Thousands of young adults will be wrapping up their school year and coming home from college in the next month. For many, this might be there first year away, and with this newfound freedom they’ve also encountered a bit of trouble with the law. Not coincidentally, we have been experiencing an increase in the number of calls about our Minor In Possession and PC1000 classes. Unfortunately, according to the Foundation for Advanced Alcohol Responsibility, nearly 9 million 12 – 20 year olds in the U.S. have consumed alcohol in the last month. Studies also report that illicit drug use among teenagers increased from 9.3% - 10% from 2012 to 2013. These facts show that many kids are influenced by their peers or are continuing to test the waters and illegally try alcohol and/or drugs. If you have a child that has come home with a California PC1000 DEJ related offense, you might be asking yourself what this means and what to do about it?
The PC1000 diversion program is provided within California for first time offenders who have been arrested for personally possessing or using drugs in a non-violent or threatening way. For example, someone who has been caught with small quantities of marijuana, cocaine or Vicodin but is not trying to sell it might receive this offense. The court provides this opportunity to take a treatment program instead of serving jail time. The way it works is that the individual enters a guilty plea, the judge decides based on the evidence if the defendant is a candidate for this type of program and if so, will suspend any criminal proceedings for approximately 18 months to 3 years. During this time, the offender must successfully complete the program and the judge in turn dismisses the charges.
The benefit to taking this program is that the offender stays out of jail. Also, as long as the requirement is completed, the charges will be dismissed and it’s like it never happened. The offender can truthfully say that he/she has never been arrested so it won’t hamper any future employment, licensing or certification opportunities.
PC1000 programs can be found locally in-person or like the ones we offer, online. Our program is popular because it can be taken from any Internet connected computer device like a PC, Laptop, Tablet or even a Smartphone and at any time of the day or night. If all is going as planned, most students are coming home to internships or jobs and this is a more convenient way to get the requirement fulfilled without having to miss time from daily responsibilities. The good news is that the program doesn’t have to be taken in the same county that the offense happened, so they don’t have to stay up at school for the summer to get it done. Defendants can request to take a program in any county or online with prior approval from the judge. So when you go to your hearing, come prepared with information on the alternate program you are interested in having your child take. It’s always a good idea to bring information about the validity of the class as well as the course curriculum to show the judge so he can make an educated decision.