Everything You Wanted to Know About Proposition 36
Proposition 36 won the majority of the votes in California on November 6th, 2012. The Prop 36 was implemented to achieve a more reasonable and fair sentencing structure compared to the notorious Three Strikes Law. Under the Three strikes law anyone charged for a felony for the third time was sentenced to 25 to life. This lead to the prisons being overcrowded with prisoners serving for minor crimes like drug possession and petty theft.
Prop 36 helped relieve a lot of inmates, as it offers nonviolent drug offenders to complete a drug rehabilitation program instead of incarceration or a prison sentence. This program was intended to help these people overcome their addiction rather than punish them for it, overpopulating the prisons in the process.
An experienced criminal attorney will review your case and advise you whether you are eligible to serve the Proposition 36 program instead of a prison sentence. Read on to learn more about Proposition 36 and how it could help you improve your life.
The Three Strikes Law
The Three strikes law has been around since 1994 and was subject of contention. It was originally enforced to discourage repeat offenders but ended up overpopulating the state prisons. While the original idea was to keep violent crime offenders behind bars, the reality is that most people serving under the three strike law were convicted of nonviolent crimes like possession or petty theft.
Under the three strikes law anyone who is convicted with a felony for a second time should serve a double prison term sentence for the second felony. If they are convicted for the third time, they are required to serve 25 to life. That is how the law got its name in the first place.
Who is Eligible for Prop 36?
Anyone charged with possession for personal use, unlawful personal use or transport for personal use is eligible to serve a rehabilitation program rather than a sentence. However, if they are charged with production, transportation or possession for sale they are not eligible for Proposition 36.
What does the Drug Rehabilitation Program Entail?
The program usually includes drug and alcohol education, a residential or outpatient program with detoxification, replacement therapy and taking care of the patient after the program is complete. It can take up to a year and can be extended by six-month increments.
How Does Prop 36 Work?
If the defendant pleads as guilty, they are offered the chance to complete the drug rehabilitation program in order to get a dismissal. All criminal proceedings are suspended and the defendant is put on probation.
Can the Charges Be Dismissed?
After the successful completion of the program you can petition the court to dismiss your conviction. The judge will determine whether you successfully completed the program and if the conviction is going to be dismissed. Generally, if you followed all the terms of the program and convince the judge you are cured from your addiction, the judge will dismiss the charges.
Contact Monder Law Group at 424 F Street, San Diego, CA, US; 619-405-0063