Dismissal Under California Penal Code Section 1001.95: A Complete Guide
If you are deemed eligible for dismissal under California Penal Code Section 1001.95, the judge may be able to dismiss your misdemeanor case. Learn more here.
Dismissal Under California Penal Code Section 1001.95
The new Penal Code law in California now empowers judges to dismiss misdemeanor cases over the prosecutor’s objection.
Introduced through Legislature as AB-3234, the power of dismissal under California Penal Code Section 1001.95 came into effect on January 1, 2021. The essence of the misdemeanor dismissal law is to help certain kinds of criminal offenders undergo rehabilitation without a criminal record.
To qualify to have your case diverted under the new law, you must convince the judge that diversion is appropriate for your case. A top criminal defense attorney can help you take advantage of the new law.
However, not every offense is eligible for consideration. It is important to note these ineligible crimes so that you won’t waste your time and energy invoking the dismissal law.
Listed below are offenses that are not eligible for consideration under the new law:
Before the new law, the decision to grant diversion to an offender was the prerogative of the prosecutor. The new law gives the judge a wide discretion to fix and set the terms of the diversion as he/she sees fit.
Where an offender appears to be violating the terms of the suspension of the charges against him/her, the judge may end the diversion.
A judge can terminate a diversion by conducting a hearing and reinstating the charges if the offender has not complied with the conditions. However, where the offender has fully complied with the terms, the judge shall dismiss the charges.
Where a judge dismisses a charge against an offender, the defendant shall not be obligated to disclose the charge except where he or she seeks employment as a peace officer.
Misdemeanor Diversion Without Conviction – New PC § 1001.95
Diversion is a term used when a judge suspends a criminal prosecution until the offender complies with some stipulated terms and conditions. In other words, diversion makes it possible for offenders to avoid a criminal conviction if they comply with the terms and conditions set by the judge.
Section 1001.95 of the California Penal Code provides as follows:
(a) A judge in the superior court in which a misdemeanor is being prosecuted may, at the judge’s discretion, and over the objection of a prosecuting attorney, offer diversion to a defendant pursuant to these provisions.
(b) A judge may continue a diverted case for a period not to exceed 24 months and order the defendant to comply with terms, conditions, or programs that the judge deems appropriate based on the defendant’s specific situation.
(c) If the defendant has complied with the imposed terms and conditions, at the end of the period of diversion, the judge shall dismiss the action against the defendant.
(d) If it appears to the court that the defendant is not complying with the terms and conditions of diversion, after notice to the defendant, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether the criminal proceedings should be reinstituted. If the court finds that the defendant has not complied with the terms and conditions of diversion, the court may end the diversion and order resumption of the criminal proceedings.
Although the number of offenders who can benefit from the misdemeanor diversion without conviction (New PC § 1005.9) law has increased, the following defendants are ineligible for diversion:
- Anyone in violation of an offense for which, if convicted, would require registration consistent with Section 290
- Anyone who violates Section 273.5
- An offender who violates subdivision (e) of Section 243
- An offender in violation of Section 646.9
If your criminal charges fall into any of the above categories, there may be other diversion or defense options available to you. To learn more, contact a criminal defense attorney at Griffin Law Office today for a free consultation.
New CA Law Will Allow Many Defendants to Avoid a Criminal Record
Before the new CA law, diversion programs existed under Section 1000 of the California Penal Code. Under the old law, a diversion was only limited to those facing charges for possession of drugs for personal use.
However, the new CA law will allow many defendants to avoid a criminal record. The new law has expanded the number of offenders that can qualify for diversions and have their criminal records dismissed and sealed.
The effect of the new law is that the record of the arrest of an offender is expunged and not used without the offender’s consent.
To avoid a criminal record, a defendant must comply with the terms of the diversion as ordered by the court, which might include:
- Anger management classes.
- Parenting classes.
- Substance abuse classes.
- Payment of restitution.
- Community service.
Procedure for Dismissal Under California Penal Code Section 1001.95
There are still a lot of questions about the exact procedure for dismissal under the new California Penal Code.
To get the procedure right, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the entire process.
In general, lawyers initiate matters like these through a motion with an affidavit of facts and arguments to support the case.
The judge will hear the motion, consider objections and, if satisfied, will offer diversion to a defendant under these provisions.
To find out if your misdemeanor charge qualifies for diversion or dismissal under the new penal code in California, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.
Are DUIs Eligible for Diversion? Penal Code Section 1001.95
Of all the questions people ask regarding this law, this one often comes to the fore. Are DUIs eligible for diversion? The simple answer is yes. Judges have the power under Section 1001.95 to divert or dismiss a California DUI case.
Before the new Penal Code Section 1001.95, DUI offenders were not eligible for diversion. While the old law specifically excluded DUI offenders, the new law removed them from its exclusion.
A DUI charge is serious because of the consequences it portends if the offender is tried and convicted. California DUI laws are some of the most stringent in the U.S. Penalties differ in each case. DUI offenders can face penalties like:
- Jail time.
- License suspension.
To find out more on how you can take advantage of the new law, talk to a criminal defense attorney about the ways to avoid a DUI charge.