Los Angeles Diversion
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime of Los Angeles County, it is important to thoroughly understand your options. Depending on the charges, your solution may include a court alternative, such as an Office Hearing, Pre-Trial Diversion, or APPS, which could allow for dismissal of the case.
Los Angeles Diversion Attorney Gregory Caplan emphasizes early intervention and exploration of court alternatives for clients. His background includes more than 17 years in criminal law, many as a prosecutor, evaluating cases for court alternatives.
New Diversion legislation has been under consideration in California over the course of the past year. Mr. Caplan is taking steps to prepare clients for possible changes.
California lawmakers recently sought the passage of Assembly Bill, AB994, which would have resulted in substantial changes of the justice system, including “Diversion.” While historically, Los Angeles City Attorney Diversion Programs required “authorization” from the prosecuting agency, AB994 terms was designed to grant judges the ability, in some cases, to offer Diversion without prosecutor consent. This legislation was halted by veto of the governer at the end of 2013.
Penal Code section 1001 and Diversion
Historically in California and Los Angeles Superior Courts, prosecutors had the sole authority to postpone misdemeanor cases at any point before plea or trial, and allow participation in a Pre-Trial Diversion Program.
Diversion programs currently require terms such as:
1. Community Service
4. Payment of Program Costs
5. Lawful Conduct During Pendency
Successful completion of the existing program allow for dismissal of the charges.
Unfortunately, these programs have been somewhat arbitrarily applied in Los Angeles County. Essentially, eligibility for diversion has been preordained by incident location, and prosecuting agency assigned. While the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and other local City Attorney Offices have been open to Misdemeanor Diversion on a case by case basis, the LA District Attorney has not historically embraced Diversion Programs. Thus, similarly situated people have received substantially different results, sometimes even determined based which side of the street an incident occurred.
Changes of Diversion Law
California lawmakers may still modify existing laws in Penal Code sections 1001 et seq. Proposed changes would likely be designed to create conformity to application of Misdemeanor Diversion. Program eligibility would likely first be evaluated by the DA. If the DA did not believe a person was eligible, a second level of review could be handled by a judge.
What would the Program Requirements likely be for this type of Diversion?
1. Los Angeles County DA Would Maintain Diversion Program
2. DA would Evaluate misdemeanor case for eligibility (subject to some exceptions)
3. Independent judicial evaluation would be possible for cases DA finds ineligible
4. DA would notify defendant or attorney about eligibility and requirements
5. Defendant would need to complete requirements: counseling/community service/restitution/fees/etc.
6. Dismissal upon successful completion/Arrest is deemed to have not occurred
Factors for eligibility and suitability would likely be based on similar existing programs in Los Angeles County, including facts of case, positive character traits of the accused, employment history, enrollment in school/college, character letters, and lack of serious previous criminal history.
You can read about some of these factors at: Los Angeles Diversion Attorney.
Could you be Eligible for Diversion or Other Alternative? Learn about possible solutions for your case. Call Gregory Caplan directly, at 213-400-5355!
*Outcomes of criminal cases are always unique to particular law/facts.