Whether you or someone you love has been arrested, it can be hard not knowing what will happen next especially if it’s for the first time. Fortunately, (Assembly Bill 3234) has changed that answer in a way that may very positively benefit the opportunity for a second chance.

AB 3234, now known as the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, (PC 100.95 – 100.97), can give you or your loved one a chance to have your case dismissed or erased upon completion of a court-ordered diversion program. Even over the objection of a prosecuting attorney.

This can give you tremendous hope because your proactive response means you might very well be able to protect your employment status, your professional license, your immigration status if applicable, and most importantly, your reputation and record. This is why we recommend working with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.


As summarized in a recent blog post, the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, (PC 100.95 – 100.97), greatly increases diversion opportunities for various misdemeanor cases in California. Simply put, defendants with misdemeanors could have their case dismissed or erased upon completion of a court-ordered education or treatment program. No “guilty” or “no contest” plea is required to enter the diversion program.

Created with first-time offenders in mind, no conviction will be entered if the defendant successfully completes community service and other restitution along with a tailored treatment plan. Theoretically, defendants have a great chance of being found eligible for the misdemeanor diversion program. However, court judges have the discretion to offer diversion opportunities, including against the objection of a prosecuting attorney. 

That means it’s up to you as the defendant to put your best foot forward. The court will review your history, character, background, and all facts related to the charges against you. With a trusted attorney, you are much more likely to convince the court you deserve a second chance.

But what about a first-time misdemeanor DUI charge? DUI cases have been handled differently by different courts. Further, there has been much controversy surrounding these cases in the news, with significant opposition from such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Add to that the complexity of DUI laws in California and it becomes extremely crucial to have experienced legal counsel such as we offer here at Proper Defense.


Worried you may not qualify for the misdemeanor diversion program, especially with a prior offense? There are three other pretrial diversion programs in California for which you may be qualified. These have been covered in detail in previous blogs: the Drug Diversion Program, the Mental Health Diversion Program, and the Military Diversion Program. Below is a summary of those opportunities.

Drug Diversion Program (Penal Code 1000): this affords defendants, mainly those accused of drug possession, an opportunity to avoid jail time through treatment. It is targeted toward those arrested for low-level, non-violent drug crimes and having no previous disqualifying convictions in the last 5 years. For more details, this blog provides further information.

Mental Health Diversion Program (Penal Code 1001.36): Applicable for misdemeanors and certain felonies, this program allows the chance for treatment and possible dismissal of charges. As mentioned in a previous blog post about the Mental Health Diversion Program, not all crimes are eligible. Murder and sex crimes are among those excluded.

Military Diversion Program: Military (or Veterans) Diversion Program (Penal Code 1001.80): defendants are often eligible for a treatment and diversion program for the following conditions: PTSD, sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, or mental health problems. For more details, read this recent blog post.


Whether you’re wondering if you’re eligible for the misdemeanor diversion program or simply need sound advice on which next steps to take in your specific case and county, a proper defense is your best course of action.

For a true advocate that you can trust, in a judgment-free zone, contact Proper Defense Law Corporation today. For a FREE consultation in the Fresno area, call (559) 825-3800. You can reach us at our Beverly Hills location by calling (424) 284-4066. You can also schedule an appointment online on our Contact Us page. It gets better with Proper Defense, we promise.

In addition to this information, other resources that may be available to you can be found by searches such as: judicial diversion California 2021, felony diversion program California, pretrial diversion program California, pretrial diversion examples, domestic violence diversion program California, diversion program DUI, ab 3234 diversion, list of diversion programs, first time offenders program California, petty theft diversion program California, new misdemeanor diversion program California 2021, new misdemeanor diversion program California penal code, misdemeanor diversion Fresno county, misdemeanor diversion Los Angeles county, “What is the new misdemeanor diversion program California law?”, and “What does the California misdemeanor diversion mean in court?”.

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