New Changes for California Mental Health Diversion Statute Starting Jan 2023

Feb 01, 2023

how-can-i-get-mental-health-diversion.jpgMental health diversion is a pretrial program in California that diverts individuals from the criminal justice system into mental health treatment in lieu of facing a criminal trial or conviction. This is an alternative created for individuals where mental health played a significant part in their alleged crime.

In regards to the mental health diversion program, there are some significant new changes starting January 2023. Senate Bill 1223 has gone into effect and is codified in Penal Code section 1001.36. Previously, mental health diversion could be up to 2 years for a misdemeanor. That has now been shortened to one year. Previously, the defense had the burden of establishing that there was a connection between the crime and the mental health disorder in all cases. The new law significantly lowers the barriers to mental health diversion.

SB 1223 changes the eligibility criteria when a court grants pretrial diversion for an individual, to include a diagnosis of a mental disorder within the last 5 years. The new changes require the court, if a defendant has been diagnosed with a mental disorder within the last five years, to find that the defendant’s mental disorder was a significant factor in the commission of a charged offense unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it was not a motivating factor. 

This last change is, particularly, significant as the burden has shifted to the prosecution to now show that a defendant’s mental condition was not a causal factor or contributing factor in the offense. The new changes require a court to find that the defendant's mental health played a significant role in the criminal offense, unless there is strong evidence showing otherwise. 

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, and think you may be eligible for the Mental health diversion pretrial program, contact us at once for your free consultation. It’s very important to have a legal team on your side well versed in this program who are committed to providing the best criminal defense for you.

Category: Criminal Defense

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

Home  |  Disclaimer  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Fresno Domestic Violence Attorney Near Me | Fresno Criminal Attorney Near Me | Fresno DUI Attorney Near Me

Mitchell Law Group, Inc.
334 W. Shaw Avenue, Suite A Fresno, CA 93704
Phone: 559-222-2424

Fresno Criminal and DUI Attorney
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.  Testimonials displayed on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter

Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If you're looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.