Drug Court Sentencing Alternatives
A rehabilitation program can be an alternative to jail; a conviction for almost any offense committed due to substance abuse may qualify. The court has great discretion regarding which defendants they will accept. The defendant’s history and record is considered, mainly any prior rehabilitation attempts and violent offenses. Typically the cases that are accepted are theft related crimes due to drug dependency.
Parolees: A person on parole who commits a non-violent drug possession offense or who violates a drug related condition of his/her parole may be eligible for Prop. 36 programs and avoid going to prison. The parolee must have no prior convictions at any time for serious/ violent felonies. Parole authorities (not the courts) set conditions.
Veterans: Alternative rehabilitation for 90 days through the VA and other favorable alternatives to incarceration are available where the defendant can establish a viable defense to why the crime occurred; such as mental impairment like PTSD.
Mental Impairment: New California legislation, AB 1810, updates diversion rules to
allow ANY defendant charged with ANY misdemeanor or felony the chance to earn a dismissal of their case if they meet certain requirements, such having a mental
illness that caused the offense to occur.