Get A Misdemeanor Charge Dismissed Through AB 3234- California's New Diversion Law
Jan 13, 2021
There's some good news for many Californians facing criminal misdemeanor charges. As of January 1, 2021, Assembly Bill 3234 is now an active law. A primary provision in this bill means California judges can now offer a pretrial diversion in a qualifying misdemeanor case even when the prosecuting attorney objects to the offering. This can be a great tool for experienced lawyers to help clients avoid criminal convictions.
Some Diversion Facts
The diversion opportunity doesn't come without some responsibility for defendants. Under the law, a judge will require those who are granted the diversion to meet certain requirements, such as avoiding further arrest, making restitution payments, participating in rehabilitation programs, etc. However, when the participant reaches the end of the diversion period, without violating the terms, the judge will dismiss the case. It will be as though the arrest never happened!
Alternatively, during the diversion period--which cannot be longer than two years--should the defendant be found in violation of any conditions set by the judge, the original misdemeanor criminal case can be prosecuted. Additionally, if the defendant violates the diversion terms through catching another charge, that charge can also be prosecuted.
Offenses that are Excluded
Some misdemeanor charges that don't qualify for diversion under AB 3234 include certain domestic violence offenses (Penal Code sections 273.5 and 243(e)(1),) an offense that would require sex offender registration under Penal Code section 290, or stalking (Penal Code section 646.9.)
Arrest is Deemed Never to have Occurred
The misdemeanor diversion statute is codified in Penal Code section 1001.95, subsection (a). The great part about the new diversion statute is that it is even better than a dismissal by itself. If diversion is successfully completed, other than an application to be a peace officer, the arrest is deemed to have never taken place. Other than a peace officer application, the arrest, cannot, without your permission, be used in a way that could result in a denial or loss of employment or licensing. (See Penal Code section 1001.97(a) and (b).
Take Action Now
As established experts in criminal expungement and dismissal proceedings, anyone in the greater Fresno area can count on Mitchell Law Group to take full advantage of this new opportunity for misdemeanor criminal defendants. The consequences of having criminal convictions, or arrests, on a permanent record can be severe. If you, or anyone you know, is facing such charges, contact us to learn more about how we may help.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.