5250 Holds

5250 Hold Lawyers in Los Angeles

Protecting Your Rights in Complex Mental Health Cases

Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP in Los Angeles has a strong reputation for representing individuals in some of life’s most difficult situations, including 5250 psychiatric holds. If you are worried that a 5250 hold could cause more harm than good, or you think the hold is entirely unjustified, then we want to hear from you. With our background in criminal justice and focus on sensitive, complicated cases, you can be confident that we will know how to respectfully handle your 5250 hold case and protect your best interests and rights.

Call (800) 462-7160 to speak with a Los Angeles 5250 hold attorney now.

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What is Section 5250?

5250 is a code often used in the field of mental health. It refers to a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which outlines the laws and regulations related to the treatment of individuals with mental illness.

Section 5250 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code states that an individual can be involuntarily detained for evaluation and treatment if they are a danger to themselves, a danger to others, or gravely disabled. This means that if a person is experiencing symptoms of mental illness and is a danger to themselves or others, they may be taken into custody for a 72-hour evaluation period to determine if they require further treatment. This initial hold is outlined in California Welfare and Institutions Code 5150.

During this evaluation period, the individual will be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional to determine if they meet the criteria for involuntary commitment. If the individual is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, or gravely disabled, they may be held for up to an additional 14 days of treatment.

What are the Differences Between 5150 & 5250 Psychiatric Holds?

A 5150 hold and a 5250 psychiatric hold are both involuntary commitments under California law that allow individuals who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others to be held for evaluation and treatment in a mental health facility.

There are key differences between the two that you should know:

  • 5150 hold: A 5150 hold, also known as a Section 5150 hold, is a 72-hour involuntary commitment that can be initiated by a peace officer, doctor, or designated clinician who believes that an individual is a danger to themselves or others or is gravely disabled due to a mental health condition. During the 72-hour period, the individual will undergo an evaluation and receive treatment to stabilize their condition.
  • 5250 hold: A 5250 hold, also known as a Section 5250 hold, is a 14-day involuntary commitment that can be initiated after a 5150 hold. It is used for individuals who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others due to a mental health condition and require additional treatment and evaluation. Unlike a 5150 hold, a 5250 hold can only be initiated by a designated clinician, and the individual must have a more severe mental health condition to be eligible for this type of hold.

In both cases, the purpose of the hold is to provide immediate help to individuals who are in crisis and to prevent harm to themselves or others. However, the length of the hold and the criteria for initiation significantly differ between the two.

What is the Purpose of Section 5250?

The purpose of the 5250 code is to ensure that individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis receive the help and support they need, while also protecting the safety of the community. This code ensures that individuals who are in need of mental health treatment are given the opportunity to receive it, even if they do not want it themselves.

It is important to note that the 5250 code is only to be used in cases where a person is experiencing a severe mental health crisis. The involuntary detention and treatment provisions outlined in the code should not be used as a means of punishment or coercion, but rather as a means of providing help and support to those who need it.

Why is Section 5250 Important?

The 5250 code is an important aspect of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, as it provides a framework for the involuntary detention and treatment of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. This code is essential for ensuring that individuals receive the help and support they need, while also ensuring the safety of the community. However, the 5250 statute can be misused to illegally and unjustifiable detain those that are ready to receive care in the community. Those individuals, and their families, need to be aware of their right to seek legal counsel when this occurs.

How is the 5250 Code Misused?

Unfortunately, 5250 holds can be misused by certain doctors and facilities. At times, individuals who do not meet criteria are unjustifiably detained without legal cause. These individuals do have the right to an attorney to represent them and advocate for their release. Conversely, other individuals who really need continued psychiatric treatment and care at a locked facility can be released prematurely. Often for financial and insurance-related reasons.

What are the Long-Term Effects of 5250 Psychiatric Holds?

While the purpose of a 5250 hold is to provide immediate help to individuals who are in crisis, it can have long-term effects that can impact an individual's life in various ways.

The long-term effects of a 5250 hold can include:

  • Mental health concerns: One of the most significant long-term effects of a 5250 hold is the impact it can have on an individual's mental health. The experience of being involuntarily committed can be traumatic and may exacerbate existing mental health conditions. Additionally, the stigma associated with mental illness can result in social isolation and shame, which can further impact an individual's mental health.
  • Financial instability: A 5250 hold can impact an individual's employment and financial stability. The time spent in a mental health facility can result in missed work and financial losses, and the stigma associated with mental illness can make it difficult for individuals to find or maintain employment.
  • Legal implications: Individuals who have been subject to an adjudicated 5250 face the restriction of not being permitted to own or possess a firearm for the rest of their life under federal law.
  • Personal relationship issues: A 5250 hold can have an impact on an individual's relationship with their family and friends. The experience can be distressing and confusing, and the stigma associated with mental illness can make it difficult for individuals to maintain supportive relationships.

While intended to provide immediate help to individuals in crisis, a 5250 hold can have unexpected and negative long-term effects. It is important for individuals who have been subject to a 5250 hold to receive appropriate follow-up care and support to help mitigate these effects.

How Can I Effectively Fight a 5250 Hold?

Fighting a 5250 psychiatric hold requires a thorough understanding of your rights, the legal process, and the best course of action. Although it can take some work, it is possible to challenge an undue 5250 hold if you follow the right steps.

If you have been subject to a 5250 psychiatric hold, there are several steps you can take to fight the designation and protect your rights:

  1. Seek legal advice: Consult with an attorney who has experience in mental health law, like our team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP in Los Angeles. We can provide you with guidance on your rights, the legal process, and the best course of action.
  2. Request a hearing: Under California law, you have the right to have a hearing within four days of being placed on a 5250 hold. This hearing provides an opportunity for you to challenge the hold and present evidence in your defense.
  3. Gather evidence: Prepare a comprehensive defense by gathering any relevant medical or mental health records, witness statements, or other evidence that supports your position.
  4. Challenge the basis of the hold: At the hearing, you and your attorney can argue that the basis of the 5250 hold is not supported by the facts or the law. You can challenge the qualifications of the individual who initiated the hold, the validity of the evidence used to support the hold, or the procedures used to initiate the hold.
  5. Seek treatment: If possible, consider developing an aftercare plan for your mental health condition before the hearing. This can demonstrate to the hearing officer that you are committed to managing your mental health and reducing the risk of future harm.
  6. Appeal: If you are not successful at the 5250 hearing, you have the right to appeal the hearing officer’s decision by filing a Writ in Superior Court. After filing the Writ, you must be brought to court within 48 hours.

Get Answers & Support from Our Team

Our Los Angeles 5250 hold lawyers of Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP are standing by. The moment that you need reliable legal counsel due to an unjust or harmful 5250 psychiatric hold is the same moment that you should dial (800) 462-7160. We are ready to jump into action to investigate your situation and find the best way to defend your rights, finances, and reputation.

For more information, you can also contact our firm online if you prefer.

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