Alternative Sentencing for a Los Angeles Drug Possession Charge

In California the courts tend to prefer drug treatment over a jail sentence for those charged with drug offenses. The hope of the court is to rehabilitate the offender rather than punish them by a sentence which could increase the probability of a second offense. Depending on the specific facts of your case an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney will be able to tell you if you qualify for one of a few alternative sentences.

Many drug offenders qualify for Proposition 36. Proposition 36, California’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, allows those that have simple drug possession charges and are first or second time offenders to complete a substance abuse program instead of serving jail time. The programs are quite extensive and may include up to one year of education classes, therapy, inpatient or outpatient care and up to six months of aftercare.

Another alternative that may be available is referred to as a Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ).sWhen granted a DEJ, the defendant pleads guilty, but is not convicted. The case is put on hold for 18 months and set aside. The defendant must then complete six months of a substance abuse program as well as avoid any additional convictions or charges. After 18 months are over, and the six months of a substance abuse program have successfully been completed, the charge is wiped clean.s

The defendant also has the option of completing a Supervision and Treatment program. The program is divided into stages and as each stage is completed the defendant receives additional freedoms. At the end of the program, the charge is dismissed if the defendant has adhered to all guidelines and followed all requisite stages.

One of these alternatives may be available to you in which case your charges could be dismissed leaving your record completely clean. Consult a knowledgeable Criminal Defense attorney who has been practicing for over thirty years and has dealt with thousands of drug possession cases. The attorneys at Hoffman and Associates make daily appearances in all criminal courts in Southern California and have built up a solid reputation in the legal community, a value that is reflected in the zealous advocacy our attorneys provide and the desired results we get our clients. Give our office a call today, and give your case the best possible chance in getting dismissed.