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Difference between Prop 36 and PC1000? Why is PC1000 better, even if I am eligible for Prop 36 too?

Los Angeles, CA |

Can someone explain the difference between Prop 36 and PC1000 in CA?

I know that Prop 36 is part of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 and lets people convicted of drug possession (non-violent) to get probation instead of jail time, but they have to finish a drug treatment program. And if they don’t finish the program of violate probation they can go to jail.
To me Penal Code 1000 PC seems the same in California. I heard it is for nonviolent drug offenders who want to get treatment instead of jail time and that it doesn’t go on your criminal record. With PC 1000 drug offenders can go into a drug rehabilitation program instead of jail.

If I am eligible for either Prop 36 or PC 1000 why is it better for me to take PC1000 over Prop 36 in California?

Is one better than the other?

Thanks in advance!

Is one better than the other?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. PC 1000 is much less intensive than prop 36. In a PC 1000, you enter a guilty plea, do the drug rehabilitation class (about 4 months) and then you come back in either 18-24 months and your charge is dismissed.

    PC1000 is a deferred entry of judgment because although you enter a guilty plea, judgment is not pronounced and it is deferred. However, if you violate your conditions of probation the court can then enter judgment and sentence you accordingly.

    Prop 36 is a very structured program and you must not only attend drug classes you must also attempt to obtain and maintain employment and/or school. You are required to appear in court for progress reports. If you fall out of PC1000 you may be eligible for prop 36. And with prop 36, if you fall out you may be allowed back in.


  2. In response to your question about the difference between Prop 36 and PC 1000 in CA, basically, PC1000 leaves you without a conviction. Even though you plead guilty in court, entry of the judgment is withheld until you complete the drug counseling course. This means you aren't technically convicted of drug charges unless you mess up during the probationary period or don't complete the drug classes.

    Prop. 36 goes down as an actual conviction against you. You don't get jail time-- provided you complete all the requirements. However, you still have a criminal record.

    That is the main reason PC1000 is usually preferred to Prop.36. There are a few draw backs, like opting for PC1000 is giving up your right to fight the case. I had a case once where my client was adamant that the cocaine was not his, so he declined PC1000 and we went to trial. But that is not for everyone. He took a huge chance by doing that.

    I have just explained the general differences. If you have questions about which one is Best for you and your case, then hire an attorney and go over everything with him/her.

    Reliance on any information in this website is at the sole risk of the user and the user understands that he or she should consult with an attorney before taking a course of action based upon information contained in this website. The information on this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


  3. Both of my colleagues have given you good answers, but the best suggestion is fromr Mr. Piper, suggesting you discuss you case with an attorney who can advise you on what is best for your particular circumstances. Most attorneys offer free consultations. If you cannot afford a private attorney, the court will appoint you a public defender. One additional note, if the charge is a felony, doing Prop 36 will still mean you are barred under federal law from possessing firearms for the rest of your life; whereas doing PC 1000 will not. This is not a big deal for some, while it is a huge deal for others. That is for you to decide (with your attorney).

    Michel & Associates, PC
    (562) 216-4444

    All my comments here are intended for general legal purposes. None of my comments here establish an attorney-client relationship with anyone. None of my comments should be relied on in taking legal action without first consulting an attorney.

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