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Second Chance for Veterans In Criminal Cases

Recent legislation now allows courts to consider mental health treatment rather than jail or prison when sentencing a defendant who serves or has served in the military.

Penal Code section 1170.9 was originally passed in 1982 to provide sentencing alternatives for Vietnam veterans where post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or substance abuse issues lead to or contributed to criminal conduct. However, over the years, it has consistently been amended and now provides potential relief for all veterans who may be suffering from a variety of conditions such as sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems stemming from service. PC 1170.9 not only gives judges the authority to expunge a case after successfully completing treatment, but even allows for the arrest record to be sealed in certain situations.

The legislation continues to change to accommodate those who have served our country. Right now there is pending legislation that could result in additional benefits to veterans, in that judges would be required to consider PC 1170.9 factors when deciding whether to place a person on probation and in mitigating sentencing for cases where jail time is required.

As of April 22, 2014, by unanimous vote, the bill has passed the assembly and has now moved into the Senate Committee for review. If given Senate approval, the new legislation would become law effective January 2015.

For more information about San Diego’s local Veteran’s Court, see http://www.cvltf.org/ .

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Blog

Second Chance for Veterans In Criminal Cases

Recent legislation now allows courts to consider mental health treatment rather than jail or prison when sentencing a defendant who serves or has served in the military.

Penal Code section 1170.9 was originally passed in 1982 to provide sentencing alternatives for Vietnam veterans where post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or substance abuse issues lead to or contributed to criminal conduct. However, over the years, it has consistently been amended and now provides potential relief for all veterans who may be suffering from a variety of conditions such as sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems stemming from service. PC 1170.9 not only gives judges the authority to expunge a case after successfully completing treatment, but even allows for the arrest record to be sealed in certain situations.

The legislation continues to change to accommodate those who have served our country. Right now there is pending legislation that could result in additional benefits to veterans, in that judges would be required to consider PC 1170.9 factors when deciding whether to place a person on probation and in mitigating sentencing for cases where jail time is required.

As of April 22, 2014, by unanimous vote, the bill has passed the assembly and has now moved into the Senate Committee for review. If given Senate approval, the new legislation would become law effective January 2015.

For more information about San Diego’s local Veteran’s Court, see http://www.cvltf.org/ .

EmailBookmark/FavoritesShare