Diversion Programs/Specialty Courts

In Tulare County, the court system is no longer a one-size-fits-all system in responding to allegations of criminal conduct. If you are a veteran, are suffering mental illness, or are seeking an alternative sentence in a drug case, it may benefit you to get your case into specialty courts or diversion programs.

At the Law Offices of Derek P. Wisehart, in Visalia, our attorney has up-to-date knowledge of all of these options. Give us a call today to talk about how we can help you find the right one for your particular situation. To reach us, call 559-429-5630 or 800-742-6392.

What Types of Specialty Courts or Alternative Programs Are Available?

There are now several specialty courts active in Tulare County to handle specific types of cases. These include:

  • Drug court — There are two drug court programs in our county, one for adults and one for juveniles. The Adult Drug Court is a jail alternative program run by the probation department. It emphasizes treatment based on the 12-step model. There is also a Juvenile Drug Court for juveniles in trouble due to drugs or alcohol.
  • Veterans court — For veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), special veterans courts can be a good way to address criminal charges. We will make sure your rights and interests are paramount in this process.
  • Mental health court — Since 2009, Tulare County has had a mental health court to handle criminal cases involving people with mental health problems. If the charges you face do not involve violent crime or sex offenses, this may be a viable way to get help for mental health or addiction problems and stay out of jail.

Know Your Options in Drug Cases

If you are facing charges for a drug offense, there are also other alternatives besides the Tulare County Drug Court that may be available to you under California law. We will help you find the path that makes the most sense for you, based on your unique situation.

One of these alternatives is called PC-1000. Taking its name from a section of the Penal Code, it is a court-ordered program offering diversion from criminal prosecution for first-time offenders charged with low-level drug offenses. This means possession or use of drugs like marijuana in small amounts.

The idea is to give you a chance to get treatment instead of arresting you and locking you up. If you successfully complete treatment, it is possible to get the original charges against you dismissed.

Prop 36 diversion is somewhat different. Passed by the voters in 2000, it allows for defendants who meet the qualifying criteria to serve a probationary sentence instead of spending time behind bars. But as a condition of probation, participants must enter and complete an approved drug treatment program in the community.

In drug cases, there is also a procedure called DEJ, which stands for deferred entry of judgment. Like drug court and other diversion programs, this offers a chance to possibly have charges dismissed.

Get the Knowledgeable Legal Advice You Need

With so many possible programs to consider, it is critical to get help from a criminal defense lawyer with up-to-date knowledge. Derek Wisehart is such a lawyer, and he can help you decide which path to pursue in your particular case.

Call today to schedule a free initial consultation or, if you prefer, fill out our e-mail intake form.