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Veterans Court Program

INTRODUCTION

The Dallas County Veterans Court Program is a mental health and drug treatment court which provides an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution for veterans who meet specific criteria and suffer from a mental health disorder, including substance abuse disorders. The purpose of the program is to provide treatment for mental health issues that caused or affected the actions of the veteran in the criminal offense charged. For specific information about eligibility for the Veterans Court please see our Summary Information Document.

Acceptance into the program is determined by the District Attorney’s Office of Dallas County. The Court provides an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution for limited types of offenses and for the proper medical treatment of veterans who have served our country. Through direct coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Court Program can help to provide medical treatment, mentoring, and other services to our nation’s veterans who are facing qualifying criminal charges.

The Dallas County Veterans Court Program is authorized by Texas Government Code Chapter 124.

BENEFITS

Acceptance into the Veterans Court Program provides an alternative process to traditional criminal prosecution. The Court works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans access to medical evaluation and treatment for their mental health disorders. The Court will provide a medical evaluation of the veteran to determine the proper treatment. The Court monitors the progress of each veteran throughout their treatment and the veteran is required to make regular appearances before the Court.

In addition, veterans are provided a mentor to assist them throughout this process. All mentors are veterans and some have participated in the Veterans Court Program themselves.

Successful completion of these court ordered medical treatment plans, in addition to regular court appearances and other activities ordered by the court, will result in the criminal charges being dismissed and eligible for expunction.

ELIGIBILITY

A veteran charged with an offense which could or would typically receive a community supervision recommendation – such as probation – may seek acceptance into the Veterans Court Program. This determination is made by the District Attorney’s Office.

To be eligible for consideration into the Veterans Court Program, the veteran must have received an Honorable Discharge or currently be serving as an Active Duty Member of the Armed Forces. Any other discharge characterization, such as dishonorable discharge, bad conduct discharge, general discharge, other than honorable discharge, or an uncharacterized discharge will not be accepted into Dallas County Veterans Court.

In addition, a veteran must have no prior felony convictions or felony deferred adjudications.

Veterans must also be employed full-time, a full-time student, or a part-time student also working part-time.

Finally, a veteran must have a mental health disorder as a result of, or advanced by, his or her service. Examples of such mental health disorders are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Depression.

Please click the link below for the Summary Information Document, which provides the eligibility requirements, process, instructions, and contact information for the Veterans Court Program.