New California Diversion Program Under California Penal Code 1001.36

If you’ve been arrested for a crime in California, Penal Code 1001.36 allows any defendant charged with a misdemeanor or felony the chance for a dismissal of their case if they meet certain requirements.

To be eligible, the accused must suffer from a “mental disorder” listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (known as the DSM). Alcoholism, drug addiction, PTSD, ADHD, anxiety disorder, and many others are listed in the DSM as treatable mental disorders.

California Penal Code section 1001.36 means that if a criminal defendant is an alcoholic or addicted to drugs, or suffers from some other related mental health issue and commits a crime related to their mental health issue, they have the chance to participate in a treatment program and receive a dismissal of the charges against them.

However, there are certain requirements that must be met to be eligible for this diversion opportunity. The requirements are:
A mental disorder.

  • The mental disorder played a significant role in the commission of the charged offense.
  • A qualified mental health expert’s opinion that the defendant’s symptoms motivated the criminal behavior and would respond to mental health treatment.
  • The defendant agrees to treatment as a condition of diversion, and the judge is satisfied that mental health treatment will meet the specialized mental health treatment needs of the defendant.
  • However, the defendant is NOT eligible for diversion if the court finds that the defendant poses an unreasonable danger to the public.
  • There will be regular reports to the court of the defendant’s participation in treatment during the diversion process.

If you believe that you can benefit from, or are eligible for this new law, call us now for a free consultation with a lawyer who can you help you.