California Proposition 36: Who is Covered?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson posted in drug possession on Wednesday, June 29, 2011.

On November 7, 2000, California voters passed the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (commonly known as Prop 36) that allows certain drug offenders to receive treatment instead of jail time.

California citizens, 61 percent to be exact, voted in favor of offering alternative treatment programs for low-level offenders; some say a step in the right direction to getting non-violent offenders out of the prison systems.

However, Proposition 36, unfortunately, doesn’t apply to all individuals convicted of drug offenses. Generally, Prop 36 applies to only three types of offenders.

New Convictions

Offenders that are convicted for drug possession or being under the influence of drugs after July 1, 2000 are eligible. However, offenders cannot be simultaneously convicted of sale, manufacture, or any other non-drug crime at the time of the applicable conviction.


Offenders that are on probation for drug possession or being under the influence of drugs after July 1, 2000 are eligible if they violate a condition of probation that is drug-related.

Parole Violators

Offenders that are on parole and violate their parole after July 1, 2000 by committing either a non-violent drug possession offense or an offense that is drug related is eligible for treatment. However, in order for these offenders to be eligible, they must have no prior convictions for a serious or violent felony.

The limitations above are in no way a complete list of qualifications. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your particular situation and whether you are eligible for treatment under Proposition 36 is recommended.


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The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson
411 Borel Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94402

Phone: 650-573-8000
Fax: 650-345-9875
San Mateo Law Office