California Law Allows Dismissal of Pending Criminal Cases in Several Situations. One of these situations is reserved for someone with mental health issues. That is, a person who has mental health issues can get his case dismissed. This is done through Mental Health Diversion that is found in California Penal Code 1001.36
Under California PC 1001.36 the court can divert many crimes as long as:
- The defendant suffers from a mental health disorder;
- The mental health disorder was a significant factor in the commission of the offense.
- A doctor opines that defendant can get better with treatment
- The defendnat agrees to the diversion
- The defendnat will not pose an unreasonble risk or danger to public safety if treated in the community
- The defendant is not charged with list of certain offices such as murder, sex with a minor etc.
There are exceptions to mental health diversion. For example, California Vehicle Code 23640 specifically does not allow DUI diversions. The California Court of Appeals held that because of VC 23640, DUI can be not diverted even if all conditions of PC 1001.36 are met. This of course creates absurd situations in which a person with mental health issues who gets a 1st offense DUI is treated more severely than a person who commits a very serious felony (such as arson or robbery).
The judge can’t by himself offer diversion to Defendant. Your lawyer must ask the judge to do it. – the defense counsel or the defendant has to request diversion under PC 1001.36. (People v. Banner)
For case-specific analysis of your criminal case in Los Angeles plese call our office directly at (323) 464-6424.