Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I was charged with Arson last year and made to register and take a strike with jail time. Is there a way to appeal this

I was suicidal when I set the fire and drinking. The cops did not report this when they charged me and my public defender didn't help me purse mental health court when I expressed that I suffered from mental health issues. I pled guilty not knowing about the option of mental health court and I was given a year (2 for 1) in county jail and made to register and take a strike. Not to mention I had never been in trouble with the law before. I am wondering can I have this case reopened and re examined or appealed with the facts of my mental health and the fact that my Friend told the 911 operator more than once I was suicidal and not in my right mindset but the cops didn't report that either.

Asked on 9/17/22, 5:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Kane Law Offices of Robert D. Kane, Jr.

It may be to late, but feel free to hire an attorney. Were you diagnosed with mental health issues before the incident? Are you currently under a doctor's care and receiving treatment for these issues? Are you prepared to comply with the invasive and strict procedures of the Mental Health Courts (MHC)? Or were you hoping everything would just go away because it wasn't pursued and you are fine now? Being drunk, claiming you are suicidal and self-diagnosed with mental illness probably won't be enough. Thankfully, you didn't commit suicide. Amass all of your medical records proving the mental health court was appropriate.

How do they work?

Mental health courts only accept people with demonstrable mental illnesses that can be connected to the individual’s illegal behavior.

Participation in a mental health court is voluntary and the defendant must consent to involvement in the program.

Screening and referral to a mental health court should occur as soon as possible after arrest to insure early intervention.

Screening is also used to determine whether a mental health court can provide appropriate resources and support to the individual.

Mental health courts use a structure of case management based in intensive supervision/monitoring and individual accountability.

Case management is supervised by a team of professionals; teams are typically comprised of members of the justice system, mental health providers, and other support systems.

The judge oversees the treatment and supervision process, and facilitates collaboration among team members

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Answered on 9/18/22, 6:49 am

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