Military Diversion in California

The Law Office of Richard Wagner has deep respect for our nation’s military. For clients who have served or are serving in the US Military, and have been charged with certain crimes, The Law Office of Richard Wagner has had tremendous success getting military diversion for these clients.

“California has a pretrial diversion program. It is under California’s military diversion statute. The law allows the court to place a defendant charged with a misdemeanor offense in a pretrial diversion program upon determining that the defendant (1) was or currently is a member of the United States military, and (2) may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or mental health problems (Anxiety, Depression) as a result of his or her military service.”

If the defendant satisfactorily completes the diversion program, the criminal charge is dismissed, and the arrest will be deemed to have never occurred.

Place a defendant in a pretrial diversion program means “postponing prosecution, either temporarily or permanently” to treat the defendant who is suffering from one of the listed conditions as a result of his or her military service.

The primary purpose of diversion is rehabilitation. “Diversion is intended to offer a second chance to offenders who are minimally involved in crime and maximally motivated to reform, and the decision to divert is predicated on an in-depth appraisal of the background and personality of the particular individual before the court.”

“As amended in 2017, a misdemeanor offense for which a defendant may be placed in pretrial military diversion expressly includes a violation of Vehicle Code sections 23152 or 23153 (for driving under the influence or for driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to another person).”


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