Los Angeles 5250 Hearings Attorneys
Experienced Mental Health Advocates on Your Side
In California, law enforcement officers and certain mental health professionals have the authority to take an individual into custody if they believe a mental illness will likely contribute to the individual causing harm to themselves or others. This procedure is known as a “5150 hold,” and can result in an individual being held for up to 72-hours.
The criteria for a 5150 hold can include:
- Danger to self - If you have threatened self harm or attempted suicide, the officer may consider you to be a danger to yourself
- Danger to others - If you made threats or attempted to harm others
- Grave disability - If you are incapacitated to the extent that you are unable to care for basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, etc.
If mental health professionals determine you need additional treatment because you are unwilling or unable to accept voluntary treatment, then they can file an additional hold for up to 14 days. This is a "5250 hold."
What Happens at a 5250 Certification Review Hearing?
Your Rights During the Hearing
- If you are on a 5150 hold and the treating facility wants to keep you for longer than 72 hours, then it’s important to know that you have the right to attend a Certification Review Hearing.
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney and may present evidence to support your case.
- You are also entitled to a written notice that includes the specific reasons for which you are being held, as well as a patients’ rights advocate who can explain your rights.
- You also have the right to be represented by an attorney if you decide to hire one. Unlike in criminal proceedings, an attorney will not be appointed free of charge.
What Is Addressed in the Hearing
The hearing is less formal than typical court hearings, so that parties can be open about the certification and whether or not they want treatment. The Certification Review Hearing must be held within four days of the individual being certified for a 14-day hold.
During the 5250 hearing, a neutral party determines if there is strong enough evidence to keep you at the facility against your will. If the neutral party believes there isn’t enough evidence to continue holding you, then the facility will be forced to let you go.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for My 5250 Hearing?
Although 5250 hearings are less formal than regular court proceedings, you should still be represented by an experienced lawyer to make sure your legal rights are protected.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we are committed to advocating for clients with mental illnesses. We understand that police and mental health professionals can misread symptoms and situations, which is why we use or knowledge of the law to help clients prove they are not a threat to themselves or others. Because you will need the right evidence to prove your case, you should consult with a seasoned lawyer to devise a strong legal strategy.
We Proudly Represent Clients in LA with Mental Health Issues
If you or a loved one needs legal guidance for navigating a 5250 hearing, then please get in touch with our law firm today so we can get started creating a customized legal strategy tailored to the specific details of your case. We have a reputation among clients and courts for coming up with unique and creative solutions, and we are prepared to get to work for you today.
To speak to one of the lawyers at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, please give us a call at (800) 462-7160.
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