Veterans Treatment Court

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You must be willing to agree to the program requirements:
    1. Depending on the type of charge, a 12 month or 24-month period of supervision by probation
    2. Participation in mental health treatment counseling through the VA or a third-party administrator, and provide updated progress letters for the Court.
    3. Report to the VTC probation officer and follow the court’s order.
    4. 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.

Veterans Court Services

Veterans Stand Down

Veterans Stand-Down occurs once a year and is a three-day event providing a myriad of services for homeless veterans in Ventura County. The community collaboration offers health, social, and legal services for Ventura County’s veterans. Stand-Down also presents participants with the opportunity to resolve traffic and low-level misdemeanor offenses during the three-day event. Participants can perform community service during Stand-Down to receive a waiver of fines and fees in their cases, as well as case dismissal and expungement. Law clerks and attorneys from the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office interview clients and assist them in obtaining resolutions and expungements of their cases.