Veterans Day – Thank you for your Service – Veterans Court
Many veterans and active military have sacrificed more for our Country, as well as many other countries, than most of us will ever know or understand. I won’t go as far as saying that their service is quickly forgetten, but I think it is fair to say that often it is under-appreciated. Their stories, in a general sense, are relayed in stories, news, and movies. For that short period, many of us get a quick and distant idea of what their time served is like. I can only imagine how far off we are.
I regularly sit back and reflect on how grateful and fortunate I am to be born and raised in the United States. The system we are a part of may not be perfect, but for the most part, all of it’s citizens have a chance to get ahead and make something of themselves….more so than much of the world. Our Country is strong, resilient, and . And it was built on the backs of our forefathers who thankfully fought for what they believed it, and for the men and women of our military forces who continue to do so.
Veterans Court is a system that is set up in many Counties in California, in large part, to take into consideration the service of veterans and active duty military who have returned to the United States and have had some issues that carried over and put them in odds with the law. For example, someone that has substance abuse or similar issues as a cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that has led to Possession of Drug charges. This is further laid out in Penal Code 1170.9. If qualified for Veterans Court, the system is designed to help address the problem by having the defendant complete an inpatient or outpatient program as opposed to jail. There are also other benefits such as dismissing any court associated fines, and getting the conviction dismissed and arrest record sealed after completion of the assigned program.
Further, starting it 2015, there may be changes to the statutes that control Veterans Court where many offenses will have something similar to a pre-plea diversion program. If so, there would not be a conviction at all. Upon completion of the assigned patient program the charges would be dismissed prior to any conviction. This can have some very big benefits, and at times save careers for active duty, and be more helpful in establishing careers after their service is done.
Admittedly, I can’t say that I can completely comprehend everything that our veterans and active service have gone through, or are going through. But I can say that it is appreciated. And Veterans Court is often a good tool that recognizes these issues for many veterans would not have existed had it not been for their selfless decision to serve our Country and it’s citizens.
It should happen more than one day a year, and many of us realize that. Thank you for your dedication, service, heart, and will. Your sacrifices make the Country, and often times the world a better place. Feel free to call me at (818) 336-1384 if you have questions about Veterans Court or you would like to discuss your situation in more detail.
Attorney at Law