How Pretrial Diversion Works in Los Angeles, CA

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One of the options we have for helping you with your criminal defense matter is to pursue a pretrial diversion program. Here in Los Angeles, there are four programs that we might be able to take advantage of if you meet the eligibility criteria for one of the programs.

Here’s what you need to know about the programs, and whether you might be eligible.

What is a diversion program?

A diversion program allows people charged with certain crimes to participate in certain programs and meet certain conditions. The prosecutor chooses to wait on seeing the defendant convicted. 

If you go through the program successfully, the court then dismisses and seals the case. No jail time, no criminal record, and none of the massive negative consequences that can come with a criminal conviction. In many cases, pretrial diversion is a massive win. 

However, when you enter this program you do waive your right to a trial. In California, you do not waive your right to a trial entirely, as you do not have to plead guilty in order to enter these programs. 

If you fail in the program you will have to attend a hearing which will decide whether the treatment plan needs to be modified, whether the underlying criminal charges should be prosecuted, or whether the defendant needs to be placed under the care of a conservator because they cannot manage their own affairs. 

Misdemeanor Diversion

A misdemeanor diversion program covers nonviolent misdemeanors. In this program, the court sets a specific period of time and gives you a series of tasks to complete within that time. 

Those tasks could include courses like anger management or alcohol treatment, getting counseling, performing volunteer work, or paying restitution. 

This program is usually offered only to first-time offenders. 

Drug Diversion

Drug diversion is very similar to misdemeanor diversion, but specifically demands that the defendant enters into a substance abuse treatment program. The defendant may also be asked to take additional classes, may be asked to pay victim restitution, and is usually placed on probation. 

To be eligible, you must be free from any crime ineligible for diversion within the last 5 years, the current charge must not include a crime of violence or a threat of violence, there’s no evidence of a more serious crime that would be ineligible for diversion, and you have not had a felony conviction within the last five years. 

Mental Health Diversion

Mental health diversion would be open to a defendant who has a diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional. The diagnosis must be one of the ones available in the most recent version of the DSM. The mental health professional must also be willing to state that the disorder played a significant role in the crime and that the treatment should help the defendant avoid getting into trouble again. 

Certain diagnoses are excluded for eligibility: antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and pedophilia are all excluded. 

In these programs, you are required to attend therapy sessions or counseling, and any other treatment program or plan which may be appropriate. 

Military or Veterans Diversion

This program is open to past service members accused of non-violent misdemeanors. To qualify, we must be able to show that your past military service caused you to suffer from PTSD, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), sexual trauma, substance abuse, or any mental health problems that would otherwise qualify for mental health diversion.

As with other programs, you  might be required to complete counseling or therapy, to go to a substance abuse or alcohol treatment program, or to complete other conditions. 

Get Help Today

Pretrial diversion is only one of the options we can explore for your defense. If you or a loved one is in trouble, get help today.

Contact our offices to schedule a case review. 

See also:

How Do Insanity Pleas Work in Los Angeles, CA

What Does It Take to Get Criminal Charges Dropped in Los Angeles, CA

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

How Pretrial Diversion Works in Los Angeles, CA

inne-rpage-seperator

One of the options we have for helping you with your criminal defense matter is to pursue a pretrial diversion program. Here in Los Angeles, there are four programs that we might be able to take advantage of if you meet the eligibility criteria for one of the programs.

Here’s what you need to know about the programs, and whether you might be eligible.

What is a diversion program?

A diversion program allows people charged with certain crimes to participate in certain programs and meet certain conditions. The prosecutor chooses to wait on seeing the defendant convicted. 

If you go through the program successfully, the court then dismisses and seals the case. No jail time, no criminal record, and none of the massive negative consequences that can come with a criminal conviction. In many cases, pretrial diversion is a massive win. 

However, when you enter this program you do waive your right to a trial. In California, you do not waive your right to a trial entirely, as you do not have to plead guilty in order to enter these programs. 

If you fail in the program you will have to attend a hearing which will decide whether the treatment plan needs to be modified, whether the underlying criminal charges should be prosecuted, or whether the defendant needs to be placed under the care of a conservator because they cannot manage their own affairs. 

Misdemeanor Diversion

A misdemeanor diversion program covers nonviolent misdemeanors. In this program, the court sets a specific period of time and gives you a series of tasks to complete within that time. 

Those tasks could include courses like anger management or alcohol treatment, getting counseling, performing volunteer work, or paying restitution. 

This program is usually offered only to first-time offenders. 

Drug Diversion

Drug diversion is very similar to misdemeanor diversion, but specifically demands that the defendant enters into a substance abuse treatment program. The defendant may also be asked to take additional classes, may be asked to pay victim restitution, and is usually placed on probation. 

To be eligible, you must be free from any crime ineligible for diversion within the last 5 years, the current charge must not include a crime of violence or a threat of violence, there’s no evidence of a more serious crime that would be ineligible for diversion, and you have not had a felony conviction within the last five years. 

Mental Health Diversion

Mental health diversion would be open to a defendant who has a diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional. The diagnosis must be one of the ones available in the most recent version of the DSM. The mental health professional must also be willing to state that the disorder played a significant role in the crime and that the treatment should help the defendant avoid getting into trouble again. 

Certain diagnoses are excluded for eligibility: antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and pedophilia are all excluded. 

In these programs, you are required to attend therapy sessions or counseling, and any other treatment program or plan which may be appropriate. 

Military or Veterans Diversion

This program is open to past service members accused of non-violent misdemeanors. To qualify, we must be able to show that your past military service caused you to suffer from PTSD, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), sexual trauma, substance abuse, or any mental health problems that would otherwise qualify for mental health diversion.

As with other programs, you  might be required to complete counseling or therapy, to go to a substance abuse or alcohol treatment program, or to complete other conditions. 

Get Help Today

Pretrial diversion is only one of the options we can explore for your defense. If you or a loved one is in trouble, get help today.

Contact our offices to schedule a case review. 

See also:

How Do Insanity Pleas Work in Los Angeles, CA

What Does It Take to Get Criminal Charges Dropped in Los Angeles, CA

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

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