The Old Sacramento Bridge

Proposition 36 - Penal Code 1210.1

Alternatives to Jail or Prison Time for Drug Possession

If you have been charged with possession of a drug for personal use (other than marijuana), California has two programs that give you the opportunity to avoid a conviction and stay away from serving time in county jail or state prison. Call me at 916-442-1200 to discuss the details of your case so I can determine if the circumstances of your arrest qualify for one of these two alternative programs. Even though personal use of marijuana has been legalized in California, the police will still charge you with possession of other drugs, including methamphetamine, opioids, cocaine, and even prescription drugs. As an experienced Sacramento drug possession defense attorney, I can help you navigate the complicated laws pertaining to drug possession for personal use.

There are two separate programs - Proposition 36 under Penal Code 1210.1 and Deferred Entry of Judgment under Penal Code 1000 - that can provide you the chance to have your drug possession charges dismissed if you commit to participating in and completing a drug treatment program. Both of these programs are for people charged with possession for personal use only and both programs have the guiding idea that it is better to provide treatment than to put you in jail. Keep in mind that Proposition 36 under Penal Code 1210.1 and Deferred Entry of Judgment under Penal Code 1000 cannot be accessed if you have been charged with selling, trafficking, or manufacturing drugs. They are only for people charged with possession for personal use.

Though the two programs have similar goals, they are distinct programs with different requirements and procedures. I have provided information on Proposition 36 below. If you want information on Deferred Entry of Judgment, click here or on the tab to the left.

A drug conviction can have serious consequences. When I was a prosecutor in the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, I was the attorney overseeing drug cases. Now as a drug possession defense lawyer in Sacramento my past experience gives me an in-depth understanding of the charges you are facing and the experience to put together an aggressive and effective defense.

Proposition 36 - Penal Code 1210.1

The advantage of the program created by California Penal Code 1210.1 is that it can give you the opportunity to participate in a drug treatment program instead of being sent to state prison or county jail. There are many complex rules and requirements for qualification for a PC 1210.1 program. For example, you will not be able to take advantage of PC 1210.1 if you have a prior conviction for a serious felony. But in many cases you may participate in the program if during the past five years you have not served time in prison and do not have a felony conviction or a misdemeanor conviction involving violence. Another example is that you are not eligible if you have been a participant is two prior PC 1210.1 programs, used a deadly weapon while under the influence of drugs, or refused to participate in a drug treatment program mandated as part of a probation for a prior conviction.

But if your case was non-violent in nature and meets the other requirements, then you may be allowed to participate. The first step would be for you, with my representation, to enter a guilty plea in court. The judge assigned to your case will then enter what is called a judgment, which is a conviction that becomes part of your record. The guilty plea and the conviction can be intimidating to people going through this process. But the key is that the judge enters into an agreement with you that if you complete all requirements given to you - which can include community service and counseling in addition to the drug treatment program - then the drug possession charges will be dismissed. All of this is done instead of sentencing you to jail or prison. As your defense attorney, I will represent you through each stage of the process and protect your personal interests by making sure that all the procedures are followed correctly.

A great benefit of PC 1210.1 is that in most cases from a legal point of view the arrest and conviction for drug possession are considered to have not happened. This means that you will not have to tell employers about the incident. (There is an exception to this, though, if you apply for a job in law enforcement. Then you will have to disclose the conviction.)

Free and Confidential Consultation

If you're facing drug charges, call me at 916-442-1200 to discuss whether a drug treatment program under PC 1210.1 - Proposition 36 - would be a good choice for you.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Nancy King was patient, persistent, and polite. She followed up and kept me informed, took a lot of the stress off of me. She was very instrumental in eventually getting the case against me dismissed. It was money well spent. Linda
★★★★★
My son's case involved felony theft and drug charges. We were thrilled when Nancy was able to obtain a dismissal on all charges. My son's now back on track with his career. Nancy is the kind of attorney who fights hard for her clients and actually cares about them. I recommend her highly. Shawn M.
★★★★★
Nancy King represented me on a DUI. I was involved in an accident and had a blood alcohol level of .13/.14. Nancy King kept pushing in the negotiation process. She was able to get me a wet reckless. Nancy King is someone you can trust. She knows what she's doing and works hard for her clients. I recommend her highly. D.V.
★★★★★
I was wrongfully targeted by the police for a felony offense. Nancy took care of everything for me and got the police to realize that they had made a mistake. Everything was handled promptly and professionally and I was able to protect my reputation. D.B.