Helping Former Members Of The Military Get Back On Their Feet
Many Americans are grateful to our military personnel for their service to our country. However, veterans can return from their tour of duty with combat-related challenges such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse problems and mental health conditions. Sometimes, the struggle to reintegrate into civilian life can cause behavior that results in criminal charges.
Former military service persons facing a serious charge may qualify for Florida’s Veterans Court program. I am criminal defense attorney Mike G, and my firm, Mike G Law, has worked with many veterans. I have been able to turn around cases labeled "dead end" by others, and facilitate my clients receiving treatment that allows them to rejoin their local community in a positive way.
How Veterans Court Operates In The Tampa Area
The state recently expanded its veterans court program to cover both felony and misdemeanor charges. Veterans charged with ordinance violations, misdemeanors other than DUI and third-degree nonviolent felonies may qualify. To be considered for the program, you must have an honorable or general discharge, and be eligible for Veterans Administration benefits.
Like other special courts in Florida, veterans court programs emphasize treatment over punishment. If you are accepted into the program, you will interact with a team that includes:
- The veterans court judge
- Your defense lawyer and the state’s prosecutor
- Case managers and treatment coordinators
- Law enforcement officers
- Volunteer veteran mentors who provide crucial peer support throughout the program
- Other defendants in the veterans court program
This type of diversion program is a demanding experience, requiring frequent court appearances and drug testing, as well as mandatory attendance at treatment sessions. And, there are consequences for failure to complete this assignment. If you are unable to finish the veterans court program, your case will be re-filed in criminal court.
Why Are Veterans Court Treatment Programs Successful?
Many vets say that the rigor of the treatment regimen provided by veterans court reminds them of their days in the service. The interaction with your mentor and with the other program participants can also harness the positive elements of the camaraderie you may have experienced in the military. One other reason this option may be able to help you is because it provides a single point of contact from which you can then deal with a multitude of physical and mental issues.
Get The Treatment You Need To Thrive
Mike G Law can answer your questions about veterans court. Call my office at 813-221-4303, or contact me online.