offense

This could include:

  1. You are not attending the drug program
  2. Your participation has been unsatisfactory
  3. You are not benefiting from the program
  4. You have been convicted of a felony
  5. You have been convicted of a misdemeanor that reflects a propensity for violence (domestic violence or simple assault)
  6. You have engaged in criminal conduct that makes you ineligible

A defendant may be removed from the program if he/she fails to complete the program or commits a felony or misdemeanor involving violence2.

If this occurs, then the defendant may be removed from the program, convicted of the charged offense and sentenced.

Can DUI Offenders Participate In The Drug Diversion Program?

If a person commits a DUI offense that involves intoxication by drugs, this is considered a non-drug related offense and the person is not eligible for Proposition 36. A DUI-Drug offender may be able to enter the pretrial diversion program.

Where Do I Get A List of Approved Programs?

You can find a list of approved programs at the courthouse.

Eligibility For DEJ

To be eligible for a DEJ, the court will review 2 factors:


The underlying drug offense:

Underlying offense

Your criminal history:

Your criminal history is one of the two eligibility factors in determining whether a pretrial diversion should be offered in your case.

The criteria involve the following:

  • You have no prior drug-related convictions
  • The subject drug offense must be possession-related and not involve the sale of a controlled substance
  • The underlying charged offense must be non-violent or not contain a threat of violence3
  • You have no prior convictions for any felony offense within 5 years of committing the underlying drug offense4
  • You have no history of previous parole or probation violations
  • You have not participated in a pretrial diversion program or drug diversion program in the past 5 years5.

What Offenses Are Eligible For The Drug Diversion Program?

There are a number of qualifying drug offenses under Penal Code 1000.

The most common are:

Examples Of Controlled Substances

The Process for A Deferred Entry of Judgment

To begin the process of becoming involved in the California pretrial diversion program, your attorney will review your criminal history with the prosecutor.

Underlying offense

As indicated above, the prosecutor will look at the charged offense for which you were arrested and your criminal record to see if you qualify6.

Underlying offense

If you do, a hearing will be scheduled before a judge

After considering the offense and your history, the judge will determine if all criteria have been met.

If you are found eligible, the judge will explain the program including your participation and successful completion of a drug education or rehabilitation program and the consequences of non-participation and completion.

A diversion program is now 12-18 months, though a longer period may be requested.

You will then be required to do the following:

  • Waive your jury trial rights.
  • Waive your speedy trial rights.
  • Pay a DEJ participation fee of not more than $1000.
  • Acknowledge that you will have to apply for and participate in a court-approved drug education or treatment program and be responsible for its costs.
  • Acknowledge that you understand that successful completion of the drug program will result in a dismissal of the subject charge and that you may state under penalty of perjury that you were never arrested on this charge.
  • Acknowledge that if you fail to complete the program within the prescribed time that you will be dismissed from the program and criminal proceedings against you will commence, however, you will not be entitled to a jury trial and your case will proceed with a bench trial or a plea bargain.
Determining The Best Drug Program

The probation department will have to assess you to determine the best drug program for your needs. It will consider:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Employment and skills
  • Community and family connections
  • Drug history and prior efforts at rehabilitation and treatment

The Difference Between DEJ & Prop 36

The pretrial diversion program is not the only program or alternative available to drug offenders.

Another program is Proposition 36 found under Penal Code Sections 1210-1210.1 and Penal Code Section 3063.1.

What Are The Differences Between a DEJ and Proposition 36:

  1. Pretrial diversion allows defendants who have prior serious felony convictions to become eligible so long as they meet all the other requirements. This includes an offense for which you were given a strike under California’s three strikes law. Proposition 36 will not allow such defendants in its program.
  2. Pretrial Diversion applies to a wider range of drug offenses
  3. If you plead guilty under Proposition 36, you are sentenced to formal probation and will have additional conditions and restrictions imposed on you
  4. Proposition 36 requires that you be sentenced and serve probation for 3 years. Drug treatment is determined by an assessment by a community program that could involve residential treatment.
  5. With a pretrial diversion, your deferment may last only 12-months and you are not required to receive treatment in a residential program.

How We Can Help

We can help assess if a pretrial diversion is a possibility in your case and have meaningful conversions with the prosecution about extending an offer of a pretrial diversion. We have had many clients successfully receive and complete a pretrial diversion.

If you would like to speak to a criminal defense attorney, please call our office at: (818) 351-9555 for a free confidential consultation. 

Get Legal Help Now

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 


  1. California Penal Code 1001.90(a) Any record filed with the Department of Justice shall indicate the disposition in those cases diverted pursuant to this chapter. Upon successful completion of a diversion program, the arrest upon which the diversion was based shall be deemed to have never occurred and the court may issue an order to seal the records pertaining to the arrest as described in Section 851.92. The divertee may indicate in response to any question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or diverted for the offense, except as specified in subdivision (b). A record pertaining to an arrest resulting in successful completion of a diversion program shall not, without the divertee’s consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate. []
  2. California Penal Code 1000.3(c) – If the court finds that the defendant is not performing satisfactorily in the assigned program, or the court finds that the defendant has been convicted of a crime as indicated in subdivision (a), the court shall schedule the matter for further proceedings as otherwise provided in this code. []
  3. California Penal Code 1000(2) – The offense charged did not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence. []
  4. California Penal Code 1000(a)(4) – The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense. []
  5. California Penal Code 1000(a)(1) – Within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense, the defendant has not suffered a conviction for any offense involving controlled substances other than the offenses listed in this subdivision. []
  6. California Penal Code 1000.2(a). []


Will i pass a background check for purchasing a firearm if i completed pc1000?

It depends. Was your case originally a misdemeanor or a felony?

Yes it was originally a felony

Are you eligible for prop 47 reduction? If so, you may want to try to obtain that relief to ensure that your firearms rights are in tact.

I completed the PC-1000 program in the INDIO, CA court. When I search my case is shows that have received my proof of completion and my completion hearing date is still set. Do I need to show up to the proof of completion hearing? I remember the judge saying all I had to do was complete the program and make sure the completion was submitted and I would not have to come back.

Usually, yes. Your presence is required for the hearing so that you may make the appropriate motion to dismiss the charges against you. Make sure to bring your completion paperwork with you to the hearing. Never rely on the program to turn it in for you. Congratulations on being finished!

Thank you.

The court records show that my completion certificate has been filed. Does that make a difference? I never went for my proof of enrollment hearing either.

Just want to make sure, thank you!

What if you moved out of state after completing? There’s no way I can travel back to California from Oklahoma for the final hearing. Not only can I not afford it, I will be 8 months pregnant and my doctor says I probably shouldn’t. I have called my court appointed attorney EVERY DAY and he will not return my calls.

I didnt complete the classes the court order me to complete cause i did not have a job and could not get ahold on the almost 300 dollars it was for me to take the clases now i iave a job and for sure be able to pay the amount but my court is today what should i say in my defence hopefulky can give me 6 months more to complete it

Is pc1000 for adults or minors only? & if completeing pc1000 would I be able to own a firearm if the charges are then dismissed thus not being convicted of a felony?

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