Are Alternative Programs Available To Drug Offenders In California?
One of the most popular alternative programs is Prop. 36. Under California’s Proposition 36, if you are a non-violent offender, arrested for simple possession of substances such as cocaine or heroin, you may be eligible to enter a diversion treatment program. The program takes approximately eighteen months. If you successfully complete the program, your conviction is actually dismissed from your record. However, if you do not complete the program, then you could face jail time and or a fine.
Another program that is available is he Sentenced Offender Drug Court (SODC), which is an intensive program for those convicted of non-violent felonies who are facing state prison time due to their criminal records & history of drug addiction. These higher risk clients have medium to high levels of drug addiction and are offered the SODC program with formal probation as an alternative to state prison.
SODC is a 12 to 15 month in-custody and post-release treatment program. All participants spend approximately 74 to 104 days in the county jail where they are assigned to a specialized drug treatment module. Following this period of intensive in-custody treatment, participants are assigned to a residential/sober living facility where they begin comprehensive “outpatient” treatment and intensive drug testing under direct supervision of the judge. Once participants are successfully transitioned to outpatient treatment, they are provided with job training and independent living skills education, in addition to substance abuse treatment. SODC serves up to 100 participants at a time and is almost always at full capacity. Successful participants who have graduated from SODC and have remained probation-compliant and drug-free for one year may petition the court for early termination of probation, dismissal and expungement.
Do You Recommend The Alternative Programs For All Of Your Clients?
It really depends on the client. Some clients want to do these programs because they really are ready to quit their drug habit and they need help. However, some clients know that they are not ready and if they go to these programs, they will fail, so some refuse them. Some clients want to go through the program; however, the judge, the DA, and sometimes the defense attorney feel that it would be in the client’s best interest not to go through the program.
How Often Are You Able To Have Charges Reduced Or Dropped In Drug Cases?
More often than people think! The courts look to rehabilitation for drug users more than they do for punishment. If a person is being charged with possession for use, the chances of having their case dismissed or reduced by entering into a program is great.
However, the courts do not look favorably upon people who profit from selling narcotics to the general population and take those charges seriously. However, there is still a chance of those charges being reduced and or pled out to a much lesser charge if the right attorney is hired.
What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling Drug Cases Specifically?
What sets us apart is that we have been handling these types of cases for years. We know the process, we know the courts, and we also care about our clients. They are not just a number to us. We take our time, get to know them, and get to know the problems that caused them to be in the situation. We try to help them not just by beating the court case but also getting them the right help and treatment they need to rehabilitate and stream back into society drug free.
For more information on Alternative Programs For Drug Offenders, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 894-8548 today.