DRUG CHARGES

Getting charged with a drug case can be a frustrating ordeal to say the least. However, there are many ways to deal with drug charges that don't exist in other types of cases.

Misdemeanor Penal Code section 1000 ("PC 1000"/"DEJ") diversion:

  • the prosecutor may be required to give you the option to complete DEJ ("deferred entry of judgment") if you qualify and want to pursue that option

  • in a DEJ diversion, you fulfill certain requirements (i.e. drug treatment) and get through a probationary period, and assuming you are successful, you can have the case dismissed. 

Some misdemeanor cases will not qualify for PC 1000, but there are still ways to plea bargain for an outcome that will best minimize harm. Certain professions will not tolerate employees picking up a drug conviction, and drug convictions can also be a disqualifier for certain public assistance programs. If those are important considerations, it is worth trying to negotiate.

In more serious drug cases, such as where sales or transportation of drugs is alleged, felony allegations may be filed. Since these charges typically do not involve any violence, it is not uncommon for overcrowded local jails to release you after arrest, but unfortunately, this isn't always a blessing or a favor, particularly if there is an underlying addiction causing you to pick up more cases. I have had clients facing many years in custody because they continued to pick up cases while their existing cases were still pending.

 

If you do have an addiction problem, proactively seeking treatment can be a powerful way to mitigate your situation, but only if you take it seriously so you can prove to the court and the prosecutor that you are committed to making the lifestyle changes that will keep you out of trouble.

 

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for someone facing years in prison to say something like, "prison isn't going to help me, I need a program" only to quickly lose sight of their priorities and leave the program relatively quickly, sometimes in just days or weeks. As you might imagine, judges don't exactly appreciate this phenomenon and end up more reluctant to take chances on those who sincerely want to change. 

 

In fact, this happens often enough that judges and DA's, knowing that some people will agree to practically anything to avoid prison, will get you to leverage a maximum prison sentence hanging over your head in case you decide to leave the treatment program. 

 

And in some situations, treatment won't be a negotiable option because of a criminal history, past performance on supervision, or the seriousness or repeated nature of charges. So while it's a good idea to ask for help when you need it, you MUST fully commit to it and the longer you fail to seek treatment and continue picking up fresh cases, the more likely you are to find that it's not an option.

If you are charged with a drug crime in Shasta County, including the areas of Redding, Anderson, Palo Cedro, Shasta Lake City, Cottonwood, Happy Valley, or if you are in Tehama County (Red Bluff), Trinity County (Weaverville), or nearby counties in the North State area of Northern California, don't delay in seeking the services of a skilled attorney to get you the help you need to protect yourself. I offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.