The Law Office of Richard Wagner successfully persuaded a judge in Orange County to grant pretrial Mental Health Diversion for a client arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs.
What Is Pretrial Diversion?
Pretrial diversion postpones prosecution, either temporarily or permanently, at any point in the judicial process from the point at which the accused is charged until adjudication, to allow the defendant to undergo mental health treatment.
There are many obstacles to getting such a request granted. One is putting together a treatment plan. You must show the judge you can successfully complete a treatment plan and that you will not be a danger to the community.
You also need evidence that the mental health disorder was a significant or substantial factor in the commission of the charged offense. Is your case driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination? If so, what are the drugs? Is the drug medication prescribed for the mental disorder?
District Attorneys will object to the request for diversion. Why? Because DAs are programmed to object to whatever the defense attorney asks for.
What needs to be stressed is that the police were not the agency best suited to respond to a person clearly struggling with mental illness. Instead of being interrogated, detained, and arrested by police, your client should have been treated by trained mental health care professionals. The police prevented your client from getting proper health care in a time of crisis. Police lack the skills and understanding and resources to effectively address the needs of people living with chronic mental illness.
What Happens At The End Of Diversion?
If the client has performed satisfactorily in diversion, at the end of diversion, the court shall dismiss the criminal charges. The clerk of the court shall file a record with the Department of Justice that shows the case was diverted pursuant to Penal Code Section 1001.36. Upon successful completion of diversion, if the court dismisses the charges, the arrest upon which the diversion was based shall be deemed never to have occurred.
What Is Satisfactory Performance?
Substantially complying with the requirements of diversion, avoiding significant new violations of law unrelated to the client’s mental health condition, and having a plan in place for long-term mental health care.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested, contact the Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation at (714) 721-4423 for a FREE Consultation.