Penal Code 1000 also known as Diversion or simply PC 1000, is a first time drug offender program in California (There is an exception to the "first time offense rule" which allows repeat offenders to apply for PC 1000. See Below).
How PC 1000 Diversion works:
1. The defendant pleads "guilty" to the charged drug offense and is placed on PC 1000
Diversion for a period of 18-36 months.
2. The judge temporarily puts the defendant's guilty plea aside (instead of immediately
sentencing the defendant to jail).
3. The judge orders the defendant to attend a drug treatment (PC 1000 Diversion) program.
4. If the defendant completes the PC 1000 Diversion program and he/she commits no other
crime during the PC 1000 Diversion period of 18-36 months, the judge will dismiss the
defendant's drug case and the defendant will have no criminal record of the drug charge.
5. On the other hand, if the defendant does not complete the PC 1000 Diversion program, or
the defendant commits a new criminal offense during the 18-36 month period, then the judge
will have the defendant's guilty plea and the judge will simply enter that guilty plea and
sentence the defendant (It is sometimes possible to "reinstate" the defendant into the PC
1000 Diversion as opposed to sentencing the defendant).
The PC 1000 Diversion program is usually four months long and meets once a week. This is much preferred to a jail sentence for most defendants because if the defendant completes the PC 1000 Diversion program their case will be dismissed and the will never have to go to jail.
Furthermore, if the qualifying offense is a charge of Health and Safety Code Section 11368 by a doctor or pharmacist, the administrative agency for those professions may still restrict the medical licenses of those defendants.
PC 1000 Diversion programs do not have to be completed in the county where the defendant committed the drug offense. The are many PC 1000 Diversion programs in California in almost every county and courses are also available online upon approval by the probation department.
Finally, if the defendant has been placed on PC 1000 Diversion and he/she commits a new offense during the 18-36 month period, or the defendant does not attend the PC 1000 Diversion classes, it is possible that the defendant may be "reinstated" into the program without harsh penalty from the judge. Whether or not the judge will be so lenient depends on the facts of each case.
If you have been charged with a drug crime it is very important to retain a lawyer who understands the benefits and limitations of the PC 1000 Diversion program and whether a defendant actually qualifies to benefit from the PC 1000 Diversion program.