West Covina, PC 148(a)(1), Mental Health Diversion Granted
When police arrived, they observed our client driving away in her car, with her emergency lights flashing and honking her horn.
She then proceeded to lead police on about a ten minute chase, captured on an MVARS (mobile video audio recording system) tape, also known as a “Dash Cam.” During the chase, she traveled at up to twenty miles per hour above the posted speed limit and ran multiple red lights.
She eventually stopped when she arrived at her own house and then ran from her car into her house. Police chased her and arrested her. The MVARS recorded our client fighting with police as she was led to a police car to be taken to the police station.
Prior to being arrested for the charges of evading police (Vehicle Code § 2800) and delaying / obstructing or resisting arrest (Penal Code § 148(a)(1)), our client, age 25, had grown up in a stable environment. Her father worked for a Fortune 500 bank. Her older brother graduated from Cal Berkeley and worked for a prestigious New York City Bank. Her older sister graduated from Columbia University for undergraduate and Cornell Law School. She now has a prestigious government job as an attorney involving federal law.
Our client graduated from high school and completed two years at Oregon State University.
However, at the end of her sophomore year, in 2018, things changed dramatically when her older brother, with whom she was closest, overdosed and died from fentanyl. Our client then became anorexic and dropped out of college, moving back home. Her parents, still in mourning for their son snatched from them, now were witness to their youngest child (our client) imploding.
Our client’s parents struggled to help their daughter overcome her grief, but her mental health issues grew to the point where the parents sought and were appointed her conservator.
The conservatorship lasted approximately 2.5 years until our client, with even more mental health issues, ended the conservatorship with the help of her boyfriend, who was five years older than her and had a lengthy, violent criminal history.
A perfect storm then formed, wherein our client broke up with her boyfriend and continued living at home, but with ever-increasing mental illness, culminating in the evading arrest at issue in this case.
After our client was released from jail by posting bail, her parents contacted Greg Hill and discussed their daughter’s case and mental issues. Greg explained what mental health diversion was, but warned that judges are skeptical of such motions because while many people commit crimes due to mental illness, the mental condition is usually only a minor factor and the dominant contributing factor is anger, jealousy, poor self-discipline (poor impulse control) or immaturity.
The parents then had Greg speak with their daughter, but the conversation spiraled out of control into the client asking to sue the police because they squeezed her arm quite forcibly when apprehending her and a lecture aimed at attorneys in general about how all judges were corrupt.
Nonetheless, the client’s parents provided Greg with documentation from the client’s treating psychiatrist stating that our client acknowledged she needed professional medical help to overcome her Bipolar I Disorder and several other mental disorders (including substance abuse) and a treatment plan from the doctor.