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Can a Mental Health Diversion Program Help Me?

 Posted on April 19, 2022 in Criminal Defense

san jose criminal defense lawyerAre you or a loved one facing a criminal charge of any kind? No matter how mild or severe it seems, it is important to realize just how big an impact a conviction of any type can have on every facet of your future—even for a first offense. That is why it is essential to find a knowledgeable, compassionate legal advocate who understands not just your actions, but also the deeper factors that may have contributed to your behavior. A skilled lawyer can then help the prosecutor and court appreciate that you are more than just a criminal defendant who deserves conviction and punishment, but a whole person with underlying issues and motivations, who may be in need of rehabilitation and improvement. In fact, you may be the ideal candidate for a mental health criminal diversion program.

A Different Type of Diversion Program

Many people are aware that California is a leader in creating criminal diversion programs to address not only the facts of a crime, but also the causes behind it. Often, a criminal offense has its roots in drug use, and our state has pioneered programs that offer alternatives to jail time for drug offenders. But another common cause of poor decision-making is mental or psychological disorders, and California is at the forefront of pre-trial diversion programs for these defendants as well.

Is Mental Health Pre-Trial Diversion Available to You?

If you are eligible for a mental-health diversion program, you may be able to receive treatment for your behavior’s underlying causes, rather than spending your sentence behind bars. Sections 1001.36 and 1001.82 of the California Penal Code make mental health diversion available to a variety of defendants in both misdemeanor and felony cases. You may be eligible if you are not an unreasonable danger to the community, you have been diagnosed with a psychological or mental health disorder (except for pedophilia, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder) that significantly impacted the charged offense, and an approved mental health professional testifies to your strong suitability for treatment. You must also agree to the relevant terms of the Penal Code and the requirements of the treatment program. If the judge offers you a treatment option, you would have up to two years to successfully complete the program, at which point your case would be dismissed without a conviction.

Contact a Compassionate San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney

Although the ultimate decision would be in the hands of the judge, attorney Cory Fuller and his team at Fuller Law Firm are standing by to advocate for you, working with prosecutors, mental health professionals, and others to put forth your strongest case, and help you receive the most flexible sentencing option available to you. If you are facing criminal charges, call a Santa Clara County diversion program lawyer today at 408-234-7563 for a free consultation to discuss your case.





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