Special courts for veterans focus on determining the root causes of veterans’ criminal behavior. In California, Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs), attempt to resolve criminal cases involving veterans with support and treatment. Veterans participate in programs that formulate solutions to address their problems. Many different actors are involved in this process: other veterans, judicial officers, treatment providers, mentors, and support teams.
Typically, a trial judge issues a court order to move a case to a VTC. All military branches, including reserves and the National Guard, are eligible for VTCs, although requirements vary by county.
A California Veterans Treatment Court accepts certain felony and misdemeanor cases and requires:
- military service;
- a guilty plea;
- the participant to be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), substance or other diagnosed disorders; and
- participation in a 15- to 18-month treatment program.
California Penal Code § 1170.9 lists various protections for veterans, including special considerations for veterans in court, and eligibility requirements for Veterans Treatment Court. Veterans may file, as applicable, the following forms:
- Notification of Military Status Form (MIL-100) to inform the court that they were in the armed services or reserves. This also avails veterans of certain rights or protections if applicable;
- Petition for Dismissal (Military Personnel) (Form CR-183) to request a court to dismiss a case when Veterans Treatment Court requirements are successfully completed.
Veterans should consult with their closest County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) to determine if they are eligible for other services. Veterans may be eligible for certain rights or protections, even in courts that are not Veterans Treatment Courts.
In Riverside County, the County Veterans Service Offices (CVSO) are located at:
- 749 N. State St, Hemet, CA, 92543
- 44-199B Monroe St, Indio, CA, 92201
- 4360 Orange Street, Riverside, CA, 92501
In Riverside County, the Veterans Treatment Court is located at 4100 Main Street, Riverside, California 92501.
An experienced attorney in California collaborative, diversion courts can explain any protections that are potentially available. John Patrick Dolan’s forty years of experience as a California criminal defense attorney has helped his clients obtain the best resolution possible in a criminal matter. John Patrick Dolan has handled everything from traffic tickets to death penalty murder cases. Mr. Dolan is a recognized California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law and a seasoned courtroom advocate. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.