Should I Consider Mental Health Diversion in My Criminal Case?

Should You Consider Mental Health Diversion (PC 1001.36) in Your Criminal Case?

If you are facing criminal charges and have a history of mental health issues, mental health diversion may be an option to consider. Mental health diversion is a program that allows individuals with mental health conditions to receive treatment and support instead of serving time in jail or prison. It is designed to address the root causes of criminal behavior and provide individuals with the tools and resources they need to manage their mental health and avoid future criminal activity.

When deciding whether to consider mental health diversion, keep in mind:

  1. Severity of your mental health condition: Mental health diversion is most appropriate for people with serious and persistent mental health conditions that have been diagnosed and treated by a mental health professional. However, individuals experiencing mental health symptoms for the first time can still be eligible.
  2. Nature of your criminal charges: Mental health diversion may not be available for individuals facing certain sex-related charges or extremely serious charges such as murder. Most criminal charges do qualify, though.
  3. Your ability and willingness to participate in treatment: Mental health diversion requires a commitment to participating in treatment and therapy. People who are unwilling to participate in treatment can be ineligible for mental health diversion.
  4. Potential consequences of conviction: If you are convicted of a crime, you could face serious penalties, such as imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record. Mental health diversion may provide a way to avoid these consequences and maintain your freedom.

Before you rush to use mental health diversion in a criminal case, you should first consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled mental health law cases. With their guidance, you can make an informed decision and pursue the best options.

To learn about mental health diversion from a professional criminal defense team in Los Angeles, call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP at (800) 462-7160 now.
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