You might be surprised at how often individuals with mental health conditions are accused of committing criminal offenses. However, anyone who has a mental illness may not be responsible for their actions if their mental illness is to blame.
If this sounds similar to what you are going through, you are not alone. A dedicated and compassionate Palmdale mental health lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group can help you through these difficult times. Contact our team for a free consultation today and learn more about how to get the medical treatment you need while avoiding incarceration and other criminal penalties.
Mental Health and the CA Criminal Justice System
You might be shocked at how often individuals suffering from mental health conditions face criminal charges. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system in California has not done much to help protect those victims of their mental health conditions. The number of individuals dealing with mental health conditions in California jail facilities accounts for more than half of the population.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, even though their mental health condition is what caused the offense in question, make sure you contact a compassionate mental health lawyer in Palmdale, CA, for help. This way, you can take steps to get the medical treatment you need without having to cope with the consequences of a criminal conviction.
For a free legal consultation with a mental health lawyer serving Palmdale, call (310) 896-2723
Palmdale Mental Health Diversion Programs
Instead of being prosecuted as criminals, individuals suffering from mental health conditions that caused them to commit crimes should get the support they need. After all, if someone’s mental health condition is the cause of their behavior, getting the treatment they need is often a better alternative than unduly putting them through the criminal justice system.
For this reason, California offers a mental health diversion program to rehabilitate individuals suffering from mental health conditions and avoid criminal charges and convictions. However, before entering a pretrial diversion program, your mental health in Palmdale, CA, will need to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
Advantages of Choosing Mental Health Diversion in Palmdale
The benefits of choosing mental health diversion when suffering from a medical condition are undeniable. Arguably the most crucial advantage is that you can get the medical attention you need when you need it most.
Suppose your medical condition caused you to commit a criminal act. In that case, it stands to reason that getting medical attention would control your mental health illness so you can function in society without being a threat to yourself or others.
However, it is also an excellent choice for those charged with criminal offenses to avoid being characterized as felons and convicted of illegal acts they would not have committed if they had been in proper health. Since the consequences of a criminal conviction are often high, avoiding prosecution is crucial. Some of the different criminal penalties associated with guilty verdicts include:
- Ineligibility for government benefits
- Loss of firearm rights
- Loss of voting rights
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
- Trouble finding housing
- Trouble obtaining work
- Child custody or visitation problems
The best part is when you complete the terms of your mental health diversion program, the prosecutor reduces your charges to a lesser offense or dismisses them altogether, depending on your agreement. Your mental health lawyer will help you prepare a compelling case so we can convince the court that the diversion program is in your best interests and that of the public.
Palmdale Mental Health Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Qualifying for Mental Health Diversion in Palmdale
Before entering a mental health diversion program, your Palmdale mental health attorney must show that you meet the requirements. These include:
You Must Have a Qualifying Condition
Only individuals with qualifying medical conditions can enter mental health diversion programs. To be eligible, you must have a condition described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Some examples of qualifying mental health conditions include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Your Condition Must Have Involved the Crime
If you are charged with a criminal offense, your mental health attorney in Palmdale must show that your condition either caused or contributed to the crime in question. Your lawyer will gather police reports, depositions, and medical records to demonstrate how significantly your mental illness contributed to the offense you are charged with.
You Must Waive Your Sixth Amendment Rights
You can only enter a mental health diversion program if you waive your right to a speedy trial. This can be found under the Sixth Amendment. Since mental health diversion programs are often lengthy, you must waive this right to qualify.
You Must Consent to Mental Health Diversion
You can only enter a mental health diversion program if you consent. You can never be forced to join a mental health diversion program against your will. However, the requirements of a mental health diversion program are often better suited to those with medical conditions than incarceration.
Disqualifications for Mental Health Diversion in Palmdale
There are also some instances in which you could be eligible for a mental health diversion program. Generally, if you meet any of the following stipulations, you will not qualify for mental health diversion in Palmdale:
- You were charged with a sexually motivated crime
- You were charged with involuntary manslaughter
- You have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder
- You have been diagnosed with pedophilia
- You have been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder
- You have a violent criminal background
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How Palmdale Mental Health Diversion Programs Work
After entering a mental health diversion program, there are specific requirements you must adhere to. You may be placed on prescription medications, be ordered to attend inpatient treatment, and follow the treatment facility’s rules and regulations. Generally, mental health diversion programs last up to two years.
You must meet the requirements of your program, or the prosecutor can move forward with the initial criminal charges against you. Once you complete the program, you can be released and move forward. The prosecutor will reduce your charges to a lesser offense or dismiss them entirely depending on what your mental health diversion agreement entailed.
Get Help from a Mental Health Lawyer in Palmdale Today
People suffering from mental health conditions may not always be in the right state of mind. If you or someone you love has been accused of committing an offense and a devastating mental health condition was the cause, you may have an opportunity to get the medical treatment you need and avoid unnecessary incarceration or other penalties.
Explore your options when contacting an experienced Palmdale mental health lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group for a confidential case evaluation. You can reach us via our online contact form or phone to discuss your defense options further.