When an individual commits a drug-related crime, it is natural to assume that the state government will exert the law to punish the person guilty of the offense. In California, however, the concept of collaborative courts and veterans’ courts exists to prioritize treatment and recovery over punishment.
This raises the question, though, as to whether or not your case is eligible to go to any of the collaborative courts in California. If you are a veteran charged with a drug crime, it is especially important for you to understand whether or not the veterans’ courts will accept your case.
What are the veterans’ treatment courts?
The veterans’ treatment courts offer an alternative to traditional case proceedings that places an emphasis on the underlying cause behind the accused’s criminal activity. Many veterans deal with mental health issues or substance addiction, and so the veterans’ treatment courts aim to reduce the frequency of drug-related crimes and help struggling veterans as part of the criminal justice process.
Is my case eligible to go to the veterans’ courts?
The Veterans’ Court Board reviews eligibility into the veterans’ treatment courts on a case-by-case basis. Meeting eligibility requirements entails providing documentation of your combat service and no longer being on active duty, as well as signing a waiver to release your medical records. If you meet these criteria, you may volunteer for the veterans’ treatment court if you are a resident of the same county as the court itself.
If your drug-related criminal case goes to the veterans’ treatment court, you can expect dignified treatment befitting a U.S. veteran as well as assistance with any substance addiction problems you may be facing. While this does not release you from the penalties of a crime, it can be a path toward a better future.