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What is Military Diversion?

Posted by Richard Wagner | Feb 07, 2021

Military Diversion in California

Diversion suspends, postpones, or presses the pause button on your criminal case for a certain amount of time to give you time to do certain things, like a treatment program.

Military Veteran

If you successfully complete diversion, the criminal charges, including DUI cases, are dismissed.

You also may legally answer that you have never been arrested for or charged with the diverted offense (unless you apply for a become a peace officer).

California has diversion programs that apply to all misdemeanors. These can be found in Penal Code sections 1001 through 1001.95.

Photo by Haley Hamilton on Unsplash

DUI Charges Are Eligible for Military Diversion 

The Wade Court specifically states, “Section 1001.80, subdivision (l) thus eliminates any doubt about the Legislature's intent to include military defendants accused of misdemeanor drunk driving offenses within the scope of the military diversion statute: “Notwithstanding any other law, including Section 23640 of the Vehicle Code, a misdemeanor offense for which a defendant may be placed in a pretrial diversion program in accordance with this section includes a misdemeanor violation of Section 23152 or 23153 of the Vehicle Code.” Wade v. Superior Court (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 694.

California Penal Code Section 1001.80 is the pretrial diversion law for Military Diversion. Military Diversion has the following elements which must be met:

  1. the offense is a misdemeanor,
  2. the defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military,
  3. the defendant may be suffering from any one of several mental health problems, and
  4. such mental health issue is a result of the defendant's military service.                             

The intent of the military diversion statute – Penal Code Section 1001.80 – was to extend the “well established” benefits of California's pretrial diversion programs to veterans, enabling the military defendant to “avoid the consequences of a conviction” and to access “appropriate treatment . . . programs with a history in dealing with the type of trauma the veteran has suffered and in dealing with veterans.” Wade v. Superior Court (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 694.

The Wade Court said that “we conclude that the principles of access to treatment and potential for rehabilitation must inform the exercise of discretion under section 1001.80.”

Examples of mental health problems include sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or other mental health problems that are the result of your military service. This is not a full list. A free and confidential consultation with The Law Office of Richard Wagner helps you with this.

VA Health Care 

Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center, 5901 East Seventh Street, Long Beach, CA 90822, Main phone: 562-826-8000, Mental health care: 562-826-5603

Santa Ana VA Clinic, 1506 Brookhollow Drive, Suite 100, Santa Ana, CA 92705, Main phone: 714-434-4600, Mental health care: 562-826-5603.

drunk driver lawyer orange county

Laguna Hills VA Clinic, 23719 Moulton Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653, Main phone: 949-587-3700, Mental health care: 562-826-5603

Placentia VA Clinic, 770 South Placentia Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870, Main phone: 714-223-6000, Mental health care: 562-826-5603

Examples of Military Diversion Cases Attorney Richard Wagner successfully represented:

  • Long Beach DUI, BAC .15%, Branch: Marine Corp Reserves
  • Santa Clarita 2nd DUI, traffic accident, BAC .18%, Branch: Marines
  • Riverside DUI, traffic accident, BAC .13%, Branch: Navy
  • Orange County 2nd DUI, BAC .18%, Branch: Marines
  • Riverside DUI, BAC .15%, Branch: Army
  • Rancho Cucamonga DUI, traffic accident, BAC .13%, Branch: US Army National Guard
  • Orange County DUI, BAC .12%, Branch: Marines
  • Orange County DUI, traffic accident, BAC .19, Branch: Army

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a DUI and was, or currently is, a member of the United States military, Military Diversion could be for you, Call (714) 721-4423 DUI Attorney Richard Wagner for a free, confidential consultation.

About the Author

Richard Wagner

Attorney Profile Defense Lawyer Richard Wagner upholds and defends freedoms and liberties enshrined in our United States and California Constitutions.  “Richard was able to achieve an even better outcome for my case than what we initially thought was possible. I couldn't be more grateful to h...

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