A conviction for a first-time criminal offense—whether it’s
a felony or a misdemeanor—can result in a jail or prison time, fines,
and other penalties, including a criminal record that could follow you
for the rest of your life. However, the courts understand that many first-time
offenders suffer from addiction or mental health issues.
In California, there are a few pretrial diversion programs that can help
you avoid a criminal conviction by giving you the treatment necessary
to avoid becoming a repeat offender. If you successfully complete a diversion
program, the criminal charges you face will be dropped and your criminal
record will be sealed. However, their case will resume if you fail to
complete the program.
The following are three types of diversion programs in California:
Low-level misdemeanor/drug diversion program – Individuals who have been charged with a first-time, low-level
misdemeanor can enter this type of diversion program. Some of the common
types of crimes that can be diverted include
possession of a controlled substance,
possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and public intoxication.
Defendants will be given a certain amount of time to complete several
conditions, including probation, drug or alcohol treatment, educational
or vocational classes, random drug testing, and restitution.
Mental health diversion program – Individuals who have a mental health disorder can receive treatment
through this program if they have been charged with a non-violent and
non-sexual misdemeanor or felony. This inpatient or outpatient treatment
plan can last up to two years. The court often requires drug treatment,
therapy sessions, and counseling.
Military diversion program – Current or former members of the U.S. military who are suffering
from PTSD, TBI, substance abuse, sexual trauma, or other mental health
issues are eligible for this program, which lasts between one year and
two years. Common offenses that qualify for military diversion include
DUI, possession of a controlled substance, and
misdemeanor assault and battery. Conditions for this program include treatment sessions, counseling, progress
reports, and random drug testing.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Riverside, contact Blumenthal Law Offices
today at (951) 682-5110 and request a free consultation.