How to get out of 5150 hold

If you or someone you know is going through a mental health crisis, you need to be aware of a 5150 hold and how to get out of it. 5150 is a 72-hour involuntary hold that can provide critical evaluation and treatment for the person in crisis. The goal of this hold is to help the individual in need. Although the duration of the hold is fixed, it is possible to get out of 5150 hold and be released early if the mental health professional overseeing the facility determines that the patient no longer needs evaluation and treatment.

If you or someone close to you is detained on a 5150 hold, getting released early can be challenging. It’s best to seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through the complicated process and be your strongest advocate.


What is a 5150 hold?

How to get out of 5150 hold

5150 is a legal procedure that allows for the temporary, involuntary confinement of a person who may pose a danger to themselves or others or is gravely disabled due to a mental health disorder.


If you believe someone meets these criteria, contact a qualified officer, clinician, or other authorized individuals to initiate the 5150 hold. The person will be taken to a designated psychiatric facility for evaluation and treatment.

Within 72 hours, mental health experts evaluate the person’s state and decide if additional therapy is needed. If the individual is no longer considered a risk or in need of hospitalization, they may be released before the 72-hour deadline. However, if the individual continues to pose a threat or requires more attention, the hold may be extended under a 5250 hold, which can last for an additional 14 days.

How to get out of 5150 hold

If you or someone you know has been placed on a 5150 hold and you believe it to be unjustified, you have the right to challenge it and get out of 5150 hold. You can request a writ of habeas corpus hearing to contest the legality of the hold and present evidence to support your claim.

I recommend that you consult your local experienced mental health attorney who can guide you through the process. They will advise you on your legal rights and help you build a strong case to challenge the hold. Keep in mind that this can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right legal representation, you can increase your chances of success.


If you find yourself in a 5150 hold, the mental health professionals will evaluate and decide to release you after 72 hours. To increase your chances of being released, cooperate with the professionals, engage in any recommended treatment, and demonstrate that you are no longer a problem to yourself or others.

Try to communicate your thoughts and feelings effectively and be open to seeking help voluntarily. Keep in mind that the decision to release you ultimately lies with the mental health professionals, who will base their assessment on your condition, risk factors, and the facility’s protocols.

What happens during 5150 hold?

If you or someone you know is placed on a 5150 hold, it means they’re being evaluated in a psychiatric facility for potential treatment. The goal is to determine if they need continued involuntary commitment or can be safely released.

During 5150, mental health professionals will assess the following:

  • individual’s mental health
  • condition severity and
  • potential risk to themselves or others through interviews, observation, and reviewing relevant medical history.

They may also provide treatment to stabilize the condition and minimize harm.

After the evaluation, mental health professionals will determine if the individual requires further involuntary commitment or can be released. If the person no longer poses a threat or needs hospitalization, they may be released before the 72-hour period ends. However, if the person still presents a danger or needs care, a 5250 hold may extend the hold for 14 more days.

The duration of the evaluation period may vary based on individual needs and facility protocols. If the individual’s condition improves and they’re no longer a risk, they may be released earlier than 72 hours. Make sure you seek professional help and follow the recommendations of mental health professionals during this process to ensure the best possible outcome.

Reasons for 5150

A 5150 hold can be implemented when an individual is suspected to exhibit certain characteristics due to a mental health disorder evaluated to be a danger to others, to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.

One of these indicators is when the person presents a serious threat of harm to themselves, which can include suicidal behavior or self-injury, or when there is clear evidence of intent to harm themselves.

Another criterion is when the person poses a significant risk of harm to others, which can involve making threats, violent actions, or intention to hurt someone. In both cases, the individual’s conduct, demeanor, or statements must provide reasonable grounds for the person initiating the hold to conclude that the criteria are met.

The third criterion for a 5150 hold is when the person is gravely disabled. This implies that the individual is unable to attend to their fundamental needs such as food, clothing, or shelter due to a mental health disorder, which puts them at considerable risk of harm. It is important to note that this criterion does not apply to individuals who refuse assistance voluntarily or are experiencing homelessness or poverty.

Who can initiate 5150?

A 5150 hold can be initiated by different types of authorized personnel, depending on the circumstances.

a. Peace officers

Police officers, sheriffs, or other law enforcement personnel who have undergone appropriate training can initiate a 5150 hold if they have probable cause to believe that an individual meets the criteria for involuntary commitment.

b. Mental health professionals

Alternatively, mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, or other designated mental health clinicians can initiate a 5150 hold if they determine that a person meets the criteria for involuntary commitment due to a mental health disorder.

c. Authorized personnel

In some cases, other authorized personnel such as designated medical staff may also initiate a 5150 hold if they have received specific training and authorization from their county.

Read also: how people sneak phones into mental hospitals

Conclusion—getting out of 5150 hold

The person initiating the 5150 hold must have probable cause, based on the individual’s behavior, actions, or statements, to believe that the person poses a danger to themselves or others or is gravely disabled due to a mental health disorder. Once initiated, the individual is taken to a specialized psychiatric facility for assessment and treatment.

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