Great News! Newly Enacted Pretrial Diversion Program Can Assist in Controlled Substances Cases

On October 14, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown approved AB-208 (“Deferred Entry of Judgment: Pretrial Diversion”). This Act took effect on January 1, 2018 and has amended the existing deferred entry of judgment program under Penal Code section 1000, et seq.

AB-208 created a more comprehensive pretrial diversion program. Under this program, a qualifying defendant would enter a plea of not guilty, waive his or her right to a jury trial, and proceedings would be suspended in order for the defendant to enter a drug treatment program for 12 to 18 months. Upon successful completion of a pretrial diversion program, the arrest upon which the defendant was diverted will be deemed never to have occurred and the court may issue an order to seal the records pertaining to the arrest.

A defendant would be qualified for the pretrial diversion program if all of the following apply:

(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 the Act.

(2) The offense charged did not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence.

(3) There is no evidence of a contemporaneous violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the offenses listed in the Act.

(4) The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense.

If you want to determine whether you have been charged with a qualifying offense and how you could benefit from AB-208 call today for your free initial consultation.


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