It is well known that large numbers of veterans suffer from mental illness. These illnesses are often influenced by violent experiences in their military careers. Unfortunately, sometimes these illnesses hamper veterans so much that they wind up in the Criminal Justice system. In Nevada, Veterans Courts have been established in some counties, including Clark and Washoe. These courts serve the unique needs of veterans who suffer from issues like chemical dependency, PTSD, or Traumatic Brain Injuries. While Veterans are responsible for their actions, these conditions may make it hard to maintain self control at all times, especially for those with jobs or families to take care of.
Veterans courts were created as legal professionals sought to recognize the sacrifices that veterans make as well as their unique needs and common difficulties. Clark County has a veterans court that serves veterans accused of certain felonies as well as misdemeanors. In 2017, the Nevada legislature passed a law that funded a full-time Veterans court coordinator for the eighth judicial district, which includes Clark County. Washoe County has a veterans court for misdemeanor offenses, which has operated since 2009. The Reno Municipal Court is planning a misdemeanor veteran court to begin in October of 2018. Veterans court is voluntary, and in order to participate a veteran must qualify for VA benefits. They must also have no history of sex offenses and either no record of violence or a very limited one.
Veterans courts provide the services common to other specialty courts, tailored to the struggles that many U.S. veterans face. Veterans courts are a sincere and growing effort to stem the epidemic of mental illness among the brave men and women who have made sacrifices in the service of our country. If you are a veteran who has been charged with a crime, contact specialty court attorney Henry Sotelo to examine your legal options as a Veterans court might help you more than others