The Sixth Judicial Circuit Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) offers some military veterans another option for getting the most favorable outcome possible in their Pinellas County, FL, criminal case. VTC is a voluntary, court-supervised treatment program for veterans who need substance abuse or mental health treatment and face charges for a non-violent misdemeanor or felony crime.
This program requires regular court visits and regular drug testing but offers the opportunity to complete treatment and have the misdemeanor or third-degree felony charges against you dismissed.
Eligibility for Veterans Treatment Court in Pinellas County
Not all veterans will qualify for VTC. You will need to meet several strict rules and get approved by the State Attorney’s Office. The requirements for participating in this treatment-centered program include:
- You must be a veteran of or currently serving in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or National Guard and Reserves;
- Your charges must be related to physical injuries or mental issues that you suffer because of your military service;
- The charges you face must be a non-violent misdemeanor or third-degree felonies;
- You have not previously participated in VTC, although this requirement can be waived under some circumstances; and
- A mental health/substance abuse evaluation shows that you will benefit from mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.
The final decision on who gets accepted into the VTC program falls to the State Attorney’s Office. Applying requires submitting an application and having them review your files.
Since VTC is a treatment-based approach, you will have to undergo mental health or substance abuse treatment, or both. There are a variety of treatment options that qualify under the rules of VTC. If you have already been in treatment, you may be able to get credit for the work you have already completed.
Benefits of Veterans Treatment Court in Pinellas County, FL
If you were a first-time offender and entered the program pre-trial, the State Attorney will dismiss the charges against you when you successfully complete the Sixth Judicial Circuit Veterans Treatment Court.
Completing this program is not easy, however. You will need to appear in front of a judge usually every 30 to 45 days for one to two years. You will also undergo mental health and/or substance abuse treatment and need to pass regular drug tests.
In some cases, you may enter the VTC program as a condition of your probation after entering a guilty plea. This is called post-plea VTC. When this occurs, you will need to complete both the requirements of VTC as well as any other probation requirements. Once completed, the State Attorney could reduce the length of your probation, waive other penalties, or withhold adjudication in your case.
Goldman Wetzel Can Help You Apply for VTC
If you got arrested or face charges in Pinellas County and think the Veterans Treatment Court might be a good option for a favorable outcome in your case, Goldman Wetzel can help. We can review the facts of your case and help you understand if you may qualify for VTC. We can also help you apply with the State Attorney. We know what they are looking for in an application for pre-trial intervention or post-plea VTC.
The Sixth Judicial Circuit serves Pinellas and Pasco counties, and the criminal defense attorneys from Goldman Wetzel can help you if you got arrested or face charges in either county. When you hire a criminal defense attorney from Goldman Wetzel, you hire both of them. Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel work together on every case we handle. This is a significant advantage for you because of their varied backgrounds: Goldman’s career began in the prosecutor’s office while Wetzel is a career defense attorney.
Talk to a Goldman Wetzel Criminal Defense Attorney About Veterans Treatment Court
Goldman Wetzel can offer both the compassionate support you want and the aggressive legal representation you need. We will use the facts of your case and the circumstances of your arrest to build a strong defense strategy to fight for the most favorable outcome possible in your case. If you are a veteran who faces a mental health or substance abuse issue, this may include VTC.
In addition to Pinellas County, FL, we also serve clients in Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. Call us today at 727-828-3900 to discuss your case. The earlier in the process you call us, the faster we can start fighting for a more favorable outcome in your case.