Criminal Defense: Veteran’s Court

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The California Superior Court has begun a program aimed at helping US Veterans, called Veteran’s Court.  These courts are a mixture of criminal courts, mental health court and drug courts, where the person will get help focused on rehabilitation, rather than straight retribution.  According to the Court website, “[t]hey promote sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response that involves cooperation and collaboration with the traditional partners found in drug and mental health courts in addition of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care networks, the Veterans’ Benefits Administration, and, in some programs, volunteer veteran mentors and veterans’ family support organizations.”

The focus is to help US Veteran’s who are suffering from PTSD-related addictions and problems.  The Legislature understands that there is a serious problem of traumatic stress which affects the veteran’s, and which they need help with recovery.  This program could be the answer.

Qualify for Veteran’s Court

To qualify for Veteran’s Court, you need to 1) have been a military service member; 2) have criminal charges currently pending against you; and 3) have committed the alleged crimes due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The charges generally are for nonviolent crimes, though some Veterans Courts will take violent, nonhomicide offenders.

The court has a hearing to determine whether the individual qualifies for Veteran’s Court.  There are special evaluators who will determine a person’s admissibility.  If the defendant has independent doctor’s evaluations, it is helpful to present those to his or her attorney prior to the court evaluations, to strengthen your claim for Veteran’s Court.

Counties that have a Veteran’s Court

Los Angeles County Superior Court
Orange County Superior Court
Riverside County Superior Court
San Bernardino County Superior Court
San Diego County Superior Court
Santa Barbara County Superior Court
Santa Clara County Superior Court
Tulare County Superior Court
Ventura County Superior Court


Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about Veteran’s Court.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295


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