Diversion Programs

Some first-time offenders charged with certain crimes in California may be eligible to participate in a diversion program that would allow for criminal charges to be dismissed upon successful completion of the program. For many people, diversion programs provide an opportunity to avoid the more serious consequences of a criminal conviction.

Not only do diversion program participants avoid incarceration, but they may also state that they were never convicted of the criminal offense for which they were arrested for, if asked on an employment application or in any job interview. Diversion programs can also help individuals with professional licenses avoid the consequences of a conviction, but it will still be important to have experienced legal counsel determine whether participation in such a program might have other professional consequences.

Attorney for Diversion Programs in San Francisco

If you were arrested in Northern California for the first time in your life, it is in your best interest to immediately contact [[$firm]] to see if you might be eligible for a diversion program. [[$firm]] defends clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Valley, and Coast..

Our San Francisco criminal defense lawyers can help identify the diversion program that best suits your particular situation and needs. Call [[$phone]] right now to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.

California Diversion Programs Information Center

  •       Which kinds of diversion programs does San Francisco have?
  •       What is the difference between PC 1000 and Prop 36?
  •       Where can I learn more about diversion programs in San Francisco?

San Francisco County Diversion Programs

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has multiple diversion programs. The First Offender Prostitution Program (FOPP) is a diversion program for first-time solicitors of prostitution, and the Neighborhood Courts program is an alternative to criminal court in which a panel of volunteer “adjudicators” issues “directives,” such as community service or restitution, to repair the harm caused by the incident.

The District Attorney also has a number of Collaborative Courts programs tailored to certain kinds of offenses. Collaborative Courts programs in San Francisco include:

  •       Behavioral Health Court (BHC) — BHC is a voluntary program in which a judge and lawyers work closely with the mental health providers who provide intensive case management to the clients with a focus on an alleged offender’s diagnosis and psychosocial needs rather than criminal charges.
  •       Community Justice Center (CJC) — The CJC is a geographically-based collaborative court and social service center serving the Tenderloin, Civic Center, Union Square, and South of Market (SoMa) neighborhoods of San Francisco that emphasizes defendant accountability through judicial monitoring.
  •       Drug Court (DC) — The DC of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, aims to connect alleged offenders with substance abuse problems to treatment services, reduce recidivism, and to find appropriate dispositions to the criminal charges that take into consideration the individual’s substance abuse problem, mental and physical health, and the seriousness of the offense.
  •       Family Treatment Court (FTC) — The FTC is a voluntary court-supervised treatment and parenting program for people with children involved in the juvenile dependency system.
  •       Intensive Supervision Court (ISC) — Originally called the Probation Alternatives Court, the ISC helps high-risk, high-needs probation clients who are facing a state prison commitment as a result of probation violations by providing such alleged offenders with other opportunities for supervision in the community as an alternative to state prison.
  •       Juvenile Reentry Court (JRC) — The JRC provides comprehensive reentry case planning and aftercare services for high needs youth returning from out-of-home placement and Log Cabin Ranch.
  •       Veterans Justice Court (VJC) — The VJC addresses the specialized needs of veterans facing criminal charges by providing the social service, educational and vocational support they need to lead productive and independent lives.
  •       Young Adult Court (YAC) — The YAC is a collaborative justice court program for transitional aged youth between the ages of 18 and 25 who have extensive trauma histories, inadequate support systems and housing, minimal educational and employment histories, substance abuse issues, or co-occurring mental health disorders.

Types of Drug Diversion Programs in California

People who are charged with possession of a controlled substance offense in California are frequently eligible for one of two statewide diversion programs. California Penal Code § 1000, known colloquially as “PC 1000,” provides a pretrial diversion option for individuals who have been accused of one of the following violations:

  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11350, Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11357, Possession of cannabis;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11364, Possession of drug paraphernalia;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11365, Presence during unlawful controlled substance use;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11375(b)(2), Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11377, Possession of a controlled substance in Schedule III, IV, or V, and which is not a narcotic drug;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11550, Use or under the influence of a controlled substance;
  •       California Vehicle Code § 23222(b), Possessing marijuana while driving;
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11358, Marijuana cultivation (if the marijuana planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, or processed is for personal use);
  •       California Health and Safety Code § 11368, Forging or altering a prescription, or issuing or uttering an altered prescription, or issuing or uttering a prescription bearing a forged or fictitious signature for any narcotic drug, or obtaining any narcotic drug by any forged, fictitious, or altered prescription, or possession of any narcotic drug secured by a forged, fictitious, or altered prescription;
  •       California Penal Code § 653f(d), solicitation to commit an offense specified in California Health and Safety Code § 11352, California Health and Safety Code § 11379, California Health and Safety Code § 11379.5, California Health and Safety Code § 11379.6, or California Health and Safety Code § 11391 if the solicitation was for acts directed to personal use only;
  •       California Penal Code § 381, Possession of toluene, any substance or material containing toluene, or any substance or material which the State Department of Public Health has determined has toxic qualities similar to toluene;
  •       California Penal Code § 647(f), Public intoxication; and
  •       California Professions Code § 4060, Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

PC 1000 is only available to alleged offenders who satisfy all of the following conditions:

  •       Within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense, the defendant has not suffered a conviction for any crime involving controlled substances other than the offenses listed in this subdivision;
  •       The offense charged did not involve a crime of violence or threatened violence;
  •       There is no evidence of a contemporaneous violation relating to narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs other than a violation of the offenses listed in this subdivision; and
  •       The defendant has no prior felony conviction within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense.

A defendant’s participation in pretrial diversion pursuant to PC 1000 does not constitute a conviction or an admission of guilt for any purpose. The lack of a conviction is one reason that PC 1000 is usually preferable to the other diversion program established under California Proposition 36, otherwise known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 but most commonly referred to simply as “Prop 36.”

Prop 36 allows first or second-time non-violent adult drug offenders who use, possess, or transport illegal drugs for personal use to receive drug treatment rather than incarceration. Unlike PC 1000, however, Prop 36 participation does count as a conviction and can lead to possible loss of firearm rights in felony cases.

California Diversion Program Resources

San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project (SFPDP) — The SFPDP was formed to provide first-time misdemeanor offenders of non-violent charges with the opportunity to have their case dismissed by completing a program. On this website, you can learn more about the different pretrial diversion programs and services in San Francisco. You can also find information about the SFPDP, recent news, and upcoming events.

San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project

925 Harrison St.

San Francisco, CA 94107

(415) 626-4995

Collaborative Courts | Superior Court of California | County of San Francisco — San Francisco’s Collaborative Courts are a multi-agency problem-solving approach to specific drivers of criminal activity. The programs are a collaboration of the District Attorney’s Office, Superior Court, Public Defender’s Office, Adult Probation Department, Department of Public Health, Sheriff’s Department, and community treatment providers. Visit this website to view collaborative court guidelines, standards, and schedules.

San Francisco Collaborative Courts

Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco

400 McAllister St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 551-3983

Find a Diversion Programs Lawyer in San Francisco, CA

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Our criminal defense attorneys in San Francisco represent individuals in throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Valley, and Coast. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call [[$phone]] or submit an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.