Men and women who bravely entered military service and now bear the scars of that service deserve special care. Nearly 4 million Americans have served in the post-9/11 military, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One in three of them has a service-connected disability, roughly one in five suffers from PTSD, and many have substance abuse disorders. Thus, when a veteran commits a crime, such as drug possession, the courts should take the effects of their military service into account.
The Will County Veterans Court was created to ensure that those who have faithfully served our country are given the option of treatment over criminal punishment. Those who successfully complete their treatment program will have all criminal charges dismissed.
Who Is Eligible for Will County Veterans Court?
The Veterans Court program is open to military veterans and current service members who are currently charged with a crime and who meet these additional criteria:
- The crime charged is not one of the following: first or second degree murder, criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, arson, kidnapping, stalking, or any crime involving discharge of a firearm.
- The individual was not convicted of any of the above crimes in the past 10 years.
- The offender has not participated in a Veteran’s Court program in the past three years.
- The individual lives in Will County.
- The person has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and/or admits to having a drug or alcohol problem, and is willing to accept treatment.
How Does the Will County Veterans Court Work?
If you are eligible for Veterans Court, your attorney can ask the Court to admit you into the program. Participants must hold a job, follow the prescribed treatment plan, and submit to random drug testing. You will be under close supervision by the Veterans Court for 18 to 24 months.
The Will County Veterans Court program reported great success in its first five years of operation. In fact, 24 out of 26 veterans who entered the program graduated, and not one re-offended during those five years.
Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Veterans
Current and former members of the U.S. armed forces who are facing criminal charges in Will County may be eligible for special treatment in the Veterans Court program. Seek advice from an experienced Will County veterans’ criminal defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation about your case.