First, thank you for your service to our great country. California recently passed a bill recognizing the trauma caused by prior and current military service. The military diversion program (1001.80 PC) creates process whereby active military or veterans can apply for a pre-plea diversion, with the incentive that if they comply with court-ordered treatment programs, they can have their misdemeanor cases dismissed. Since the program does not require a plea of guilty, this may save the career of current military servicemen/women, and would not trigger the Lautenburg Act, which is a federal lifetime ban on firearms for even a misdemeanor conviction of Domestic Violence.
- Defendant is charged with only misdemeanors.
- Defendant is a current or former member of the US military.
- Defendant may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her military service.
- Defendant consents to being placed on Military Diversion and waives his/her rights to a speedy trial.
- Defendant has not been granted Military Diversion for any other case.
To apply for Military Diversion in San Diego County, you must do so prior to adjudication (ie plea or trial). There is an application advising you of your waiver of the right to a speedy trial, and you request a hearing on the Military Diversion Calendar. The prosecution must be notified.
The defense must show a factual basis for eligibility with support showing that a treatment plan is available and would help. Active duty must show that status and a proposed treatment plan. Veterans may get an assessment done by a regional Veterans Center (located in San Diego, San Marcos, or Chula Vista).
If the court finds a defendant eligible and appropriate, criminal proceedings will be suspended for up to two years, and the court will set terms of the diversion, along with review hearing dates. If all conditions are satisfied, the court will dismiss the charge, and the case, and arrest, will be deemed not to have occurred (with the specific exception of law enforcement applications).
Application to DUI's
Currently, applications for Military Diversion on DUI's in Vista, San Diego, El Cajon, and South Bay are met with opposition from the DA's office. Until there is a specific appellate opinion on point, I suggest application for Military Diversion as the benefit is substantial in avoiding a conviction.
For help in applying for Military Diversion, contact my office today for a free consultation.
Bailey Criminal Defense, Inc.