Punishments typically handed down for criminal offenders are not appropriate for mentally ill clients. We strive instead to get the treatment they need.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (PRWEB) January 30, 2019
The 2018 signage of the Mental Health Diversion Statute into law has reintroduced the matter of mental health criminal defense into the minds of Californians across the state. In general, California criminal defense cases are riddled with complexities; no two cases are alike, and neither is the approach to defending them. When mental health impacts a criminal case, the intricacies only increase, and the need for an experienced mental health lawyer familiar with the ins and outs of state mental health laws becomes imperative. Mental health attorneys at The Rosenfeld Law Firm have made a priority of familiarizing themselves not only with the new Diversion law, but with every law surrounding mental health defense in the state of California.
“It’s supremely important,” says mental health defense attorney Ken Rosenfeld of The Rosenfeld Law Firm. “Knowledge is the first significant step to protecting the best interests of our mental health clients in and out of court.”
Knowing the rights of clients with psychiatric issues and understanding how to properly defend those rights in the unique arena of the California mental health court system is paramount in successful mental health defense. This, according to Rosenfeld, is where criminal defense experience comes into play.
“Just representation comes from having a knowledgeable lawyer who has experience with California mental health courts,” says Rosenfeld. “Punishments typically handed down for criminal offenders are not appropriate for mentally ill clients. We strive instead to get the treatment they need.”
A key issue for mentally ill persons charged with crimes is how mental incompetency or insanity might have been at play during the commission of the crime. Early intervention by a mental health lawyer to secure psychiatric evaluations and to enlist expert witnesses can make a significant difference toward how the criminal case proceeds. According to the Mental Health Diversion Statute signed into law in late June by then-governor Jerry Brown, a discretionary pre-trial diversion procedure should be made for defendants afflicted with a mental disorder that contributed to the offense for which they are charged. Successful treatment during diversion can lead to the dismissal of charges and the expunging of the corresponding arrest record.
For persons charged—or likely to be charged—with a criminal offense in which mental illness might have played a role, Rosenfeld advises contacting a mental health criminal defense attorney immediately.