Diversion in Criminal Cases

District Attorney Diversion

Orange County – Most misdemeanor offenses (except for domestic violence, sex registrable offenses and drunk driving offenses) are eligible for diversion in Orange County from the Orange County District Attorney. District Attorney Diversion involves the District Attorney agreeing to postpone the case for three-months while the client attends a class, makes a money “donation” or other requirement with the agreement the case is dismissed after the postponement.  The District Attorney may require an initial guilty plea. However, Orange County Diversion Lawyer Will Bruzzo has been able to obtain a dismissal without a guilty plea, which keeps the client’s record cleaner. The District Attorney may also require that the client give DNA. The DNA program began in Orange County because the District Attorney wanted to build a data base with as many DNA profiles as possible to help find people who commit serious crimes and leave DNA evidence (hair, skin, bodily fluid) at the crime scene. For most Defendants this is a VERY beneficial program. In California a guilty plea without sentencing is not a conviction so the person remains conviction free even if a guilty plea is required. Because of the recently enacted Court Diversion program, administered by the Judge, clients may choose not to give DNA for a 3-month dismissal. Call Orange County Diversion Attorney Will Bruzzo at (714) 547 4636 to discuss your options.

Los Angeles County – Most misdemeanor offenses are eligible for diversion in Los Angeles County from the Los Angeles County District Attorney. This diversion program does not require a guilty plea and consists of usually a 3–6-month postponement of the case during which time the Defendant must complete community service and pay Restitution among other requirements (money damages to victim).  This program occurred with the election of the new District Attorney in Los Angeles County in 2020 who wanted to “de-criminalize” minor misdemeanors to preserve county resources and to prevent Defendants from incurring convictions which effect their future job and education prospects. Los Angeles Diversion Attorney Will Bruzzo has been able to negotiate dismissals on many cases using District Attorney Diversion. Call him at (714) 547 4636 to learn more and discuss your eligibility.

Court (Judge) Diversion (Penal Code Section 1001.95)

The California legislature passed a law which went into effect in 2021 which permits the Judge to offer diversion on all Misdemeanors (except sex offenses requiring registration under Penal Code Section 290, Domestic Violence and Drunk Driving Offenses) over the objection of the Prosecutor. This new law does not require a guilty plea but may require that the Defendant undergo counseling or complete community service. This is another great tool for dismissing a case. Attorney Will Bruzzo has been able to negotiate dismissals with Judges on many cases using Court Diversion. Call him at (714) 547 4636 to learn more and to discuss your eligibility.

Mental Health Diversion (Penal Code Section 1001.36)

Mental Health Diversion applies to ALL Felonies and Misdemeanors (except murder, other very violent offenses, Drunk Driving Offenses and sex cases requiring registration under Penal Code Section 290.).  Generally, the Defendant must show that commission of the crime is connected to a mental health problem. It can be a previously known mental health problem or a previously unknown problem.  A psychological evaluation must be performed on the Defendant and the ensuing report must be submitted to the Court and the Prosecutor as part of the Mental Health Diversion motion. The Judge has the power to decide if the Defendant is eligible. If accepted into the program the Defendant will generally have to remain crime free and follow a proscribed course of mental health treatment for 12-24 months. As long as all requirements are met the Judge can then dismiss the case. No guilty plea is ever required! Attorney Will Bruzzo has successfully negotiated many Mental Health Diversion Motions with Judges which has resulted in the dismissal of very serious charges.  Please contact Mr. Bruzzo at (714) 547 4636 to discuss your eligibility.

Military Diversion (Penal Code Section 1001.80)

Military Diversion applies to all Misdemeanor Cases (including drunk driving offenses). The Defendant must show that their military service resulted in a condition which caused them to commit a crime.  However, the Courts have been very liberal in assessing whether a condition is related to military service. Conditions incurred from military service include sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse or mental health problems as a result of military service. A mental health evaluation may be performed on the Defendant and the ensuing report submitted to the Court and the Prosecutor. A mental health evaluation is not required for this program however. The Judge can deem the Defendant eligible over the objection of the Prosecutor. Generally, the program last 12-24 months and when completed to the satisfaction of the court with adherence to the course of treatment and no new violations of law, the matter may be dismissed.  Will Bruzzo is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has successfully represented many veterans in criminal cases before the courts. Call him at (714) 547 4636 to discuss your eligibility.


Orange County has established a program along with the University of California at Irvine, which permits males between the ages of 18-25 years to attend intense counseling and education and get their felony cases dismissed usually after about 12-months. The idea behind this program is that males of that age bracket still have undeveloped brains that can benefit from targeted counseling and education to avoid further crime. Clients accused of violent felonies, drug sales and other cases have been permitted to attend this program. Assessments for suitability are done by a team to include the Judge, the Orange County District Attorney, Orange County Probation, mental health professionals and the client’s lawyer. Orange County Young Adult Court Lawyer Will Bruzzo has successfully represented clients through Young Adult Court. Call him at (714) 547 4636 to determine your eligibility.

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