An unwarranted or unnecessary 5250 hold can separate a person from their family and loved ones, prevent them from attending work or school, and cause overall disruption and distress. Though mental health laws are intended to help people, they are not always applied appropriately. If you are facing a 5250 hold, you need a compassionate, experienced Downey 5250 hearings lawyer with Simmrin Law Group advocating for you and protecting your rights.
5250 Holds Explained
A 5250 hold is an extension of a 5150 hold. When under a 5250 hold, a person is required to undergo treatment in a hospital or mental health facility for 14 days. The 5250 is an involuntary hold, meaning the person does not have to consent and cannot refuse the 14-day stay in the facility.
For a free legal consultation with a 5250 hearings lawyer serving Downey, call (310) 896-2723
5150 Holds Explained
A 5150 is an involuntary 72-hour hold for evaluation in a medical or mental health facility. To be placed under a 5150 hold, a person must:
- Be a danger to him or herself. They have or have threatened self-harm or suicide attempts
- Be a danger to others. They have or have threatened to, harm other people
- Have a grave disability: They cannot care for their own basic needs of securing food, clothing, or shelter
There are several outcomes following the 72-hour 5150 hold. The person may be released, may accept voluntary treatment, or be placed under the 5250 hold.
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The 5250 Hold Process
When a treatment facility finds it necessary to extend a person’s hold from a 5150 to a 5250, the person has the right to a Certification Review Hearing and must receive notice of this hold in writing. In that communication, the person must receive a specific explanation of the reasons they are being held.
If you or a loved one is facing a 5250 hearing, guidance and representation from a Downey 5250 hearings lawyer is critical. Your attorney will make sure you understand what is happening, will ensure your rights are upheld, and will advocate for your best interests.
Your Rights at a 5250 Hearing
The 5250 hearing must be held within four days of your certification notice. During a Certification Review Hearing, you have the right to:
- Assistance from an attorney or advocate
- Present evidence on your own behalf
- Question those presenting evidence in support of the 5250
- Request to have people from the treatment facility attend your hearing
If you have been medicated within 24 hours of the Certification Review Hearing, those facilitating the hearing will be informed of how the medication may affect you.
Securing representation from an experienced 5250 hearings attorney in Downey is your best course of action. Your lawyer has comprehensive knowledge of the laws governing mental health treatment, will help you collect evidence to support your position, and knows what answers and evidence to demand from the treatment facility.
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What to Expect at a 5250 Hearing
At the hearing, a neutral party will review your case to determine whether you should continue to be held against your will, and if this party determines the evidence does not warrant a continued involuntary hold, the facility must release you immediately. The burden of proof is on the treatment facility. You do not have to prove why you should not be held, but the facility must prove why you should be.
5250 hearings are generally more informal than other court proceedings so all parties feel comfortable speaking freely and honestly. If you want family members or others to support you at the hearing, you can have the facility treatment inform them of the time and place of the hearing. You can also tell the facility not to inform others of the hearing if you prefer to keep the proceedings private.
Your 5250 hearings lawyer in Downey with Simmrin will prepare you for the hearing and the types of questions you may be asked. Should the facility present evidence that is unfair, improper, or otherwise used to enforce an unnecessary detainment, your attorney will argue against that evidence.
Why You Need Representation from a Skilled Downey 5250 Hearings Attorney
Sometimes, law enforcement makes a mistake in putting people under 5150 holds. When you are held against your will, you feel misunderstood and powerless. Facing an additional involuntary 14-day hold is overwhelming and can completely disrupt your life.
An experienced 5250 hearings attorney in Downey understands the laws governing 5250 holds and has knowledge of how the system works. Your lawyer will make sure your voice is heard and work to protect you from unjustifiable detainment.
Requesting a “Habeas Corpus’ Hearing
If you believe you are being held illegally, you have the right to request a Habeas Corpus hearing to challenge the hold, by notifying a member of the facility treatment’s staff or a patient’s rights advocate of your request. A request does not guarantee a hearing. Representation from a Downey 5250 hearings attorney will ensure your request is considered fairly.
Seek your lawyer’s counsel before pursuing a Habeaus Corpus hearing so you understand the possible outcomes and how hearing delays can affect your situation.
What to Expect if You Are Not Released
If the 5250 is deemed warranted, several possible outcomes can follow:
- You will be released early by staff or at a Habeas Corpus hearing.
- You will sign on as a voluntary patient.
- You will face another hold if those treating you think you are a danger to yourself, to others, or have a grave disability.
- You will be referred to the Office of the Public Guardian to be placed under a temporary conservatorship, which may be extended to a renewable year-long conservatorship.
A conservator has the authority to make certain decisions for you, such as where you live and how you spend your money.
Protect Yourself and Contact a Downey 5250 Hearings Attorney Today
When you are in a 5150 hold and facing a 5250 hold that you believe you do not need, it can feel like no one is listening. Reach out to a Simmrin Law Group Downey 5250 hearings lawyer today, and be heard. Your lawyer will listen to your situation with empathy and create a strategy to support your needs, your health, and your rights.