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Dharmesh Patel, driver accused in Devil's Slide plunge, released to outpatient treatment instead of trial

California doctor who drove family off cliff avoids jail time
California doctor who drove family off cliff avoids jail time 01:24

REDWOOD CITY – Instead of facing trial for attempted murder, the Pasadena doctor accused of trying to kill his wife and kids by driving their Tesla off a cliff was released on Monday. 

Cameras weren't allowed inside the courtroom, but the judge ruled to release Dharmesh Patel.

The judge previously granted Patel mental health diversion, which allows suspects with a diagnosed mental illness to participate in outpatient treatment instead of trial.

Doctors at a recent hearing testified Patel was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

He will have to wear a GPS bracelet and undergo weekly drug testing to ensure he isn't using alcohol and drugs, and that he is taking his prescribed medication.

There is no bail or bond, but he'll be confined to his parents' home in the San Mateo County city of Belmont except for weekly court appearances and meetings with doctors.

Patel had to surrender his passport and driver's license, which means he won't be allowed to drive. He also will not be allowed to practice medicine or own a firearm until he's completed the two-year diversion program.

If he completes the program, the charges will be dropped.

For more on California's mental health diversion program, the benefits and concerns, check out CBS News California Investigates' recent investigation

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