Deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) or diversion is a mechanism that allows defendants charged with certain drug offenses to enter a guilty plea, enter and complete a program and, once completed, allows the defendant to withdraw his or her guilty plea and have the case dismissed. The defendant can then state that he or she has never been convicted of a crime. The program generally lasts about 6 months, and the defendant is eligible for a dismissal in 18 months. The offenses that are eligible for DEJ are simple possession for personal use, possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and several other drug offenses. In order to take advantage of DEJ, the defendant must meet several criteria, such as no previous drug-related convictions, no prior felony convictions within the previous five years, no previous grant of DEJ and several other requirements pursuant to Penal Code section 1000(a). Contact Chambers Law Firm for further details on eligibility.