Residents of Alhambra value their personal safety and freedom. Laws are in place to uphold residents’ rights to safety and freedom, but sometimes these laws collide.
If individuals experiencing a mental disorder or crisis put themselves or others in danger, they can be placed under a 5150 involuntary hold for psychiatric observation and care. While this hold may protect some from harm, other times, it is issued unnecessarily, robbing a person of personal freedom.
Get in touch with an Alhambra 5150 holds lawyer right away if you or a loved one has been placed under a 5150 hold unjustifiably. Your freedom is worth fighting for.
The Purpose of 5150 Holds
California Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 allows authorized law enforcement or medical professionals to put individuals experiencing mental illness or crisis in a treatment center for 72 hours. The person in crisis does not have to consent to and cannot refuse the placement.
The 5150 hold is meant to protect people with mental illness from hurting themselves or others and to provide mental health services to those who need them. These purposes are admirable, and the 5150 hold can render positive outcomes. However, sometimes mistakes are made, and people who should not be held are kept against their will.
You have the right to legal representation. A 5150 holds lawyer in Alhambra will fight for your release and to protect you from a potentially longer involuntary detainment.
For a free legal consultation with a 5150 holds lawyer serving Alhambra, call (310) 896-2723
Factors Leading to Involuntary Detainment
Only authorized peace officers and medical personnel can issue 5150 holds, and they can only impose these holds under specific conditions.
Danger to Self
You speak or behave in ways indicating your intent to inflict serious bodily harm on yourself or to commit suicide, and these words and behaviors result from a mental disorder.
Danger to Others
You speak or behave in ways showing you wish to inflict serious bodily injury to someone else or to kill them. A mental disorder causes these words and actions.
You are an adult but are incapable of providing your own basic needs of food, clothes, and shelter. Your disability is a symptom of mental illness.
A stated diagnosis with no documented behavior is not enough to hold you involuntarily. Petitioners must cite behaviors as evidence for the petition. They may evaluate and cite behaviors such as auditory hallucinations, thought disorders, and delusions. They may also consider the seriousness of precipitating events and any previous or recent discharge from a psychiatric facility.
Alhambra 5150 Holds Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Where 5150 Holds Can Lead
5150 holds are the first in what can be a series of involuntary mental health detainments. This is why securing legal representation quickly after your 5150 is issued is critical. Your lawyer will have access to your situation early and can begin building a case for your release or fight subsequent unwarranted holds immediately.
Facility personnel will use the 72-hour hold to evaluate your mental condition. Evaluations may lead to your release at the 72-hour mark or even earlier if you are given medical clearance. If the facilitators find you need extended care and you agree, you can sign on as a patient voluntarily.
On the other hand, if personnel believe you need continued care and you disagree, they can petition for a 5250 hold, which is a 14-day involuntary detainment. You must receive written notification of their request along with evidence to justify it.
A 5150 Holds Attorney in Alhambra Will Protect Your Rights
The Superior Court of Los Angeles holds personal freedom as “the most important right we possess.” Putting you or anyone else into involuntary detainment and treatment, unless it is absolutely necessary and for the conditions specified, is an infringement of your right.
If you receive notice of a 5250 hold, you are entitled to a Certification Review Hearing, also called a Probable Cause Hearing, within four days of that notice. Your 5150 holds lawyer in Alhambra will prepare you for and represent you at the proceeding. At this trial, it is not on you to prove why you should not be detained. Rather, the petitioners must prove why you should be.
Probable Cause Hearings
Probable cause hearings are less formal than typical trial proceedings. Their purpose is to present as much information as possible to a neutral party or hearing “referee,” who will decide whether there is probable cause to believe you are still a danger to yourself or others or are gravely disabled yourself.
Your lawyer will discuss your options with you, and you may see fit to provide evidence supporting your position. If family members wish to offer testimony on your behalf, your lawyer will present their statements to the referee.
Ultimately, your lawyer will defend you against unfair or unsupported claims by the petitioners, protecting your right to personal freedom. If the referee still rules for your detainment, you can submit a writ of Habeas Corpus to request another hearing. Your attorney will handle this process for you.
Your Right to Proper Treatment
While you are under the 5150 hold, and if you are placed under a 5250 hold, you need a lawyer to ensure your rights as a patient in a mental health facility is upheld.
Upon admission, you must be given a copy of the petition leading to your detainment. The document must include evidence-based reasons for the petition. You must also be apprised of your rights as a patient in the facility. These include your rights to dignity and humane treatment, to refuse medications or from being improperly medicated, and to be protected from abuse and neglect.
If these rights are not upheld, your 5150 holds lawyer in Alhambra will work to have them restored and to hold negligent parties accountable.
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Your Rights Deserve Protection
Although 5150 holds serve an important purpose, if you are issued the hold unnecessarily, it will interrupt your life and may leave you traumatized. Losing your freedom, even temporarily, and having others make decisions for and about you is a terrifying experience.
A compassionate, experienced Alhambra 5150 holds an attorney who will fight for your freedom, listen to you, and make decisions affecting your life with you. We are here to listen to you today.