VETERANS COURT IN HILLSBOROUGH AIMS TO ADDRESS PTSD ISSUES
As of October 1st, there is a new court division in Hillsborough County- Division V. This court division will allow honorably discharged veterans to “get qualifying misdemeanor charges dismissed if they successfully complete a treatment and assessment program.” The Tampa Bay Times reported on this court back in August which can be read here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/veterans-court-to-be-launched-in-hillsborough/2137037#
To be eligible to have a case dismissed, the veteran must volunteer to enter the program and also be eligible to receive VA benefits. After meeting the eligibility requirements, the veteran must successfully complete a treatment program tailored to the veteran’s unique situation, such as substance counseling and other programs. Once admitted to the court, the veteran must abide by the following conditions: he/she must complete the treatment, must not be arrested on any new charges and must appear at all court hearings. Once these conditions are met, the charge will be dismissed.
Judge Weis, who is the presiding judge of this new court, said “A veterans court is necessary and appropriate because it is designed to identify and treat a unique class of individuals suffering from unique issues stemming from a unique causation for which unique resources are readily available for treatment." The formation of such a division is a right step toward social justice for folks who have sacrificed and served for our country.