Throughout California and the country, lawmakers have begun to significantly reform our criminal justice system. In particular, their efforts have been focused on leniency - allowing certain accused individuals to pursue counseling and sentencing alternatives that keep them out of jail and free of a criminal record. Los Angeles County's newly passed diversion code - PC 10001.94 - does just that.
PC 1001.94 allows eligible individuals charged with misdemeanors to avoid jail and a criminal conviction by deferring sentences. Here's a brief breakdown of how the program works:
- Prosecutors will make an initial determination as to whether defendants are eligible for PC 1001.94. If prosecutors do not determine a defendant to be eligible, a motion can be made for a judge to review and make a decision.
- If approved for diversion, defendants must enter a guilty or nolo contendere plea and sentencing will be deferred.
- While sentencing is deferred, judges may require defendants to comply with various terms and conditions, such as counseling or community service.
- If defendants successfully complete diversion, comply with all conditions, and pay restitution or fees, their case and arrest will be dismissed. Essentially, the arrest will be considered to have never happened.
In order to qualify for PC 1001.94 diversion, your case must be in Los Angeles County. Additionally, your charge must be a non-DUI misdemeanor that does not involve a weapons offense or a minor, elderly, or dependent adult victim. Other eligibility criteria do apply - and your unique charge and criminal record will play a role in determining whether you qualify.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our lawyers are committed to defending our clients and securing case outcomes that protect their freedoms and futures. PC 10001.94 and other sentencing alternatives provide an excellent opportunity to help non-violent non-habitual offenders to stay out of jail and avoid a criminal conviction.
If you have questions about your case and whether you may be eligible for diversion under PC 1001.94, our legal team is available to review your case and guide you through the legal process. For a FREE consultation, contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today.