California is suffering a severe prison crisis that it is unconstitutionally crowded. In 1994, California enacted the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law which was the harshest sentencing law in the country. Thousands of inmates were sentenced to life in prison for minor crimes such as petty theft and simple drug possession.

Since 2012, Proposition 36 passed and released thousands of inmates, relieving the prison crisis to a degree. Proposition 36 is also known as the “Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000” and requires that eligible non-violent drug offenders serve their time in a drug treatment program than in jail.

Nonviolent drug offenses means you either were under the influence of a controlled substance or you were possessing or transporting any of those narcotics for personal use. These drugs include: cocaine, heroin, peyote, ecstasy, methamphetamines, marijuana, codeine, among many others. If you find yourself being charged with a non-violent drug offense, you could potentially replace jail time with a drug treatment program instead so make sure to contact an experienced attorney who can explain all your options to you.

A court will approve some of the following as drug treatment programs: drug education, outpatient services or residential treatment, detoxification services or narcotic replacement therapy, or aftercare services. Keep in mind that it is not enough for your case to qualify for Prop 36, you as well have to qualify.

There are five factors that could disqualify you from Prop 36 eligibility:

  1. if you have prior strike convictions from California’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law;
  2. you were simultaneously convicted of a non-drug related misdemeanor or felony;
  3. you were armed with a firearm or deadly weapon at the time you committed your non-violent drug possession offense;
  4. you refuse drug treatment as a condition of probation or
  5. you previously participated in two other Prop 36 programs.

If you are caught up in a non-violent drug offense, consult a lawyer who can help you make the best decision.


There’s no substitute for a strong criminal lawyer.
Call Wing & Parisi at (916) 441-4888.

Contact us online or call at (916) 441-4888 for a free and confidential initial consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer and San Joaquin counties.

Linda Parisi
Law Office of Wing & Parisi
917 G Street
Sacramento,CA,95814, USA
(916) 441-4888

The Law Office of Wing & Parisi serves clients in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer County and San Joaquin County. Hablamos espanol.