Military Personnel & Veterans

Legal Representation for Current Military Personnel and VeteransThere are a number of special programs and court processes for people who currently serve in the United States military or are veterans. Some of these programs are available only for misdemeanor charges and some are for felonies. As a Sacramento criminal lawyer who also represents defendants in Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, and Solano counties, I have represented military personnel through this process so they can clear their names and get their lives back on track. If you are currently in the military or are a veteran and have been charged with a crime, you may be eligible for Military Diversion or Veterans Court. Call me at (916) 442-1200 to discuss your case and determine if you qualify.

Military Diversion for Misdemeanor ChargesThe State of California, through Penal Code 1001.80, has established a program called Military Diversion that provides for alternative sentencing and dismissal of charges for qualified current service men and women and veterans who have been charged with a misdemeanor offense. An update to the law this year now includes drunk driving (DUI) charges. 

Criteria for Eligibility

Military Diversion is available to current and retired military personnel who meet this criteria:

  • Charged with a misdemeanor offense (felony offenses do not qualify)
  • Are potentially suffering from traumatic brain injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, sexual trauma, or mental health issues caused by or exacerbated by military service
  • Agree to placement in Military Diversion and waiving of the right to a speedy trial
  • Have not received Military Diversion in another case

Process for Determining Eligibility

I will file on your behalf a Request for Military Diversion before your case goes to trial. The prosecuting attorney in the District Attorney’s Office will also have an opportunity to provide input. I will then present to the court a Motion for Military Diversion that provides proof of military service, documentation of injuries or traumas, a plan for treatment from your health care provider, and other legal materials and arguments. The court will set a hearing date, usually 60 to 90 days after the motion is filed. I will then represent you at the hearing to argue on your behalf for the granting of Military Diversion. If the diversion is granted, the court will state the conditions of the program that must be followed, including treatment and compliance hearings. Finally, the court will set a date for a hearing to dismiss the charges when the requirements of the program have been met.

Types of Program Requirements

Examples of requirements for Military Diversion treatment programs include one to two years of treatment, domestic violence prevention programs, anti-DUI training programs such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, random alcohol and drug testing, counseling regarding substance abuse, and regular written reports from treatment and service providers.

Dismissal of Charges

When all of the Military Diversion requirements have been met and the court has verified all documentation at a hearing, the misdemeanor charges will be dismissed. This means that for most circumstances it will be as though the arrest never happened. The exception to this is if you want to apply for a position in law enforcement. In that instance, you will have to state that you were granted Military Diversion and successfully completed the program.

Veterans Court for Felony ChargesFor veterans or current military personnel who are facing felony charges, there are programs available through Veterans Court. Contact me to discuss the details of your case to see if it qualifies.

Attorney for Military Personnel and VeteransCall me at (916) 442-1200 if you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges and want to determine if you qualify for the programs described above.