In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Military Diversion Program (Penal Code Section 1001.80). This allows for veterans or active duty military members to apply for pre-trial diversion if they are charged with misdemeanors and if they may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of their military service.
If the judge approves the request for diversion, the prosecution is placed on hold and the veteran or servicemember attends whatever treatment program he or she requires. Upon successful completion of the treatment program, the court will dismiss the criminal charges and the arrest will be erased from the record.
Unlike other diversion programs, the Military Diversion Program does not require you to plead “no contest” to charges. The period of diversion can last from six months to two years. Once the program is completed, the charges are dismissed and it's just like the arrest never occurred. The fact that you were arrested can never be used to deny you any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.
Phillip Crawford was the first attorney in Monterey County to have a veteran granted diversion under this law. Call Mr. Crawford for advice about your case at (831) 783-0222.