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Name: People v. Trask
Case #: C064804
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/29/2010
Summary

A defendant granted deferred entry of judgment under Penal Code section 1000 et seq. cannot be terminated based only on the inability to pay the costs of the program to which she has been referred for treatment. The court placed defendant on deferred entry of judgment (diversion). She was referred to a drug program but could not enroll because she could not pay the intake fee or the monthly payments. Her efforts to find a free program were fruitless. The court found she had an inability to pay, and then said it was denying diversion. Appellant appealed. As a preliminary matter, the appellate court noted appellant had actually been terminated from diversion, not denied it. The court then noted that Penal Code section 1000.3 lists the grounds for which diversion can be terminated, and inability to pay is not one of the grounds listed. Construing the statute to allow inability to pay the program as a ground for termination would be inconsistent with the statutory scheme since section 1000, subdivision (c) accommodates the indigent defendant by allowing participation in free programs and alternately requiring certified programs to offer fee waivers. Thus, the trial court erred by terminating diversion based solely on inability to pay. The court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.