Deferred Entry of Judgment in California | Penal Code 1000

Deferred Entry of Judgment in California | Penal Code 1000What is Deferred Entry of Judgment? 

A deferred entry of judgment happens when someone pleads guilty to a certain crime but is not actually sentenced for the crime until a future later date, typically around a year. The prosecutor and defendant agree to a deferred entry of judgment in exchange for the defendant’s promise to do certain things or abstain from certain things. If the defendant holds up their end of the deal, then the judge never sentences them for their crime. When the defendant goes back to court, the case will get dismissed. 

In many cases, parties agree to a sentence in advance should the defendant violate the terms of their deferral. For example, if the defendant fails to complete the deferral, they may be sentenced to a year in jail. 

What is Penal Code 1000?

California’s Penal Code 1000 is a deferral program that is specifically designed for drug offenses. This program allows offenders to have their cases dismissed if they successfully complete a drug treatment program. The main questions a court needs to determine is if the defendant’s drug possession was for personal use and if they would benefit from a drug treatment program. 

The possession of most types of drugs can allow for a diversion under Penal Code 1000, including:

This is not a complete list of drugs that are eligible for diversion under Penal Code 1000. If you have a specific question about the potential for a Penal Code 1000 diversion for your case, then it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

What are the Requirements for a Penal Code 1000 Diversion?

To be eligible for Penal Code 1000 diversion, your offense has to be listed under the statute, and you have to meet the following four conditions:

  1. You must not have been convicted for any drug crime that is not eligible for Penal Code 1000 treatment within the past five years.
  2. You must not be charged with a crime of violence.
  3. There must not be any allegation of any additional drug crimes, such as selling drugs.
  4. You must not have any felony convictions within the past five years.

If a prosecutor determines that you are eligible for a Penal Code 1000 deferral, then the prosecutor will send you and your attorney a written letter notifying you of your eligibility. The letter will also include the terms of the pretrial diversion and other important information.

 Deferred Entry of Judgment in the Juvenile System

If you are a juvenile facing criminal charges, then there is a similar deferral program known as Welfare Institution Code Section 790. Under this program, you would admit to the juvenile petition, and the court would delay sentencing for a year to allow you to complete all the requirements of your deferral. If you complete all the terms of your deferral, then your case gets dismissed, sealed, and even destroyed. 

The juvenile program offers a better end result than Penal Code 1000 due to the age of the child and the interest in helping the child maintain a clean criminal record for their future. 

Other Programs That May Help You 

Other state-mandated programs exist in California that are tailored to specific types of cases. 

Two popular programs in California include:

  • Proposition 36: This is a drug deferral program that is available for first- and second-time offenders. The deferral under Penal Code 1000 is typically shorter than under Proposition 36, and the requirements for Proposition 36 are typically more intense. Make sure to evaluate Proposition 36 to see if it is a good fit for your case.
  • Proposition 47: This is a program that made big changes to felony sentencing by reclassifying several felony drug and theft crimes as misdemeanors. Proposition 47 also allows people currently serving sentences for the eligible crimes to file a petition for resentencing and reclassification of their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This can even happen after an individual has completed their original felony sentence. 

It is important to weigh all potential options in your case before you make any decisions. The choice to plead guilty is not one to be taken lightly. Don’t take a deal just to get your case over with. Call us so we can help.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney if You Have Any Further Questions

If you are charged with a crime and are wondering about the potential of a deferral in your case, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. We offer a free case evaluation so you can have your case reviewed professionally.