Penal Code 1001.80 PC | Military Diversion for PTSD / Mental Health


Penal Code 1001.80 PC – Military Diversion for PTSD / Mental Health

What’s up! This article will explain California’s military diversion program under Penal Code 1001.80 PC. We’ll break it down in simple terms, looking at how it works, eligibility, benefits, recent changes, and more. No fancy legal talk here!

What is Military Diversion Under PC 1001.80?

Military diversion allows current and former military members facing misdemeanor charges to get treatment instead of jail time [1]. Here’s how it works:

  • The court postpones criminal proceedings for up to 2 years
  • The defendant undergoes treatment for conditions like PTSD or substance abuse
  • If treatment is completed, charges are dismissed

This pretrial diversion program aims to rehabilitate rather than punish eligible veterans and service members.

What Conditions Qualify for Military Diversion?

To qualify for diversion, your military service must have caused [2]:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Substance abuse
  • Sexual trauma
  • Mental health issues

An assessment will help determine if your condition results from your military service.

What Misdemeanors Are Eligible?

Military diversion is available for misdemeanor charges like [3]:

  • DUI
  • Drug possession
  • Domestic violence
  • Assault
  • Disturbing the peace

It does not apply to felony charges. The crime must be directly related to your trauma or condition.

How Do You Get Military Diversion?

The process involves [4]:

  • Filing a motion requesting diversion
  • Providing evidence you qualify like medical records
  • Court assesses if you meet the requirements
  • Entering a treatment program if approved

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help get you into a diversion program.

What Treatment Programs Are Used?

Treatment can be through [3]:

  • VA programs
  • Department of Defense programs
  • Community-based services

The program depends on your specific conditions and needs.

Other Conditions of Military Diversion

You must comply with all conditions like [3]:

  • Attending counseling and treatment sessions
  • Undergoing drug/alcohol testing
  • Making required court appearances
  • Not committing new offenses

Violating any condition could lead to termination from the program.

How Long Does Treatment Last?

Military diversion can last from 6 months to 2 years maximum [3]. The typical program is 12-24 months. The court monitors your progress every 6 months.

Can Military Diversion Be Terminated Early?

Yes, the court can terminate diversion if [3]:

  • You violate program conditions
  • You are convicted of a new offense
  • You are performing unsatisfactorily

If terminated, your criminal case proceeds as normal.

Benefits of Completing Military Diversion

Benefits include [3]:

  • Charges dismissed
  • No criminal conviction on record
  • Arrest deemed not to have occurred

This gives you a chance to avoid jail and keep your record clean.

Recent Changes to Diversion Laws

Some recent changes include [5]:

  • Limits on when probation can be denied in 2018
  • Expansion of mental health diversion programs in 2015

An attorney can advise you on the latest military diversion laws and procedures.

How Military Diversion Differs from Veterans Court

Veterans court occurs after conviction instead of pretrial. Key differences [3]:

  • Veterans court requires a guilty plea
  • It involves probation and monitoring
  • It is not limited to misdemeanors

Military diversion aims to avoid a conviction altogether.

Finding an Attorney for Military Diversion

Connecting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is key. They can [6]:

  • Determine your eligibility
  • File the motion for diversion
  • Gather evidence you qualify like medical records
  • Represent you at diversion hearings

Having a knowledgeable lawyer greatly improves your chances of getting into a military diversion program.