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Mental Health Diversion In California PC 1001.36

California residents who suffer from a mental health disorder and have been charged with a crime may qualify for the pre-trial mental health PC 1001.36 diversion program. PC 1001.36 allows a criminal defendant with mental health disorder to have their charge(s) dismissed upon successful completing of a pretrial diversion treatment program.

What Mental Health Conditions Qualify for PC 1001.36 Diversion Program?

Mental health conditions that qualify for PC 1001.36 diversion are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Some of these mental health conditions include”

  • Schizophrenia;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Bipolar disorder; or
  • Schizoaffective disorder

What Crimes are Eligible for Mental Health PC 1001.36 Diversion?

Penal Code 1001.36 applies to misdemeanors and felonies, but certain elements must be met in order to qualify for mental health diversion.

Who Qualifies for Mental Health Diversion?

Pursuant to California Penal Code 1001.36(b), to divert the charged crimes:

  1. The defendant must suffer from a mental disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders;
  2. The defendant must show that the mental health disorder in question must have played a significant role in the crime for which the defendant is charged;
  3. The defendant must show that a qualified mental health expert concluded that the defendant’s symptoms motivating the criminal behavior and the mental health treatment would have a positive effect on the defendant;
  4. The defendant must agree to comply with treatment as a condition of diversion, and the Court “is satisfied that the recommended inpatient or outpatient program of mental health treatment will meet the specialized mental health treatment needs of the defendant.” California Penal Code 1001.36(c)(1)(A). This program lasts no longer than 2 years, and the Defendant or the program must provide regular reports to the Court. California Penal Code 1001.36(c)(2) – (3). This program can be private or public. California Penal Code 1001.36(c)(1)(B);
  5. The defendant must waive the right to a speedy trial; and
  6. The Court must be satisfied that the defendant will not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety, as defined in Section 1170.18 if treated in the community. 

Does Mental Health Diversion “Seal” A Criminal Record?

Upon successful completion of mental health diversion, the criminal charges against the defendant will be dismissed and the arrest will be sealed.

Proposed Senate Bill 215 (PC 1001.82 Mental Health Diversion)

In 2018, California proposed Senate Bill 215 (SB 215), which sought to amend 1001.36 PC to make certain offenses ineligible for diversion under a new law PC 1001.82.

Proposed Offenses Which Will Not Eligible for Mental Health Diversion Pursuant to SB 215 (PC 1001.82)

SB 215 bill proposes offenses which will not be eligible for mental health diversion includes the following:

California Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and suffers from a mental disorder and we invite you to contact us for a free consultation at (213) 401-2777 to speak with California criminal defense attorney. Se Habla Español.

RJ Manuelian will assist you with your legal defense in Los Angeles Country, Orange County, Ventura County, Palmdale, Lancaster, San Bernardino County. Aside from California, RJ Manuelian is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Washington D.C and defended clients in Utah and New York. RJ Manuelian is also licensed to practice in Federal Court.

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