The vast majority of first-time, simple drug possession cases are eligible for what is known as Penal Code 1000 diversion. This is an agreement between you and the State of California that you will take a drug awareness class, and stay out of trouble for sixteen (16) months, in exchange for a dismissal of your case. This is generally a good result for people who have been arrested, but it has serious pitfalls for professionals or anyone planning to obtain a professional license.
For nurses, doctors, pilots, lawyers, pharmacists and many other licensed professionals, however, a PC1000 diversion agreement can have disastrous consequences for your career. California and federal licensing agencies routinely treat diversion agreements as convictions. So, you need to be very careful before agreeing to a diversion deal.
Second, many drug possession cases are in fact defensible. There are often very obvious problems with the police search or some ambiguity about the ownership of the illicit drugs, particularly when they are found in a car or house. Attorney Rhea has successfully raised these issues in many cases, either for a dismissal or a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor. Always fight the search and seizure before you agree to diversion. If you win the search and seizure issue, the entire case will be dismissed, with no penalty to your professional future.
Third, in some minor drug sales cases, an agreement can be reached to amend the complaint to drug possession and then, again, divert the case through PC1000. In other words, not all PC1000 deals are the same, and it is important to have a local and experienced drug defense attorney work on your case.
Criminal Defense Attorney Rhea has defended hundreds of drug possession and sales cases in the desert region over the past decade. His office has always been located in downtown Palm Springs, and he is available to make emergency jail visits and meet on weekends. The entire focus of his law practice is on helping people get through the criminal justice system with the least impact possible.
“Mr. Rhea was extremely knowledgeable which, without a doubt, was the reason the Judge dismissed my case without any fines, probation, etc. Additionally, his vast knowledge helped lay out all the scenarios which helped relieve my anxieties. He was extremely prompt and reliable which made working with him a pleasure. I would highly recommend Mr. Rhea’s services to anyone and everyone.” – Former Federal Drug Possession Client