Military members and ex-members can face criminal charges just like anyone else. However, they have access to a special program called military diversion, which can be very beneficial in their criminal case. This program is designed to help veterans and active-duty military personnel who are facing misdemeanor charges, typically those related to substance abuse, mental health, or other issues that are a result of their military service.
In this article, we will explain what a military diversion program is, how it works, and how it can benefit one's criminal case.
A military diversion program is a specialized program that is available to current or former members of the United States Military who are facing misdemeanor criminal charges. The program is designed to provide an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution, and it is intended to help veterans and active-duty military personnel avoid jail time and get the help they need to address underlying issues such as substance abuse, PTSD, or other mental health issues.
Under California law, military diversion is available to eligible defendants who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, including PTSD, substance abuse, or psychological problems related to their military service. The program is available for certain misdemeanor offenses, including drug offenses, DUI, domestic violence, and other crimes that are commonly associated with substance abuse or mental health issues.
Military diversion works similarly to other types of diversion programs. A defendant who is eligible for the program can apply to participate, and the court will determine whether the defendant meets the eligibility criteria. If the court approves the application, the defendant will be required to complete a specific set of requirements, which may include counseling, therapy, drug or alcohol treatment, community service, or other activities that are designed to address the underlying issues that led to the criminal charges.
The court will typically set a deadline for the defendant to complete the program, and the defendant will be required to appear in court periodically to report on their progress. If the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges against them will be dismissed, and they will be able to avoid a criminal conviction.
There are several benefits to participating in a military diversion program. One of the main benefits is that it provides defendants with an opportunity to get the help they need to address underlying mental health or substance abuse issues. By completing the program, defendants can gain access to treatment and resources that can help them overcome these challenges and avoid future legal issues.
Another benefit of military diversion is that it can help veterans and active-duty military personnel avoid a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction can have serious consequences for military personnel, including loss of security clearance, loss of employment, and other adverse consequences. By participating in a diversion program, military personnel can avoid these negative outcomes and protect future opportunities.
Finally, military diversion can help veterans and active-duty military personnel avoid jail time. Many defendants who are facing misdemeanor charges can be sentenced to jail time, which can be especially difficult for military personnel who are currently serving or who have recently returned from deployment. By participating in a diversion program, defendants can avoid jail time and stay connected with their families and communities.
Military diversion is a valuable resource for veterans and active-duty military personnel who are facing misdemeanor criminal charges. This program provides defendants with access to treatment and resources that can help them address underlying mental health or substance abuse issues, and it can help them avoid a criminal conviction and jail time. If you are a current or former member of the military who is facing misdemeanor charges, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine whether military diversion is an option for you.