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Reversed: Trial Court Denied Mental Health Diversion

People v. Moine Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: B303013 (Second Appellate District), Opinion Date: March 24, 2021. After a jury convicted defendant of two counts of making criminal threats in violation of Penal Code section 422, subdivision (a), the trial court suspended imposition of sentence and placed him on probation for five years. On appeal, defendant argues that his conviction must be reversed, claiming the denial of mental health diversion and the wholesale exclusion of the psychiatrist's testimony was erroneous and prejudicial. In the published portion of this opinion, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that defendant posed an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded the matter with instructions for the trial court to conduct a new hearing to consider defendant's eligibility for mental health diversion. The court noted that, in the event defendant is again found ineligible for diversion, the trial court may conduct a new trial on the criminal threats charges.

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