What Is AB 3234?
Assembly Bill (AB) No. 3234 was signed into law on September 30, 2020, and took effect on January 1, 2021. This bill gives judges the discretion to offer diversion on misdemeanor cases with four types of offenses expressly excluded. It is enacted through Penal Code (PC) 1001.95.
DUIs are not specifically excluded on the list of excluded offenses; however, there is a code section from 1981 which states DUIs are not eligible for diversion Vehicle Code (VC) 23640.
Currently, there is a great debate as to if DUIs are eligible for judicial court diversion. While some judges in the state seem to think that DUIs are eligible, others think not.
Rulings Thus Far
Los Angeles County
The Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County Appellate Division rendered a decision in Espeso which finds DUIs are not eligible due to VC 23640.
Alternatively, the Superior Court of California, Riverside County Appellate Division rendered a decision 13 days after Los Angeles County and found the opposite in Diaz-Armstrong. The Court upheld the lower court’s findings that DUIs are eligible and found AB 3234 to be an exception to VC 23640’s prohibition. The Court performed a a much more in-depth analysis of why (plain language, statutory construction, legislative history, legislative intent, policy, etc.) DUIs are eligible for judicial court diversion.
What Is the Future of AB 3234?
Yes, most likely, AB 3234 will make its way to the California State Supreme Court. Since appellate divisions are deciding the issue differently, it is looking like there will be no other option than to settle this at the state Supreme Court level.
Call Parker Law Center Today
If you want to learn more about AB 3234 and how it can impact you, contact us today for a no-cost strategy session. Speak directly with Attorney Kellee Parker.
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