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Prop 36 Explained

Prop 36 (named after a California proposition ballot number)  allows for defendants who have been accused of certain drug crimes to avoid criminal prosecution if those defendants agree to complete a Prop 36 drug treatment program.

How Prop 36 works:

The defendant is charged with possession or transportation of a qualifying drug crime (more on qualifying drug crimes below).

The defendant agrees to plead guilty to the criminal drug charge and the defendant also agrees to complete a prop 36 approved drug treatment program (Usually one class per week for 15 weeks).

Finally, the defendant agrees to stay out of trouble for 18 months (no new criminal charges during the prop 36 probationary period). 

In exchange, the judge agrees to not sentence the defendant to jail and the judge agrees that if the defendant completes the program the judge will dismiss the defendant's case.

Qualifying drug offenses include non-violent drug crimes such as possession or transportation of cocaine, marijuana, LSD, heroin, meth, and PCP.

Prop 36 law specifically excludes many defendants from being capable of taking advantage of the Prop 36 program . The excluded persons include defendant who have been convicted of serious or violent felonies unless certain exceptions apply.

It is sometimes possible for a defendant to be a repeat drug offender, or a repeat prop 36 defendant, and yet still be allowed to take advantage of a new Prop 36 agreement.

It is also possible that if the defendant has violated the terms of his or her prop 36 probation that he or she might be reinstated (as opposed to the defendant's prop 36 probation being revoked).

If the defendant's prop 36 probation is revoked (because the defendant does not complete the prop 36 classes or the defendant commits a new criminal charge) then the judge will sentence the defendant accordingly.

Remember the judge already has the defendant's guilty plea so if the defendant breaks the terms of the agreement then the defendant does not get a jury trial; the judge simply sentences the defendant because the defendant plead guilty.

The range of sentencing depends on the sentencing structure for the particular crime that defendant committed. The sentence will also depend on the defendant's criminal history.

For more information on California Prop 36 multi-offender drug treatment program or criminal defense practice and procedure, contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today.

Criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado dedicates 100% of his practice to criminal defense and initial consultations are provided at no cost. Our office is availabe 24/7 to assit you with all of your criminal defense questions.


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