Military diversion includes DUI offenses now that the legislature has passed and the Governor signed legislation stating that misdemeanor DUI cases, VC 23152 violations, are included as divertable offenses per Penal Code 1001.80. Appellate Courts in California were split on whether or not DUI cases were included because of an old statute prohibiting diversion in DUI cases. The California Supreme Court was to decide in October, but since the legislature has clarified the diversion statute, the matter is resolved.
This is great news for former and active duty military personnel. If you meet the criteria and the Court finds it appropriate, you can avoid a conviction and get treatment. DMV may still suspend your license administratively for a period of time independant of the Court if you are .08 Blood Alcohol level or more and age 21 or over, or .01 BA or more and under 21 on a first offense. There are additional suspensions for a DUI with priors.
Military Diversion which includes DUI, can be for one to two years if granted and require progress reports every 3 months. Eligibility requires current or former military service, mental health issue related to military service – sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse or other mental helath problem as a result of military service. A mental health or other professional must provide the assessment and a proposed treatment plan. You must not have had military diversion before and you waive your right to a speedy trial. This diversion does not require a plea of guilty first, if you do not complete diversion successfully, then criminal proceedings are reinstated, if you do complete then the case is DISMISSED.
It is important you contact a criminal and DUI defense attorney familiar with military diversion and local proceedures to help you get it. Christoph Law Offices, include Nicholas Christoph who did one of the first appeals on DUI and military Diversion and his father, William Christoph, a former USMC Captain. For over 35 years, we have been located across from Vista Courts doing exclusively DUI and Criminal Defense. Call 760-941-5720 for a free initial consultation.