If you are a veteran you may have certain rights you need to be aware of when entering into a plea or otherwises being sentenced for a crime. As a Veteran myself and someone that has been helping veterans my entiere career I have the passion and experience to help veterans. Especially veterans that may be facing the effects of having serving. Many of our veterans today have served multiple deployments overseas.
IF YOU ARE A VETERAN WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS AT SENTENCING?
Under Penal Code section 1170.9 subdivision (a) provides that if a defendant alleges that he or she committed an offense as a trauma, injury, or other problem stemming from serivice in the United States military, the court shall, prior to sentencing, make a determination as to whether the defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States Military and whether the defendant may be suffering form …. problems of his or her service. The court may request through existing resources, an assesment to aid in that determination…
VETERANS AFFECTED BY THERE SERVICE MAY HAVE THAT CONSIDERED AS A FACTOR IN WHETHER TO GRANT PROBATION
Subdivision (b)(1) of section 1170.9 provides that an offense committed as a result of a trauma, injuyr, or other problem stemming from service shall be considered “a factor in facor of granting probation.” Thus, the defendant veteran must satisfy he nexus requirement -i.e. it must be shown that the offense resulted from a military service trauma.
Subdivision (b)(2) states the court may order the person into a treatment program “for a period not to exceed that period which the defendant would have served in the state prision or county jail. … Subdivision (e) provides that defendants committed to residential treatment programs “shall earn sentence credits for the actual time the defendant serves in residential treatment.”
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FORMAL VETERANS COURT PROGRAM TO RECIEVE BENEFITS OF THIS NEW LAW
Subdivision E goes on to state that the services outlined above do not have to be part of a formal veterans court program, to recieve the benefits of the law under penal code section 1170.9
IS PENAL CODE SECTION 1170.9 RETROACTIVE?
Future legislation may take Penal Doce section 1170.9 retroactive, thereby providing more than 6,000 incarcerated veterans an oppurtunity to ask the Superior Court for a resentencing in light of trauma, injury, or other problems associated with their military service.
If you or a someone you know is a veteran whose criminal act may have been the result of trauma from military service there is help in both rehabilitation and sentencing so give us a call if you have questions 559441-1418.