Uner new law AB 1810 significant changes have occured in the way in which people suffering from Mental Health disorders are treated by the court. In some cases the case will be dismissed or diverted after the succesful completion of treatment and a diversion program.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION?
Anyone with a mental health disorder, wether the offense is a Felony or Misdemeanor.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
1. Court must find:
A. Mental Health disorder as defined in the DSM.
B. The disorder played a significant role in offense.
C. Significant relationship between disorder and offense, and or significant relationship between defendant’s homelessness and charged offense.
D. Defendant will respond to treatment ( based upon mental health expert opinion),
E. Defendant consents to treatment (waives time) and consents to participation.
F. Deosnt pose an unreasonable risk of danger to community
Section 1170.18 DA, defense, meantal health expert, defendants defendant’s past criminal history, violent history if any and any other factors the court deems appropriate
2. There must be a referral for treatment made by the county mental health agency, existing collaberative court, or outpatient treatment the court must be satisfied the programming will meet the defendant’s needs.
3. Defendant begins programming and court and counsel recieve regular reports
A. D’s doing badly = Court holds hearing to determine whether to reinstate crim proceedings, whether program should be modified, or whether D should be conserved
If defendant picks up a new misdo case while propensity for violence or d picks up a felony or d is engaged in conduct making him unsuitable for the program then the defendant can be terminated from the program and criminal proceeedings reinstated.
If the defendant does well on the program court must dismiss. DOJ gets notice case was diverted, arrest erased and sealed.
If defendant substantially complied with diversion, no significant new law violations unrelated to defendants mental health theres a plan in place for for long term mental health care.
DETERMINING MENTAL HEALTH DISORDER
There must be a recent diagnosis by qualified mental health expert Exclusions for pedophelia, antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
DETERMINING MD PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN OFFENSE:
Court can review PO reports, PH transcripts, witness statements, mental health provider statments and medical records.
REGULAR REPORTS ON DEFENDANTS PROGRESS
No specificity in how often court must get reports.
Determining whether program meets defendants needs court can consider defense opinions, prosecution opinions interest of the community, treatment through private or public funds, inpatient or outpatient treatment is ok.
The new law authorizes the State Dept. of Hospitals to contract with county to fund and expand pretrial programs for people who may otherwise be incompetent to stand trial due to mental health disability.
These changes will make a huge impact on the ability of local authorities to properly deal with people suffering from mental health disorders. If you or a loved one has been arrested and these new laws may impact you then give us a call and we will sit down and give you a free case evaluation regarding the different options you may have regarding this new law.
These new laws are different from the already existing mental health courts in that there could be complete diversion of the offense due to these laws. Our phone number is 559 441-1418 and we can help you make a decision regarding how to properly proceed with your case. If your loved one is incarcerated you should begin to build some of the evidence you need in order to help with this determination including mental health records etc. This could be a lengthy process that usually begins when a person has been arrested.