Many veterans who have honorably and courageously served our country, experience difficulties when transitioning back into civilian life. A significant portion of our veterans experience PTSD, while others may suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. Many veterans have trouble sleeping—when they do sleep they experience nightmares, therefore alcohol or drugs become a method of avoiding those nightmares. If you are a veteran who has been charged with a criminal offense, it is imperative you speak to a knowledgeable San Diego military diversion attorney who has a solid understanding of the laws governing criminal offenses committed by a veteran. The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC has 19 years of experience helping veterans. Call us for an initial consultation.
Veteran’s Court is specifically designed for those military veterans who suffer from addiction, TBI, PTSD and other related afflictions. The Veterans Court works closely with the Veteran’s Administration, helping to ensure all defendants have the access they need to appropriate services and programs.
In general, only those charged with non-violent felonies, who have no prior strike offenses on their record, are eligible for Veteran’s Court, however exceptions can be made in certain circumstances.
California Penal Code 1001.80—Military Diversion Program
In the state of California, there are specific programs and alternatives which can help veterans avoid a criminal conviction. One such program, the military diversion program, (Penal Code 1001.80) went into effect on January 1, 2015.
Eligibility Requirements for Military Diversion Program
- Defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or misdemeanors only
- Defendant is a current or former member of the United States military
- Defendant may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her military service
- Defendant consents to being placed on Military Diversion and waives his or her rights to a speedy trial
- Defendant has not been granted Military Diversion for any other case
Duration of Program
The period of the military diversion program will be no longer than two years, and reports must be submitted to the court at least every six months. The program chosen for the veteran could be a federal program or a community-based treatment program. The program must have a solid track record of treating the full range of mental health problems as detailed in the statute.
Benefits of Military Diversion Program
Once the diversion program has been successfully completed, the original arrest will be deemed to “never have occurred.” The only exception to this rule is for those who successfully complete the diversion program, then apply for a job as a peace officer.
Should a court deny the petition for the military diversion program, the case will remain on standard litigation course. If the veteran in question is deemed to not be performing in the program in a satisfactory manner, the court may conduct a hearing to determine whether criminal proceedings should be reinstated.
Call San Diego Military Diversion Attorney Vikas Bajaj Today
Attorney Vikas Bajaj has 19 years of experience helping veterans in the San Diego area. He understands how to help veterans so they can obtain the best possible outcome. Schedule an initial consultation.