PC 1001.36 Mental Health Diversion - Who Qualifies?

Posted by Peter ChambersOct 06, 2020


Diversion is an opportunity to resolve criminal cases without a criminal conviction. If you qualify for diversion and complete the required conditions, the criminal case against you will be dismissed and you will be granted a clean slate. 

Penal Code 1001.36 provides one method for diversion based on the condition of your mental health. Not everyone qualifies for mental health diversion, so it is important to understand the requirements.

Before a judge considers whether you qualify for mental health diversion, you must show that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. You have a diagnosed mental health disorder from the DSM-V.
  2. The disorder played a significant role in the commission of the charged offense.
  3. A qualified mental health expert believes that your symptoms would respond to mental health treatment.
  4. There is available mental health treatment program that address your symptoms.
  5. You agree to waive your right to a speedy trial, and agree to comply with the treatment program.
  6. There is no unreasonable risk of danger to public safety by your release.

And that's not all! There are exceptions to some of these rules which must be considered before you are granted diversion. For example, borderline personality disorder is recognized by the DSM-V, but does not qualify as a "mental health disorder" under the PC 1001.36 requirements.

If this seems like a lot, we might not be halfway there yet.

Assuming you meet all these minimum criteria, the prosecution may still argue that you should be punished rather than receive treatment. If this happens, there will be a hearing (e.g. a sort of mini-trial on just one question) to determine whether the court should grant you mental health diversion or not.

If you have been charged with a crime and want to consider mental health diversion pursuant to PC 1001.36, contact the Law Office of Peter James Chambers today for a free consultation. Peter can help walk you through the complicated process. No one has access to better experts, and Mr. Chambers can help make the court see you as the individual you are, not what you may have done in a moment of crisis.