How To Get Drug Possession Charges Dropped in California

You can get your drug possession charge dropped in California. A valid defense to have drug charges dismissed includes proof of legal possession or entering a drug diversion program, which is commonly used for simple possession charges.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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How do I get a small quantity drug possession charge dismissed in California?

In California, there is an option called the drug diversion program that allows individuals who are charged with drug offenses to receive treatment instead of going through the usual criminal prosecution process. This program, commonly known as the California Drug Diversion Program or referred to by Penal Codes like PC 1000, offers an approach aimed at rehabilitation rather than punishment for those facing specific drug-related charges. The Department of Justice also recognize California’s drug diversion program to dismissed drug possession charge dismissed. The primary goal is to assist individuals in overcoming substance abuse problems. Let us explore how you can have a drug charge dismissed under this program along with its benefits, limitations and criteria for enrollment:

Steps to Get a Small Quantity Drug Charge Dismissed:

  1. Eligibility Assessment: Your lawyer will assess whether you qualify for a drug diversion program like Penal Code (PC) 1000 or Proposition 36.
  2. Motion for Diversion: If determined eligible, your attorney will file a motion or request to seek diversion of criminal prosecution in court.
  3. Court Approval: The court will review your eligibility. You will be placed into the diversion program if approved rather than facing ongoing criminal proceedings.
  4. Program Completion: You must fulfill all the requirements of the program, which typically involve undergoing drug treatment, regular testing for drugs, and counseling.
  5. Dismissal of Charges: The drug charges against you are typically dismissed once you successfully complete the program. The Drug Diversion Program offers benefits, such as avoiding jail time and receiving treatment. It also helps in clearing your record by leading to the dismissal of charges upon completion. The program focuses on rehabilitation and recovery rather than punishment.

If you’re charged with drug possession, please contact our San Diego criminal defense attorney to get drug possession and drug trafficking dismissed.

Benefits of the Drug Diversion Program

  • Avoidance of Jail Time: Participants can avoid incarceration and receive treatment.
  • Record Clearance: Successful completion generally leads to the dismissal of charges, helping to clear your criminal record.
  • Focus on Rehabilitation: The program emphasizes treatment and recovery rather than punishment.

Limits of the Drug Diversion Program

It’s also worth mentioning that eligibility for enrollment in the Drug Diversion Program is limited. Depends on both the nature of the offense and your criminal history. Enrollment usually takes place after arrest but before trial. Your attorney can assist you in this process by negotiating with the prosecution and seeking court approval.

  • Not for All Offenses: It’s typically available for non-violent drug possession charges, not for sales, trafficking, or violent crimes.
  • Completion is Mandatory: Failure to complete the program can result in reinstatement of the criminal process.
  • Limited Eligibility: Not everyone qualifies; eligibility depends on the offense’s nature and criminal history.

Qualification Criteria:

  • Eligible Offenses: Generally, include simple possession, being under the influence, and other non-violent drug offenses.
  • No Violent Crime History: Individuals with a history of violent crime typically don’t qualify.
  • Drug Dependency: The program is designed for those who have a drug problem that contributed to the offense.

Who Doesn’t Qualify:

  • Individuals charged with drug sales, manufacturing, or trafficking.
  • Those with a significant criminal history, especially involving violent crimes.
  • Offenders who have previously failed drug diversion programs may be ineligible.

How do you get large quantity drug possession charges dismissed in California?

To have drug possession charges dropped in California there are steps you can take with the help of a defense attorney:

  1. Hire a Competent Criminal Defense Attorney: Find a criminal defense lawyer specializing in California drug-related cases. They will guide you through the system. Provide advice that fits your specific circumstances.
  2. Challenge the Evidence: Review the evidence, with your attorney to identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies. This includes examining how the evidence was obtained and whether it adhered to search and seizure laws.
  3. Consider Diversion Programs: Explore diversion programs available in California, such as Proposition 36 or PC 1000. These programs offer alternatives to jail time by providing drug treatment opportunities. Completing these programs successfully may result in the dismissal of charges.
  4. Argue for a Lack of Possession: Argue that you did not actually possess the drugs or that you had no knowledge of their presence. Providing evidence to support this claim can serve as a defense.
  5. Negotiate a Plea Deal: Consider negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution if the evidence against you is substantial. This strategy involves seeking a charge or reduced sentence through discussions with the opposing party.
  6. Explore Legal Defenses: Consider exploring defenses that could be applicable to your situation. For instance, you may aim to prove that the drugs in question were intended for use than for sale. Additionally, if you possess a prescription for the substances, this can serve as a defense.
  7. File Motions to Suppress or Dismiss: Another approach is to file motions either to suppress evidence obtained unlawfully or dismiss the charges altogether if there is evidence against you.
  8. Show Compliance and Rehabilitation: To present yourself in a light before the court it can be beneficial to demonstrate your compliance and efforts towards rehabilitation. This could include enrolling in drug treatment programs or taking proactive steps.
  9. Seek Reduction of Charges: If it’s not possible to have the charges dismissed, you may work towards seeking a reduction of charges. By doing you might be able to secure an offense with lighter penalties.

It’s important to keep in mind that the success of these strategies will depend on the details of your case including factors such as the nature and quantity of drugs involved. For guidance and support, having an experienced attorney by your side throughout this process is crucial.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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