If a peace officer or authorized medical personnel believes a resident of Long Beach poses a danger to themselves or others, those authorities can put the resident under a 5150 mental health hold. While these holds are generally issued with the resident’s best interests in mind, even experienced professionals can make mistakes.
If you suffered a stressful incident and were placed under a 5150 hold, be sure to contact an experienced 5150 holds lawyer in Long Beach as soon as possible. Your lawyer will work to protect your rights and your freedom and to release you from continued unnecessary, involuntary treatment.
5150 Holds Explained
A 5150 hold puts individuals suffering a possible mental health crisis into a healthcare facility for a 72-hour observation. These holds are involuntary, meaning the individual in distress does not have to consent to this placement and cannot refuse it.
The holds are intended to keep those in distress from hurting themselves or others. However, when a person is placed under a 5150 hold unnecessarily or in error, perhaps because the authority attending to them misevaluated the situation or was given false information, the hold can make the person’s distressed state even worse.
For a free legal consultation with a 5150 holds lawyer serving Long Beach, call (310) 896-2723
Justifications for 5150 Holds
Authorized medical personnel and peace officers are the only entities allowed to put a person under a 5150 hold, and there are only three justifications for issuing such a hold:
- The person has hurt or has threatened to hurt themselves.
- The person has hurt or has threatened to hurt others.
- The person is experiencing a grave disability: they cannot care for their basic needs of securing food, clothes, and shelter.
Public and individual safety is of great importance, but so is a person’s freedom. If you have temporarily lost your freedom because of an unwarranted 5150 hold, you need a Long Beach 5150 holds attorney from Simmrin Law Group who will fight to get it back.
Long Beach 5150 Holds Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Errors that Could Lead to Unwarranted 5150 Holds
Even experienced professionals can misread or overreact to symptoms you might display in a high-stress situation. In an intense moment, you might say things you typically would not to “blow off steam” or release emotion. Authorities may overreact to that release and put you on a hold.
Sometimes, family members, significant others, or exes may call authorities on your “behalf,” reporting behaviors that could lead to a 5150 hold. While these calls may be driven by a sincere concern, regrettably, they are sometimes used as weapons during emotionally charged arguments.
For example, a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend wants to “get back” at you for a real or perceived betrayal. During a heated discussion, they call authorities and say you threatened to hurt them or yourself. Though this report is untrue, if officers arrive on the scene, assess the situation, and believe the reporter, you could be placed on a 5150 hold.
What Happens During a 5150 Hold
The 5150 hold begins at the time a peace officer escorts you from your location to a mental health facility. Upon admission, you will be informed of your rights as a patient. Then you will be put under observation and undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if you meet the criteria for involuntary in-patient treatment.
If the evaluators determine you are not a threat to yourself or others or experiencing a grave disability, you may be released before or at the 72-hour point. However, should your doctors decide you are still a threat to yourself or others or suffering a grave disability, there are other possible outcomes:
- You sign on as a voluntary patient for continued treatment.
- Your doctors seek to put you under an additional 14-day involuntary hold called a 5250.
- You are referred for a conservatorship.
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How a 5150 Holds Attorney in Long Beach Can Help You
If you do not sign on as a voluntary patient and receive notice of your doctors’ pursuit of the 5250, you are automatically afforded a Certification Review Hearing to fight against the hold. The hearing must take place within four days of your receiving notice.
You have the right to have a 5150 holds attorney in Long Beach represent you at the hearing, and it is absolutely in your best interest to exercise that right. An experienced attorney knows how the mental health system works and will make sure you are treated fairly. Your attorney will also prepare you for the hearing, ensuring you know what to say and what not to say and putting you in the best position to help your own case.
At this hearing, the burden of proof is on the facility to prove why you should stay rather than on you to prove why you should not stay. Even so, your attorney may see fit to challenge the facility’s determination and offer evidence to show your situation does not fall under the specific justifications for a continued hold.
The Habeas Corpus Hearing
If the 5250 hold is approved even after the Certification Review Hearing, you can request a Habeas Corpus hearing to challenge the hold and make the claim that you are being held illegally.
Unlike the Certification Review Hearing, the Habeas Corpus Hearing is not automatic. You must request it. You can make the request by notifying a member of the treatment staff at the mental health facility, a patient advocate, or your Long Beach 5150 holds lawyer.
In this high-stakes situation, it is best to work with an experienced attorney. Habeas Corpus Hearings can be delayed or bring other consequences. A knowledgeable attorney can give you the best advice for your situation and guide you through the important decisions.
You Have Rights, and We Will Protect Them
A 5150 hold can lead to continued involuntary holds. Though you cannot refuse the 5150, you still have rights. Protect those rights by reaching out to a Long Beach 5150 holds attorney from Simmrin Law Group for a free case evaluation.
Call us or complete this secure contact form today, so we can get to work on your defense.