UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
Health and Safety Code 11550
Under the Health and Safety Code Section 11550, it is illegal to be under the influence of a controlled substance. A controlled substance can be an illicit drug or a prescription drug not used as prescribed. Even though a conviction of this offense is a misdemeanor, it carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days. On a second offense, the mandatory minimum goes up to 180 days. This jail sentence and criminal conviction can be completely avoided, if the person is eligible for Penal Code Section 1000 (formal diversion), or Prop. 36.
There are many various ways to contest drug charges for being under the influence, some of the most common successful ways are challenging the constitutionality of the officer’s contact, search, and arrest. Also, people eligible for a diversion program get a Differed Entry of Judgment (DEJ). This means that you enter a guilty/no contest plea to the charges, and once you complete the Diversion program, your case is dismissed in court. The Penal Code Section 1000 Diversion program requires an 18 month period before the case gets dismissed.