The PES DEJ Program (“Program”) set forth by these guidelines is designed to reduce recidivism and deter future involvement in criminal violations of a more serious nature by providing persons who meet the eligibility requirements of the Program the opportunity to participate in educational, rehabilitative, and service projects. A major component of this objective is that the defendant makes full restitution to the victim for any and all losses suffered as a result of the defendant criminal act. Further, in many cases the Program will require the defendant to obtain treatment through therapy or counseling in the event that a minor disorder gave rise to the aberrant behavior which resulted in the criminal law violation. The Program is a pre-trial offer from the District Attorney. The Program is not District Attorney Diversion pursuant to Penal Code section 1000.
District Attorney Vern Pierson believes that education can be the first step in halting behavior that is or could be detrimental to an individual or the public at large. With this in mind, the District Attorney’s Office has formed a working partnership with Pacific Educational Services (PES) in order to target Vehicle Code Sections 12500(a) and 14601.1 violators who disregard the law and continue to drive even though their driving privileges have been suspended or revoked. Many of these offenders are confused about the law and the role of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); and have thus taken a reactive stance to their program. They continue to drive without a driver’s license and assume that because of their situation in life, they are powerless to take the necessary steps to obtain a valid driver’s license. They believe they do not have the time, the money, the education, and/or the self-esteem to actually solve their problem and become a legal California driver. This seems to be a recurring theme with many if not all Vehicle Code Section 12500(a) and 14601.1 offenders. D.A. Vern Pierson and PES have created the Suspended Driver’s License/Unlicensed Driver’s License Program (SDLP). The Program will educate these violators about the law while at the same time providing a workable plan for the offender to not only meet his/her financial obligation with the DMV but actually have his/her driving privileges re-instated within a realistic time frame.