California Assembly Bill 3234 (later codified as Penal Code section 1001.95) was approved by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2020, under which superior court judges were given the ability to offer a diversion program to defendants of low-level crimes who have been charged with qualifying misdemeanors.
In January of 2021, the state of California broadened the scope of the bill to include crimes such as assault, DUI, drug offenses, criminal threats, elder abuse, child abuse, vehicular manslaughter, and the concealed carry of a firearm without the proper license. Some misdemeanor crimes were not included in this update, including domestic battery and any crime that requires sex registration under Penal Code section 290.
What Does Penal Code section 1001.95 Do?
The statute gives defendants the opportunity to have their misdemeanor offense dismissed and erased from their record upon successful completion of the specific court mandated terms. In addition, defendants are not required to plead guilty of their crimes in advance.
Rather than going to trial on such a case, a judge is authorized to “divert” the case and order the defendant to complete certain terms, conditions, and programs instead. These terms and conditions are intended to include programs applicable to the circumstances of the case. For instance, a defendant may be required to attend a substance abuse treatment program, perform community service, and/or complete another condition relating to the specific offenses he or she is charged with.
Under the statute, judicial diversion can last for a period of up to 24 months, during which time the defendant must complete all of the orders set forth by the judge and comply with all requirements.
In order to have their cases dismissed, defendants following a judicial diversion program must:
- Complete all conditions ordered by the court
- Make full restitution to the victim
- Comply with a court-ordered protective order, stay-away order, or order prohibiting firearm possession, if applicable.
Misdemeanor Judicial Diversion Attorney
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor and would like to discuss your eligibility with a judicial diversion attorney, we can help. Call Attorney H. Charles Gorian today at (951)-395-0511 or fill out our no-obligation online form.