A Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) is a California-based program that allows non-violent, first-time drug offenders to receive counseling and treatment in lieu of jail time. Upon successful completion of the DEJ program, charges are dropped and the person charged will have no permanent record related to that case.
If you have have successfully completed a DEJ, the court must be informed of the old docket number to the related case and a request for that docket to be called up at the next court date must be made. Once the court has the docket in hand, a client will be able to withdraw his or her plea, pursuant to PC 1203.43.
The court will allow a client to withdraw the plea, enter a plea of not guilty and then dismiss the case pursuant to PC 1385.
There are approximately 9,000 people in the Bay Area who have completed the DEJ program and need this remedy to avoid potential federal consequences. This is particularly urgent for non-citizens because INS does not look favorably upon ANY guilty pleas for ANY drug offenses.
While the District Attorney must receive notice, it will not oppose because the defendant is entitled to this remedy by law. The new law signed allows the guilty plea that was made to be legally listed in CIJIC (the criminal database) as if the matter never occurred in the first place. If someone can do anything to clear a criminal record in the the courts or law enforcement, they should immediately pursue those options. As we have previously discussed, criminal convictions in the state of California can have far-reaching consequences.
If you have any questions about the Califoria DEJ program, record clearance, or other criminal defense matters, call our office at 408-451-8449 for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation to discuss your options.