Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) gives veterans who are charged with a crime, whether a felony or misdemeanor, an opportunity to resolve their case with treatment rather than jail. VTC is specifically designed to help veterans. The
program is a collaborative effort with the Office of the Public Defender, the District Attorney, Probation, Veteran Affairs, and local treatment providers.
Who is eligible?
- Any current or former member of the United States military who is charged with a crime; either a felony or misdemeanor can and should apply.
- The Veteran may be suffering from post-traumatic stress -disorder, substance abuse, sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or mental health issues as a result of their military service. Trauma from combat is not required. However, there must be a connection between the criminal offense charged and the military related mental health issue.
How do I get in?
- Just ask! Your current public defender will refer you to VTC for screening. You will need to provide a copy of your DD214 unless you are currently an active-duty member.
- Contact the Vet Court (VTC) attorney from the public defender’s office before your next court date. VTC court sessions are every Thursday at 1:35 p.m. in courtroom 37.
- You must be willing to agree to the program requirements:
- Depending on the type of charge, a 12 month or 24-month period of supervision by probation
- Participation in mental health treatment counseling through the VA or a third-party administrator, and provide updated progress letters for the Court.
- Report to the VTC probation officer and follow the court’s order.
- Waive his or her rights to a speedy trial and limited confidentiality rights.
Upon Graduation from VTC:
The possible benefits of successful completion of VTC include: Dismissal of charges; Early termination of probation; Fines and fees being waived; Reducing an eligible felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code section 17(b); Expungement of the conviction pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4; Sealing of the Court and/or arrest record.