Pretrial Diversion in Los Angeles

Pretrial DiversionCourts in southern California have increasingly embraced pretrial diversion programs as viable alternatives to the traditional criminal prosecution. If the judge grants pretrial diversion, the criminal prosecution is paused for a period of time ranging between six months and two years. During that time period, the defendant must abide by various terms and conditions aimed at addressing the underlying issues that led them to commit the crime in the first place. If, after the diversion period, the defendant has complied with the diversion terms, the judge will dismiss the case. Pretrial diversion is extremely beneficial to defendants who are able to both better themselves and ultimately avoid a conviction.

What Are the Different Types of Pretrial Diversion?Informal Diversion

A good criminal defense attorney will ask the prosecutor if their client who has been charged with a misdemeanor can participate in informal pretrial diversion. During the informal diversion, the defendant will usually be required to participate in self-help courses, like parenting, Alcoholics Anonymous, or anger management, and must not break any additional laws. If, at the end of the diversion period, the defendant has successfully completed their obligations, the prosecutor will request that the judge dismiss the case in the interest of justice.

Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is governed by Penal Code section 1001.95. A judge can grant the defendant the opportunity to participate in diversion over the prosecutor’s objection. Once the defendant has successfully completed their obligations, the judge will dismiss the case. Judicial diversion is available for all misdemeanors, except any offense for which a person, if convicted, would be required to register as a sex offender; any offense involving domestic violence; and stalking.

Mental Health Diversion

Mental health diversion is governed by Penal Code section 1001.36 and applies to both misdemeanors and felonies. A defendant is eligible for mental health diversion if they have been (1) diagnosed with a mental disorder as identified in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and (2) the defendant’s mental health disorder was a significant factor in the commission of the charged offense. A defendant must also be found suitable for mental health diversion. In order to be found suitable, they must convince the judge of the following: (1) a qualified mental health expert has determined that the symptoms of the defendant’s mental disorder would respond to treatment; (2) the defendant agrees to comply with treatment as a condition of diversion; and (3) the defendant does not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. Mental health diversion is available for all crimes except murder or voluntary manslaughter; any offense for which a person, if convicted, would be required to register as a sex offender; rape; lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age; assault with intent to commit a sexual offense; commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person; continuous sexual abuse of a child; and using a weapon of mass destruction. If the judge finds the defendant both eligible and suitable for mental health diversion, the criminal prosecution is paused for the diversion period and, if the defendant successfully complies with the treatment plan, the judge will dismiss the case.

Veteran’s Diversion

Penal Code section 1001.80 details how veteran’s diversion operates. If a former or current serviceperson is charged with a misdemeanor ( including driving under the influence ) and they suffer from a disorder that is related to their service, they may file a motion requesting veteran’s diversion. If a judge decides that the defendant qualifies for veteran’s diversion, the prosecution against the defendant is suspended (paused) for a period of, at most, two years. During the period of diversion, the defendant must adhere to a treatment plan that is approved by the judge at the time they are entered into the diversion. If the judge is satisfied that the defendant has successfully complied with their treatment plan, the judge will dismiss the case.

If you have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you discuss your case with a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut has successfully won pretrial diversions for his clients, resulting in countless cases being dismissed.

For more information about pretrial diversion, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
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