There are many pre-trial diversion programs available in California. One of these programs is covered under Penal Code 1001.36. PC 1001.36 deals with California’s mental health diversion. Individuals can apply for this diversion after they are charged with a crime in some cases.
The court may grant a mental health diversion if they believe an individual’s mental condition caused them to commit a criminal act. Call our office to learn more about this diversion program with the Simmrin Law Group.
Mental Health Diversion in California
Sometimes, individuals end up committing a criminal act due to the influence of a mental illness. In this situation, getting treatment for the illness is often more helpful than spending time in jail. Therefore, California offers a mental health diversion program under California PC 1001.36.
Individuals accepted into the program do not have to face a criminal trial immediately. Instead, their trial is put off until the program is completed. Individuals who complete the program have their charges dismissed. The court also seals the records of the individual’s arrest.
However, individuals who do not complete the program can face their initial criminal charges. They can even be convicted of the initial crime.
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Examples of Other Diversion Programs in California
The mental health diversion program is not the only such program in California. The state offers similar programs for individuals charged with certain drug crimes and writing bad checks.
There is even a specialized mental health diversion program for military veterans. Find out more about these specific programs with the Simmrin Law Group.
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Qualifying for California’s Mental Health Diversion Program
Only some California people qualify for the mental health diversion program. The court allows individuals to seek entry into the program after they are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. However, admission depends upon the following:
An Individual’s Mental Condition
Not all mental illnesses allow for entry into the mental health diversion program. In fact, some individuals are disqualified based on their condition. This includes conditions such as:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
It is not enough to claim that an individual has a mental disorder. Individuals have to provide proof of their condition. This must include a diagnosis provided by an appropriately qualified mental health professional. Furthermore, individuals may only join the program if the court determines they are not an unreasonable risk to others.
The Reasons for the Crime
Individuals are permitted the mental health diversion program if their illness leads to a criminal offense. If the crime was not associated with mental illness in any way, individuals are not allowed to take part in the program.
The mental health diversion program is designed to help individuals recover from a mental disorder. This means that there must be possible treatment options available. Additionally, a mental health expert must decide whether or not the accused would benefit from treatment.
Finally, an individual must consent to treatment for their mental health condition. Failure to go along with treatment can result at the end of the diversion program. Learn more about entry into this program by contacting our office.
You Must Waive the Right to a Speedy Trial
According to the Sixth Amendment, everyone accused of an offense has the right to a speedy trial. However, to be eligible for mental health diversion programs, you must waive your right to a speedy trial to remain in compliance with the law. This is true for all types of CA diversion programs.
However, if you are not in the right frame of mind, meaning you do not have the mental capacity to waive this right to a speedy trial, the court system can step in and order mental health diversion if they believe it is in your best interests and that of the public.
There Must Be Minimal Risk to the Public
Mental health diversion only works if the court does not find you a credible threat to public safety. Courts can consider the following in their decision:
- The type and severity of your charges
- Your lawyer’s opinion
- The prosecuting attorney’s opinion
- A mental health expert’s professional opinion
- Your criminal record
Additional Information About a PC 1001.36 Diversion
Several other factors are associated with completing a mental health diversion program in California. These programs do not always last the same amount of time. However, they are only permitted to last for two years.
You should also know that the court has to approve these diversions. These programs are also only partially accessible. Individuals can seek private treatment for their condition.
The program may end prematurely if someone commits another crime or does not respond to treatment. In this situation, an individual can face their initial criminal charges. This could result in a conviction.
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Paying for Mental Health Diversion
Individuals who cannot afford mental health diversion can still enter a program can still do so through public or private funding. They could also join a collaborative court program or county-run mental health agency.
Get the Facts About a Mental Health Diversion in California
Contact the Simmrin Law Group if you are interested in California’s mental health diversion program. We will help you learn more about Penal Code 1001.36. You can quickly contact a reputable criminal defense lawyer at our firm to get information about what to do in your situation. Just call our office. We also have an online contact form you can fill out to schedule your confidential case review today.
Call now for a free consultation. We are standing by to help you.