Orange County Military Criminal Defense Lawyer
Helping Accused Servicemen & Women
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 me 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 after you have been accused or arrested.
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.
The military diversion program can offer veterans relief for misdemeanor
crimes. This includes:
- California DUI
- Possession of narcotics
- Misdemeanor assault and battery
- Other misdemeanors
Note that for a DUI, even if the charges are dropped, the DMV still maintains
the right to take administrative action against the individual's driving
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 military criminal defense
lawyer is vital for navigating these situations and increases the likelihood
of obtaining a favorable resolution.
- 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 are a U.S. service member, do not hesitate to
contact The Law Offices of Alan Castillo for assistance.