Veterans or active members of the military may qualify for a military diversion program, under the California law at 1001.80 PC. Military diversion is a type of pretrial diversion program that allows individuals who have been or are currently in the military to receive treatment for certain conditions instead of doing jail time. If the program is completed successfully, the charges are dismissed and will not go on the person’s criminal record. If you are or have been in the military and are facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges, military diversion may be an option.
Who Is Eligible for a Military Diversion Program?
To be eligible for military diversion, you must meet certain conditions:
- The crime must be a misdemeanor offense.
- You must be a veteran or an active member of the military.
- You must be suffering from mental health problems, substance abuse, PTSD, sexual trauma, or traumatic brain injury.
- The condition affecting you must have arisen as a result of your military service.
- You must be willing to undergo treatment for the condition.
What Qualifies as Military Sexual Trauma?
Military sexual trauma is defined under federal law as psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment that occurred while the veteran was on active duty or inactive duty training, in the judgment of a Veterans Affairs mental health professional. Sexual harassment is repeated physical or verbal contact of a sexual nature that is unsolicited and threatening in nature. Rape, coerced sex, unwelcome and threatening sexual advances, and other offenses committed against a person in the military could result in military sexual trauma.
How Does Military Diversion Work?
If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense and want military diversion, you do not have to enter a guilty plea first. Instead, you waive your right to a speedy trial and the court postpones the proceedings while you receive treatment and education to address the issue in your particular case. Once the treatment program is complete, the charges are dismissed. If you fail to complete the program, criminal proceedings will resume.
What Is Domestic Violence in California?
Domestic violence is defined under California law as abuse committed against an intimate partner. Abuse means intentionally or recklessly using, or threatening to use, physical force against an intimate partner. For purposes of the law, an intimate partner can be a current or former spouse, registered domestic partner, fiancé, fiancée, or cohabitant, a person with whom the accused has a child, or a person the accused is seriously dating or was dating in the past.
When Is Military Diversion an Option With Domestic Violence Charges?
Common domestic violence crimes include battery, threats, neglect, and abuse. In California, some domestic violence offenses are misdemeanors, and some are felonies. Many are wobblers, meaning they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on various factors, including any prior convictions, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and how seriously the alleged victim was injured. If you have been charged with a felony domestic violence offense, you are not eligible for military diversion. Only defendants facing misdemeanor charges qualify for this pre-trial diversion program.
If you meet the criteria for military diversion, your criminal defense attorney can ask the court for diversion. The court may request an assessment before making its decision. If you need to get out of jail in the meantime, call Balboa Bail Bonds at (619) 760-2222. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our bail bond agents are experienced, professional, fast, and easy to work with.