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Resentencing Ordered for Mental Health Diversion Case

California v. Bunas Docket: D078819 (Fourth Appellate District), Opinion Date: June 14, 2022. In a previous opinion in this matter involving defendant James Bunas, the Court of Appeal conditionally reversed the judgment and the underlying convictions and remanded the matter to the trial court with directions to conduct a mental health diversion eligibility hearing under Penal Code section 1001.36 and to determine whether to place Bunas in mental health diversion. (Bunas I.) The Court further directed that, if the trial court determined Bunas was ineligible for diversion or exercised its discretion not to place Bunas on diversion, then the court was to reinstate Bunas’s convictions and resentence him. On remand, the trial court denied Bunas’s request for mental health diversion, but did not resentence. On appeal, Bunas argued: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for mental health diversion; and (2) the trial court erred in failing to resentence him in accordance with the Court of Appeal’s prior decision. The Court of Appeal concluded the trial court did not commit reversible error in denying Bunas mental health diversion, but it did err in failing to issue a new sentence. Judgment was affirmed in part, and remanded for resentencing.

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