Who Qualifies for Diversion in California?In California, Penal Code 1000 governs diversion, also known as deferred entry of judegment (DEJ). When a defendant is offered diversion, or deferred entry of judgement, he or she can perform community service, pay a fine, and/or participate in a drug treatment program to have a criminal charge or charges dismissed. Successful completion of a diversion program in California can keep someone’s record clean of a criminal charge or charges.

Diversion Eligibility
Typically, diversion, or deferred entry of judgement (DEJ), is offered to young adults – those who are under the age of 21. Candidates of diversion in California often are young adults with misdemeanor offenses, such as public intoxication or the possession of marijuana. If someone is convicted of these charges, he or she could have a difficult time gaining employment in the future. In addition, a person under 21-years-old, could have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to a year for a drug or alcohol conviction. One is not eligible for diversion or deferred entry of judgement if that individual already has a criminal record. There are more intensive diversion programs that do exist, though, for those with drug related convictions, which include drug treatment plans. To be more specific, an individual in California may be offered diversion if he or she has been charged in violations of Sections 11350, 11357, 11358, 11364, 11365, 11368 and 11377; 11550 of the Health and Safety Code; Penal Code 647 (f); and/or Section 4060 of the Business and Professions Code. Whether someone is offered diversion or DEJ, also is determined by whether the defendant has a prior conviction involving a controlled substance; whether the offense charged involved violence, whether the defendant has had any felony convictions; and whether the defendant has been on probation and/or offered diversion in the past.

More on the qualifying offenses
The following more specifically explain the qualifying offenses for diversion or deferred entry of judgement (DEJ) in California:

  • Possession of Controlled Substances/Solvents/Marijuana/Concentrated Cannabis – Health and Safety Code sections 11350, 11357 and 11377, and Business and Professions Code section 4060
  • Possession of Drug – Paraphernalia Health and Safety Code section 11364
  • Aiding and Abetting in the Use of Certain Drugs – Health and Safety Code section 11365
  • Being Under the Influence of Illegal Drugs – Health and Safety Code section 11550 and Penal Code section 647(f)
  • Cultivation of Marijuana – Health and Safety Code section 11358 (only if the marijuana planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed is for personal use)
  • Forging or Using a Forged Prescription to Obtain Drugs – Health and Safety Code section 11368 (only if the drugs were for personal use)
  • Driving While Possessing Marijuana – Vehicle Code section 23222(b)
  • Soliciting Drug-Related Acts – Penal Code section 653f(d) (only if the acts were directed at personal use)

Contact Our Office
Have you or your loved one been charged with a “minor” offense in California? Is the offender a juvenile? He or she may benefit from a diversion program, specifically if this is first-time offense, or a drug or domestic offense. Contact The Law Office of Peter Blair for additional information concerning diversion/deferred entry of judgement (DEJ) in California.