Which Crimes Are Ineligible for Mental Health Diversion?

Criminal Offenses That Make a Defendant Statutorily Unable to Be Placed Into Mental Health Diversion

Penal Code 1001.36 allows for a court to grant mental health diversion for certain offenders. A defendant must show that they suffer from a diagnosable qualifying mental disorder and must have a recent diagnosis by a qualified mental health expert. In addition, the court must be satisfied that the defendant’s mental disorder was a significant factor in the commission of the crime. 

A defendant may qualify for mental health diversion under PC 1001.36 regardless of whether they committed a misdemeanor or a felony, but some offenses exclude a person by statute.

Offenses that make automatically make a person ineligible for mental health diversion include:

  • Murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Offenses that would require registration under Section 290 (with the exception of Section 314)
  • Rape
  • A lewd or lascivious act on a child under the age of 14
  • Assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy, or oral copulation
  • Rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Violation of Section 11418 (b) or (c)

If you believe that you are eligible for mental health diversion, it is important to speak with legal counsel. Individuals who are willing to get treatment and meet the other eligibility requirements may be able to get their case dismissed upon successful completion of the diversion program. 

Diversion can last for a period of up to two years and offenders must be willing to complete treatment as a condition of the program. A mental health expert must also be of the opinion that you would respond to treatment.