Veterans Treatment Court Offers Alternatives to Prison, Help to Troubled Veterans
Nearly ten percent of persons incarcerated in this country are military veterans, and 70% are serving sentences for non-violent crimes. Many of these jailed veterans are homeless or suffer from substance abuse or conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. In Maryland alone, over 5,000 Marylanders who fought and served overseas in Afghanistan or Iraq currently suffer from substance abuse or a mental health disorder. Many of these veterans sadly come into contact with Maryland law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Fortunately, help is available.
In Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties, the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA help veterans charged with criminal offenses avoid incarceration and get the treatment they need to deal with their substance abuse or other issues. If you or a loved one is a veteran facing criminal charges, talk to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink about resolving your legal matter through a Maryland Veterans Treatment Court.
Veterans Treatment Court is Open to All Veterans
All veterans who are charged with criminal offenses in Maryland are potentially eligible to be served through the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC). A veteran includes anyone who served in the active military, naval or air service and received discharge or release other than a dishonorable discharge. These veterans qualify for benefits and care from the VA, and the goal of the VTC is to resolve outstanding criminal offenses for these veterans and get them the treatment they need by facilitating their enrollment in appropriate federally funded treatment programs. Not only do participants in the VTC avoid unnecessary incarceration; the VTC works to connect veterans to VA benefits, housing and other benefits available to those who are disabled from employment.
How the Maryland Veterans Treatment Court Works
Veterans court is a diversion program, meaning that the offender is diverted from the criminal justice system and placed in appropriate treatment instead. The offender may be given a jail sentence, but this sentence is deferred while the individual is in treatment. If the treatment program is completed and terms of the diversion are complied with, the jail sentence is never imposed.
A variety of professionals come together under the direction of the judge to resolve your matter and recommend the best course of treatment to aid in your recovery and transition back into the community. Your defense attorney is an important part of this team. At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, our lawyers work closely with other members of the VTC team to find a program that meets your needs, while always protecting your valuable rights and looking out for your best interests.
A potential downside to veterans court is that it requires the entry of a guilty plea and the imposition of a deferred sentence. If the terms of the program are not complied with, the individual can be immediately ordered to complete the jail sentence, without having the benefit of a trial to prove guilt or innocence. Veterans court can be a great outcome and is often the best result available, but it is important to understand its implications and to carefully weigh your options with your attorney before deciding to enter a plea.
Practical Advice and Effective Representation in Maryland Veterans Treatment Courts
For sound legal advice and professional representation regarding veterans treatment court and possible alternatives, contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA for a confidential consultation at our offices in Glen Burnie, Columbia or Baltimore.