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Name: People v. Popular
Case #: F049564
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/03/2007

Under Penal Code section 1000 which provides for deferred entry of judgment, the dismissal of charges is triggered by defendant’s successful completion of the program and not by the passage of the three years. The statute provides that if deferred entry of judgment is granted, the period shall be no less than 18 months and no longer than 3 years. Appellant contended that, despite his less than successful performance on the program, when criminal charges had not been reinstated within the three-year period, they were dismissed by operation of law and the court had no jurisdiction to do anything other than the ministerial task of dismissing the charges. Applying the rules of statutory interpretation, the court rejected appellant’s position and found that in this de novo question of law, the plain meaning of the statute was that successful completion of the program was required and to find otherwise would result in an absurdity and defeat the purpose of the statute.