If you or a loved one has been arrested or cited for a Misdmeanor offense you should get legal help as soon as possible. As an Attorney with more than 19 years of experience and having tried more than 50 Felony Jury trials and handles over a thousand Misdemeanor cases, I have the know how to get you through this.
Below i will be going through some of the defenses to Misdemeanor cases, including some of the changes to law that has helped both Veterans and people facing Misdemeanor cases move on with there lives as soon as Possible. In another blog I went through the new law as to so called, Court Diversion, I will briefly go through that again and go through veterans diversion. And what happens if you do not qualify under one of those programs.
ARE YOU A VETERAN DO YOU QUALIFY FOR VETERANS DIVERSION?
This program is not so much a defense as it is a diversion program. If you are a Veteran facing Misdemeeanor charges you may qualify for Veterans diversion program.
You would have to be a Honorably discharged veteran, facing Misdemeanor charges, and there must be a nexus between your milltary service and the current charges. For example PTSD or alcoholism, had a relatiionship to the charges. You would have to get a Military 100 form showing proof of your mililtary service. Then that your qualify for one of there treatement programs at the VA. The VA will have to cooperate with this process. This means they will have to let the court know that you have a nexus between the offense and service and they have a program to help you.
In Fresno you willl stay in the same court and not go to a specific Veterans Court for a Misdemeanor and instead show your progress in the court you are assigned. After you have completed the program your case will be dismissed under the expungement statute, which is 1203.4.
WHAT IS COURT DIVERSION?
In Fresno County you will often hear people talk about court diversion. This means under new law that was recently passed you may be eligible to have your case diverted before even entering a Plea. This is a huge benefit to mostly first time offenders. It gives you the oppurtunity to get your case resolved without having to enter into and admission and have the cases show as a conviction on your record beccause the case is diverted wihtout having to enter into a plea.
Under the old law the prosecutor would decide if the case were diverted. The court did not have a say in this process. This has now changed the court over the objection of the prosecution may decide over the objection of the prosecution. The court will look at certain factors such as the prior record of the person, how serious the current case is, wether you have any other factors such as addiction and other problems.
If the court grants this diversion you will be given certain things to complete such as anger management or alcohol classes or other programs and then come back. And the case will be dismissed.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ONE OF THOSE PROGRAMS?
Even if you do not qualify for one of thos programs all is not lost. In a Miademeanor case you can after successfull completion of probation, and then petition the court under Penal Code 1203.4 to have the case dismissed and expunged. What this means is that after the conviction on your record the case will show as dismissed and expunged. This will always look better on your record.
If after reading this article you still have questions give us a call 559-441-1418.