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. This means that the Defendant pleads guilty to the crime but sentencing is postponed, usually for three months and then the case is dismissed.  During the three-month delay the Defendant is usually required to attend a 6–12-hour class and give DNA. This 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 crime 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 despite the guilty plea. Attorney Will Bruzzo has been able to negotiate dismissals on many cases using District Attorney Diversion in Orange County WITHOUT the Defendant pleading guilty. Call him at (714) 547 4636 to learn more and to discuss your eligibility.

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.  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 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.  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 must be performed on the Defendant and the ensuing report submitted to the Court and the Prosecutor. 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.

 

×Coronavirus and the Orange County Criminal Courts. Do you have a loved one in custody? Click here.

Orange County Courts are accepting Restraining Order requests during the Coronavirus Crisis. Click here for more information.