A Proven Approach For Protecting Service Members
You have worked hard, and you have served your country. You also are still a human being, and human beings can make mistakes. At Premier Domestic Violence Law Group, we know good people can find themselves on the wrong side of domestic violence accusations. All it takes is one argument and one phone call made in the heat of the moment to place the career you have worked so hard for at risk.
We offer defense representation from Mark Deniz, a former senior prosecutor for domestic violence cases. He knows how to win and has created this firm based on that knowledge. Just as important for you, he understands how to navigate the internal justice system of the military, including the military diversion program. One phone call is all it takes to find out where you stand and how we can help you. Call 619-752-3702 now for a free consultation.
The Military Diversion Program
California law recognizes the fact that our men and women in uniform face a unique set of psychological and physical challenges during and after their service. The military diversion program was born of this recognition, providing an alternative sentencing option for our active duty service members and veterans.
Military diversion is a form of pretrial diversion specifically for the military. It provides judges with the discretion to postpone criminal proceedings while military defendants receive treatment for mental health and/or substance abuse issues stemming from their military service. The following are examples of conditions that may be included as part of a military diversion for domestic violence:
- One to two years of treatment
- Protective Order (JC Form #CR-160) that lasts the duration of the program
- One year Family Recovery Program or a probation-certified Domestic Violence Recovery Program (DVRP)
- Random drug and alcohol testing
- Substance abuse counseling
- 90-day progress reports
The military diversion program represents the best of both words for defendants. Not only do they receive treatment that lays the foundation for a better future and increased well-being, they can also receive a dismissal of the criminal charges after successful completion of the program. Upon the successful completion of military diversion, a defendant will be able to truthfully answer “No” when asked if they have ever been arrested or have a criminal record. This is crucial for protecting future employment opportunities.
The military diversion program is available for former or current members of the U.S. armed forces who have been charged with misdemeanor offenses, which can include domestic violence charges. A defendant must meet the eligibility criteria prior to being admitted to this pretrial diversion program. One of the most important criteria is the presence of mental health or substance abuse issues related to military service. This recognizes the real human cost that can come from a person’s military experience, recognizing that treating the underlying causes of an offense is crucial for making sure justice is truly served. Examples include defendants suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), sexual trauma and substance abuse.
Who Is Not Eligible For Military Diversion?
First of all, anyone who is unwilling to waive their right to a speedy trial is ineligible for diversion; entering into diversion must be done with the knowledge and approval of the defendant who faces domestic violence charges. An attorney cannot force a client into diversion even if it is likely in their best interest to pursue an outcome via diversion rather than take their chances with a jury of their peers. Other potential exclusionary considerations include:
- Prior convictions: Defendants who already have a conviction for domestic violence or a similar offense can pursue a post-conviction referral to Veteran’s Treatment Court (Department 16, Central Division) in lieu of military diversion. This can result in a dismissal of the criminal conviction while also providing more robust structure and supervision for the defendant.
- Previous military diversion: Having multiple grants of military diversion excludes a defendant from eligibility for Veteran’s Treatment Court; as such, it is best to only pursue a single instance of military diversion.
Who Is Eligible For Military Diversion?
Is diversion right for you? An experienced lawyer from our firm can examine your circumstances and make sure you understand the defense options available to you.
Get The Help You Need Today
You cannot undo what has happened, but you can take the first step toward making things better and getting the help you need. We offer defense representation from a former senior domestic violence prosecutor who is committed to protecting the rights of service members and veterans who face accusations of domestic violence. Call 619-752-3702 for a free consultation with a compassionate advocate.