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New California Law Provides Possibility of Treatment for Mentally Ill Offenders

Posted by Dan Kann | Jan 09, 2019 | 0 Comments

Far too often, individuals with mental health issues get mixed up in violating the law. However, because the criminal behavior is typically linked with deeper mental health issues, jail time or prison is likely not a proper or effective consequence for their behavior. In June of 2018, Governor Brown signed AB 1810 into law, making pretrial diversion a possibility for criminal offenders who suffer from mental illnesses. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, “the law is intended to steer people with mental health conditions into treatment and away from jail or prison. It gives judges discretion to order defendants into a pretrial diversion program for treatment instead of prosecution.” Mental Health advocates and criminal justice reformers are thrilled by this new law.

How AB 1810 Works

If a person is charged with a crime but qualifies for pretrial diversion because of a history of mental illness, that person will receive mental health treatment instead of facing immediate prosecution. The person is court ordered to participate in treatment and report back to the judge on a regular basis to determine if he or she is complying with the treatment. The real benefit of pretrial diversion is that if the mental health treatment is determined successful, the criminal charges are dropped. However, if the judge decides the treatment is not working, prosecution of the criminal case can begin.

AB 1810 Does Not Apply to All Criminal Charges

Pretrial diversion under AB 1810 does not apply to every type of criminal charge. Although the law was originally open ended, opponents encouraged the legislature to amend the law because it was too broad—now certain crimes are not eligible for pretrial diversion. These include more serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape and child sexual abuse.

Get Help Now

If someone you love is facing certain criminal charges that can be linked to mental health issues, AB 1810 may apply and pretrial diversion may be available. This gives the person you love the opportunity to get help without facing immediate criminal consequences. To see if this is a possibility, get in touch with one of our Southern California defense attorney right away. The experienced team of criminal defense attorneys here at the Kann Criminal Defense Group can evaluate your case to help determine whether or not pretrial diversion is an option and assist in petitioning the court for this alternative course of action. Call us today at 888-744-7730 or use our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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