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. A solution may include an Office Hearing, Diversion, or APPS, which could allow for dismissal.
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 alternatives.
New 2015 Diversion legislation has been approved in Los Angeles County. Mr. Caplan is taking steps to prepare clients for these changes.
California lawmakers recently updated existing law, which will result in substantial changes to “Diversion.” While historically, Los Angeles City Attorney Diversion Programs required “authorization” from the prosecuting agency, Penal Code section 1001.94 enacts a Pilot Program which will allow judges to independently make a determination of diversion eligibility in LA County.
Penal Code section 1001.94 and Diversion
Historically in 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 typically required terms such as:
1. Community Service
4. Payment of Program Costs
5. Lawful Conduct During Pendency
Successful completion of the existing program allowed for dismissal of the charges.
Unfortunately, these programs were somewhat arbitrarily applied in Los Angeles County. Essentially, eligibility for diversion was 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 received substantially different results, sometimes even determined based which side of the street an incident occurred.
Changes of Diversion Law
Penal Code section 1001.94 dramatically changes the justice system in Los Angeles County. These changes will likely be designed to create conformity to application of Misdemeanor Diversion. Eligibility will likely 1st be evaluated by the Prosecutor. If the Prosecutor does not find eligiblity, a second level of review will be handled by a judge, if a motion is made to do so.
1. Independent judicial evaluation/motion of defendant to determine initial eligibility.
2. If approved, a plea of guilty or no contest must be entered. Court-ordered requirements must be successfully completed: i.e., counseling/community service/restitution/fees/etc.
3. Dismissal upon successful completion/Arrest is deemed to have not occurred
Factors for eligibility and suitability will be evaluated pursuant to Penal Code section 1001.98, and will likely model existing programs in Los Angeles County.
Suitability factors considered in other diversion programs include the facts of the case, positive character traits of the accused, employment history, school or college enrollment, 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. Call Gregory Caplan directly, at 213-400-5355!
*Outcomes of criminal cases are always unique to particular law/facts.