A criminal conviction has far-reaching ramifications as it can impact your freedom, and your ability to earn a living, and can present a lingering burden in terms of future employment opportunities. Due to such serious consequences, anyone facing a criminal conviction must explore all available means of resolving their case, including pre-trial diversion. In the state of California, there are a variety of diversion programs that are often underutilized. Anyone facing a criminal conviction should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Wallin and Klarich who understands how diversion programs work. You can find out how the diversion programs work in the court where your criminal case is pending and whether you may qualify to enter such a diversion program.
What is a Diversion Program?
Diversion allows an eligible defendant to participate in a program designed to treat the issues that were the root cause of the criminal offense. There are four different diversion programs designed to aid offenders with mental health or drug issues, juvenile offenders or military offenders. While there may be a variety of different programs, diversion generally consists of treatment sessions and education classes over a period of six months to one year often.
Once all the requirements of the program have been completed, the defendant may have their guilty plea withdrawn and their charge dismissed.
Do I Qualify for a Diversion Program?
Qualification general depends on the type of criminal offense committed. Mental health and juvenile diversion programs are available for misdemeanor and select felony violations. Military and drug diversion programs are available for misdemeanor violations only. Serious or violent felonies, sex offenses and DUIs are offenses that normally do not qualify for a diversion program.
Mental health diversion requires that the mental health issue be recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and that the crime committed was a result of the mental health issue. The court will also consider public safety concerns and examine if the defendant will likely respond to treatment.
Military diversion is available for veterans who are suffering from PTSD, a brain injury or a recognized mental health disorder that was the result of military service.
Furthermore, even if a defendant does qualify, each diversion program will have a unique enrollment process and participation in the program is ultimately determined by the judge. This high threshold to entry is precisely why you would need to contact an experienced attorney.
How Can Wallin & Klarich Help?
Due to the strict eligibility requirements of diversion programs, it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney who can argue that you qualify, and that you deserve to be placed in the proper program. If you are facing a criminal conviction and you think you may be eligible for a diversion program, you should contact Wallin & Klarich immediately and schedule a free phone consultation.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 466-5245 or (877) 4-NO-JAIL for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.