Tarrant County Veterans Court: An Alternative to the Criminal Justice Process for Military Veterans
The Tarrant County Veterans Treatment Court is a diversion program for US Military Veterans currently facing prosecution for one or more criminal cases. The program offers accused veterans a treatment option that is closely supervised by the judiciary. The program is designed to divert veterans out of the traditional criminal justice process and into appropriate rehabilitative alternatives. Once the veteran has been screened, assessed, and approved for participation in the program, he or she will begin a treatment program that is specifically designed to address his or her particular needs.
Qualifications for Entry Into the Veterans Court Program
To qualify to consideration in the Fort Worth, Texas Veterans Court, the subject veteran must meet the following criteria:
- Veteran or current member of the United States Armed Forces, including a member of the Reserves, National Guard, or State Guard. All types of discharges are eligible to apply.
- May have a clinical diagnosis of a brain injury, mental illness, or mental disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder, that resulted from the veteran’s military service; and affected the veteran’s criminal conduct at issue in the case (no longer a requirement for entry, but still a consideration).
- Can also be the victim of military sexual trauma (not required).
- Current case must be pending in Tarrant County.
Conditions on the Fort Worth, Texas Veterans Court Program
- Must admit to the commission of the offense, and agree that this admission may be used against the defendant in court as provided by law.
- Must not commit a criminal offense for the duration of the program.
- Must not consume alcohol or non-prescribed controlled substances. (SCRAM device and Interlock device may be required)
- Must submit to random chemical testing.
- Must cooperate with treatment and/or counseling as recommended.
- Must take all psychiatric medications as prescribed.
- Must keep all appointments and attend all compliance hearings as scheduled.
- Must agree to report to VCDP case manager as directed.
- Must keep the program staff informed of any changes in address, telephone number, and employer.
- Must consent to the release of protected information as permitted under Texas law.
- Must have no contact with any person of disreputable or harmful character.
- Must plead guilty to enter program. With completion of the program the charges are dismissed and eligible for expunction.
- Must acknowledge that failure to comply with any term of this agreement will cause the State to withdraw from this agreement and proceed with prosecution of this offense.
- Must acknowledge that the successful completion of the diversion agreement shall cause the State of Texas to dismiss the charges in this matter.
- Must attend bi-monthly compliance hearings held in open court as directed.
- Must agree to follow any/all directives given by the case manager in accordance with their individual treatment plan.
Fort Worth Veterans Treatment Court Attorneys
For assistance if applying to the Fort Worth Veterans Court program, contact us today for a free consultation of your case. BHW partner Brandon Barnett currently serves as the designated defense attorney for the Tarrant County Veteran’s Court and is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in Fort Worth for Veterans criminal justice issues. Mr. Barnett a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We have a heart to help our military veterans, especially those struggling with mental health concerns from combat. Contact us today at (817) 993-9249 or fill out our secure contact form.
For more information on the Veterans Treatment Court Program see the Tarrant County Veterans Court website.