My client was originally arrested and charged for D.U.I. in Count 1 with a violation of VC § 23153(a) (DUI Causing Injury), a misdemeanor. Our office provided the City Attorney’s Office with a substantial equities package documenting our client’s military service as a Corporal in the United States Marines Corps. In this equities package, we argued that our client was eligible for “Military Pretrial Diversion” pursuant to Penal Code § 1001.80.
Our equities package included information showing that when our client was deployed in Syria during the Gulf War Era he had sustained injuries when he flew out of the top of a Humvee that was attempting to avoid an IED explosion that had detonated in the middle of a convoy of approximately 12 Humvees. During this convoy, our client was positioned as the “machine gunner” at the top of the Humvee and when the driver swerved the Humvee to avoid the explosion, the Humvee fell into a ditch and our client was thrown out the top. As a result of these injuries, our client has applied for, and has been awarded, VA benefits at a rating evaluation of 70%.
According to Penal Code § 1001.80, a court may place a defendant in a pretrial diversion program if the defendant is before the court on an accusatory pleading alleging the commission of a qualifying misdemeanor offense and: (1) the defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military and (2) the defendant may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her military service. Misdemeanor violations of Vehicle Code § 23153 are qualifying offenses for purposes of Penal Code § 1001.80.
At the hearing on this matter, we argued to the court that our client qualified for, and should be placed in, the Penal Code § 1001.8 Military Pretrial Diversion program. The judge was persuaded by our presentation of our client’s extensive military career and our client was placed in the diversion program.
If our client successfully completes the Penal Code § 1001.8 Military Pretrial Diversion program, he will avoid having conviction in this matter and the case will be dismissed. This is a great result!
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