Mental Health Your Fight is Our Fight

Ventura Mental Health Attorneys

Decades of Advocating for Clients Struggling with Mental Health

Individuals battling mental illness can face additional challenges when interacting with law enforcement and the legal system. For those that are seriously ill, it can be enormously difficult for them to understand when their behavior violates the law. They may not be able to sufficiently communicate with law enforcement officers, who are typically not trained to efficiently deescalate or recognize symptoms of a mentally ill individual. Consequently, those suffering from a mental health condition routinely find themselves detained, arrested, and charged with crimes they either did not commit or did not understand they were committing.

Mental illness continues to be criminalized in the state of California despite efforts to improve how cases are handled. Individuals suffering a psychotic break, panic attack, manic episode, or adverse response to prescription medication can often be mistaken for someone who poses a threat to others as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. Many times, those without qualified legal representation will end up facing jailtime as a result of the alleged offense. Incarceration works against the recovery of those struggling with mental health and often only exacerbates the conditions that contributed to the offense.

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Ventura mental health lawyers have committed many years to advocating for the health, safety, and recovery of Californians battling mental illness. We understand and are intimately familiar with the unique legal needs of these individuals when they face criminal charges or are involuntarily detained. Our team can assess the specific facts of your case and help you understand the legal options that may be available to you.

If you or your loved one suffer from mental illness and need legal assistance, do not hesitate to call (800) 295-1054 or contact us online.

We Are Ready & Prepared to Fight Your Case

See Our Past Mental Health Related Victories & Settlements


Our Mental Health Legal Services

Our legal team has handled cases involving numerous areas of mental health law. Different circumstances can call for various types of legal strategies. Our number one goal is to protect the rights of our clients.

Our Ventura mental health attorneys can assist you with:

  • Mental Health Diversion. Recent changes in California law allow some individuals struggling with serious mental health conditions that have been accused of criminal offenses to apply for Mental Health Diversion, a program that replaces traditional incarceration with a court-approved treatment plan. We can help argue your eligibility and negotiate fair treatment that will put you on the road to recovery.
  • Mental Health Court.If a person with a mental illness becomes involved in a legal matter, they will likely at some point need to interact with the Ventura County District Attorney’s office and the Superior Court of Los Angeles. We are familiar with how to handle procedural matters with these entities and can help ensure your qualifying case is heard in mental health court. Our team also understands the important differences in how mental health courts operate and are prepared to effectively defend you.
  • Treatment versus Jail. We strongly believe that prison time is not the appropriate consequence for offenders battling serious mental health conditions. Our legal team has a strong understanding of how to argue why you should receive targeted, compassionate treatment instead of ineffective jailtime when sentenced for a criminal conviction.
  • Restoration of Sanity. When you are found unfit to stand trial for a criminal offense and plead not guilty by insanity, you will most likely be placed in a treatment center to pursue rehabilitation. If treatment and counseling are successful in addressing your symptoms, there may come a time where you are ready to rejoin society before your original sentence has been completed. We can advocate for you in a restoration of sanity hearing in an effort to modify your civil commitment and help begin your transition back into the community.
  • 5250 Hearings. If law enforcement misunderstands symptoms of your mental illness and believes you could hurt yourself or others, they are permitted to detain you for up to 72 hours in a 5150 hearing. A treatment facility could decide to involuntarily hold you for even longer in a 5250 hearing, at which point you have rights you can exercise to secure your freedom. We can represent you in a 5250 hearing, in which you will need to convince a neutral party that you are not a danger to yourself or others and thus no longer need to be detained.

We Can Help Protect Your Rights

In many cases, someone struggling with a severe mental health condition will not be able to fully comprehend their rights in a legal proceeding or if they have been involuntarily detained. Our Ventura mental health lawyers at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP are committed to helping our clients understand their rights and legal options. We are also empathetic to the frustration and stress these matters can have on a defendant’s families. Our team has experience working in concert with the loved ones of individuals with mental health problems and offers 24/7 access to our legal team.

Get the legal advocate you deserve by calling (800) 295-1054 or contacting us online. We offer free, confidential case consultations.

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Why Choose Our Team

  • 1000's of Cases Handled In & Out of Court
  • 50+ Years of Combined Legal Experience
  • No Recovery, No Fees for All Injury Cases
  • Strong & Attentive Counsel Available 24/7

Successfully Defending the Accused for Over Three Decades


Your Future is Our Business

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Your Fight Is Our Fight

When going through serious legal matters, do not put your case in the hands of just any attorney. Rather, work with a team who has earned a respected reputation for outstanding legal service and one with a proven track record of success.