Veterans Court in Colorado
A while back Colorado implemented what is essentially a deferred prosecution program specifically designed for military members that were facing felony prosecution, giving them an opportunity to move forward with rehabilitation programs as opposed to sending them to jail.
Designed specifically to accommodate eligible military members that had suffered trauma as a direct result of their military service, this alternative sentencing program was intended to serve those that were suffering with drug or alcohol addiction as well as those contending with Trauma Spectrum Disorders.
To better help you understand what the Veterans Court in Colorado is, who may be eligible, and how these kinds of cases shake out going forward we’ve put together this quick guide.
What is the Veterans Court in Colorado?
As highlighted above, the Veterans Trauma Court (VTC) is basically a very intensive rehabilitation and counseling program that seeks to help eligible military members rehabilitate and reform their lives rather than send them to jail after they’ve been convicted of criminal behavior, similar to California Veterans Court, where Chula Vista DUI Lawyers practice.
Providing a wide variety of resources and treatment programs for those struggling with addiction, mental health issues, and more, the VTC program encompasses regular court appearances, supervised probation like penalties, and a host of other alternative prosecution solutions that help the Terry members avoid serious jail time.
The VTC program is broken down into four individual phases that all participants have to successfully complete, illustrated as follows:
- 60 Day Stabilization Phase
- 90 Day Engagement Phase
- 90 Day Action Phase
- 120 Day Maintenance Phase
Participants in the VTC have to be sober, regularly tested for alcohol as well as drugs, and may even be required to wear SCRAM monitoring bracelets as part of their VTC schedule.
On the plus side of things, veterans that are able to successfully complete this program in Colorado may have their probation shortened significantly (or dismissed completely) and usually have an opportunity to have their criminal record sealed as well.
Who is Eligible for the Veterans Court?
To be eligible for the VTC program in state of Colorado individuals either have to currently be in the US military or have previously served in the US military, are facing a criminal charge, and have a history of substance abuse, addiction issues, or a Trauma Spectrum Disorder.
At the same time, veterans that would have otherwise been eligible under the criteria we highlighted above will be immediately disqualified if they are charged or convicted of:
- Sex crimes
- Felony crimes involving children
- Firearm offenses
- Offenses where victims sustained serious injuries or passed away
- Domestic violence issues
Is Jail Time a Certainty with Veterans Court?
One of the biggest benefits of moving forward with a VTC program after you’ve been charged or convicted of a serious crime is the opportunity to avoid jail time altogether – provided you are able to successfully move through each of the individual phases of the VTC program as illustrated above.
Can My Case Be Dismissed Through Veterans Court?
Each and every single legal case in the state of Colorado is unique, but in a significant amount of VTC scenarios the court decides to dismiss veteran criminal charges completely and usually seals the criminal record, too.