At the Griffin Law Office, our San Diego County defense attorney, Patrick Griffin, knows that not all criminal charges or defendants require jail time for rehabilitation in California.
Some who fit into specific legal categories may be eligible to participate in pretrial diversion programs to avoid jail time or a criminal conviction by completing treatment or education courses.
Our experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego works tirelessly to help our clients pursue the best legal outcome for their unique cases, including one of many types of pre-trial diversion programs that may preserve their freedom and their futures.
What Types of Pre-Trial Diversion Programs are Available in California?
Recent changes to pre-trial diversion programs in California allow defendants to enter a deferred entry of judgment without pleading guilty or without suffering a criminal conviction.
That means, if the defendant does not complete the program, the case picks up where it left off instead of the previous course of going straight to sentencing or trial.
If the defendant completes the diversion program, the charges are typically dropped, and that portion of their record can be sealed.
California pre-trial diversion programs exist in four categories for certain offenses and eligible defendants.
- Misdemeanor Diversion Program – Penal Code 1001.95
- Drug Diversion Program – Penal Code 1000and Proposition 36
- Mental Health Diversion Program – Penal Code 1001.36
- Military or Veterans Diversion Program – Penal Code 1001.81
To follow is a brief explanation of each program and the defendants who may be eligible to participate in the diversion.
To understand your eligibility, contact our skilled criminal defense attorney in San Diego today to learn more about your unique legal options.
What is the Misdemeanor Diversion Program in California?
As of January 1, 2021, the Misdemeanor Diversion Program in California allows certain nonviolent misdemeanors to be diverted from the criminal justice system and requires the defendant to complete a set of tasks within a predetermined time.
Every diversion program is tailored to the circumstances of the crime, the defendant’s criminal record, and the individual’s current circumstances.
If the defendant and his or her attorney request a diversion program, and it is awarded, the court will assign a treatment list.
That may include:
- Alcohol Treatment
- Drug Treatment
- Education Courses
- Victim Restitution
- Volunteer work
These same types of courses, treatment, and legal requirements may be similar for both non-violent misdemeanors and minor drug crimes.
Who is Eligible for Misdemeanor or Drug Diversion Programs in California?
To be eligible for a misdemeanor or drug diversion program, each of the following conditions must apply:
- The defendant must be a first-time offender who has not been convicted of a crime that is ineligible for diversion in the last five years
- The current charge does not involve a threat of violence or a crime of violence
- There is no evidence of a more serious crime that is ineligible for diversion
- The defendant has not had a felony conviction in the last five years
Our skilled San Diego criminal defense lawyer can provide straightforward answers about your eligibility to participate in a pre-trial diversion program, so you can move forward with confidence. Contact us today to learn more.
What is the Mental Health Diversion Program in California?
The California mental health diversion program allows those who have mental health disorders to pursue treatment instead of jail time when they have been charged with specific crimes.
All mental health treatment plans must be approved by the court and may require:
- Drug Treatment
- Therapy Sessions
The defendant may receive either inpatient or outpatient treatment.
What Types of Charges are Eligible for Mental Health Diversion Programs in California?
Certain felony and misdemeanor crimes that fall in wide-ranging categories are eligible for mental health diversion programs in California, with exceptions.
Criminal charges that are NOT eligible for a mental health diversion program include:
- Assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy, or oral copulation
- Any crime that requires the defendant, if convicted, to register as a sex offender (except for indecent exposure)
- Certain acts of terrorism
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Lewd acts involving children under 14
- Sex in concert with another
- Voluntary manslaughter
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in California and believes you may be eligible for a mental health diversion program, we can help you fully understand each of your legal defense options.
Who is Eligible for a Mental Health Diversion Program in California?
To participate in mental health diversion for a criminal charge, each of the following conditions must apply:
- The defendant suffers from a mental health condition that is not an anti-social personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or pedophilia
- The mental disorder played a significant role in the charged offense
- The defendant waives their right to a speedy trial
- A mental health expert thinks that the defendant would respond to treatment
- The defendant agrees to get treatment as a condition of the diversion program
- The court does not think the defendant will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety
If you would like to know more about your eligibility to participate in a mental health pre-trial diversion program to avoid jail time, contact us today to discuss your case.
What is the Military Pre-Trial Diversion Program in California?
California veterans and active-duty military personnel suffering from trauma or mental health issues may be eligible for a military pre-trial diversion program that allows a judge to postpone criminal proceedings for misdemeanor crimes.
Military pre-trial diversion programs often require treatment for:
- Mental Health Behavioral Trouble
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Sexual Trauma
- Substance Abuse
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Who is Eligible For a Military Pre-Trial Diversion Program in California?
To qualify for military diversion, each of the following conditions must apply:
- The defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States Military
- As a result of his or her military service, the defendant may be suffering a condition listed above
If you have questions about your eligibility to pursue a military pre-diversion program, we have answers.
Contact Our Leading Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego Today
If you are facing criminal charges in California, contact our skilled San Diego criminal defense attorney to learn more about your legal rights, the best way to minimize your damages, and how we accomplish favorable outcomes for each of our client’s unique needs by calling 619-269-2131 to discuss the details of your case today. Do not leave your future to chance. We can help.