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Military Criminal Defense Lawyer Orange County, CA

Comprehensive Legal Support for Military Personnel

In California, many veterans and active members of the armed services are eligible to have their misdemeanor offenses dismissed without any plea of guilty upfront. What this means is you can avoid a conviction if you are found eligible for the military diversion program. It is critical that you speak to an Orange County military defense attorney prior to accepting any type of plea-bargain that requires you to plead guilty to any type of misdemeanor offense.

Call an Orange County military criminal defense attorney for a free initial consultation at 949-234-6525 after you have been accused or arrested.

Understanding the Military Diversion Program

In order to be considered for the Military Diversion Program pursuant to Penal Code §1001.80, you must obtain documentation from the Veteran’s Administration or, if you are active duty, your on-base substance abuse treatment center, indicating in writing that you have been assessed and determined to suffer from certain conditions.

Eligibility and Benefits for Veterans and Active Duty Members

The military diversion program can offer veterans relief for misdemeanor crimes. This includes:

Note that for a DUI, even if the charges are dropped, the California DMV still maintains the right to take administrative action against the individual's driving privileges.

Reducing Felony Charges for Military Personnel

Additionally, if you have been charged with a felony that is considered a "wobbler," the court may reduce the charges to a misdemeanor according to California Penal Code § 17(b). This would allow you to pursue the Military Diversion Program even if you were initially charged with a felony. Guidance from a knowledgeable California military criminal defense lawyer is vital for navigating these situations and increases the likelihood of obtaining a favorable resolution.

Qualifying Conditions for the Diversion Program

Conditions include any of the following:

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Suffering from sexual trauma related to military service
  • A substance abuse problem
  • Traumatic Brain Injury ("TBI")
  • A mental health problem related to your military service

Active duty members and/or veterans of the United States Military must request that an assessment be completed by the VA Behavioral Assessment Center or, for active duty members, the substance abuse treatment center on base, in which a therapist psychologist, or some other type of treatment professional meets with you, and conducts relevant testing to determine whether or not you suffer from one of the three above qualifying conditions.

The documentation must state that the identified issue is “…related to your military service.”

If you need legal counsel from a Military defense attorney near Orange County, California, contact me today!

If you are a U.S. service member, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Alan Castillo for assistance from one of our Orange County criminal lawyers for the military at 949-234-6525.

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