Veterans Treatment Court In Nevada
All too often, veterans and military members suffer from the lingering repercussions of their service to our country. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental illness, addiction, alcoholism, and drug abuse are all potential consequences that can occur as a result. Sadly, this can lead to criminal convictions in some cases. Fortunately though, when it comes time for sentencing these defendants there is often an allowance made – recognizing the underlying conditions which caused or contributed to the offense in question.
Nevada law presents a unique opportunity for veterans and active duty military members who have committed crimes to receive rehabilitation instead of prison time. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we specialize in this type of legal defense and can provide assistance to those on trial. Reach out today for a free consultation and to learn how you may avoid incarceration by speaking with our experienced criminal defense lawyer about the options available to you.
What Is Veterans Treatment Court?
If you are a military veteran who has been accused of non-violent crimes, Nevada’s Veterans’ Treatment Court is the right option for you. This specialty court focuses on veterans with service-related illnesses such as:
- Substance abuse
- Mental health issues
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
The aim of Veterans Treatment Court is to return you to the upstanding law-abiding individual that you were prior to your military service. In approximately one year, if you successfully complete this program and satisfy all requirements, you can have your criminal records sealed.
How To Be Assigned To Veterans Treatment Court
Nevada’s criminal procedure code has a distinct subsection, Chapter 176A, devoted solely to providing treatment for veterans and military members through programming. Specifically, NRS 176A.280 to NRS 176A.295 provide the framework necessary to assign such individuals to programs tailored towards their needs as presented in these statutes respectively.
176A.280. Establishment of program for treatment of veterans and members of military; qualifications; assignment of defendant to program; progress reports.
1. A district court, justice court or municipal court may establish an appropriate program for the treatment of veterans and members of the military to which it may assign a defendant pursuant to NRS 174.032, 176.211, 176A.290 or 176A.400 if the defendant is a veteran or member of the military and:
(a) Is diagnosed after an in-person clinical assessment by a counselor who is licensed or certified to make such a diagnosis or a physician who is certified by the Board of Medical Examiners to make such a diagnosis, or by the results of a mental health or substance use screening, as suffering from:
(1) Mental illness, alcohol or other substance use disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury, any of which appear to be related to military service, including, without limitation, any readjustment to civilian life which is necessary after combat service; or
(2) Military sexual trauma;
(b) Would benefit from assignment to the program; and
(c) Is not ineligible for assignment to the program pursuant to NRS 176A.287 or any other provision of law.
2. The assignment of a defendant to a program pursuant to this section must:
(a) Include the terms and conditions for successful completion of the program; and
(b) Provide for progress reports at intervals set by the court to ensure that the defendant is making satisfactory progress towards completion of the program.
3. As used in this section:
(a) “Military sexual trauma” means psychological trauma that is the result of sexual harassment or an act of sexual assault that occurred while the veteran or member of the military was serving on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training.
(b) “Sexual harassment” means repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature that is threatening in character.
176A.295. Sealing of records after discharge, dismissal, conditional dismissal or setting aside of judgment of conviction.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, after a defendant is discharged from probation or a case is dismissed pursuant to NRS 176A.290, the justice court, municipal court or district court, as applicable, shall order sealed all documents, papers and exhibits in the defendant’s record, minute book entries and entries on dockets, and other documents relating to the case in the custody of such other agencies and officers as are named in the court’s order if the defendant fulfills the terms and conditions imposed by the court and the Division. The justice court, municipal court or district court, as applicable, shall order those records sealed without a hearing unless the Division petitions the court, for good cause shown, not to seal the records and requests a hearing thereon.
2. If the defendant is charged with a violation of NRS 200.485, 484C.110 or 484C.120 and the charges are conditionally dismissed or the judgment of conviction is set aside as provided in NRS 176A.290, not sooner than 7 years after the charges are conditionally dismissed or the judgment of conviction is set aside and upon the filing of a petition by the defendant, the justice court, municipal court or district court, as applicable, shall order that all documents, papers and exhibits in the defendant’s record, minute book entries and entries on dockets, and other documents relating to the case in the custody of such other agencies and officers as are named in the court’s order be sealed. The justice court, municipal court or district court, as applicable, shall order those records sealed without a hearing unless the Division petitions the court, for good cause shown, not to seal the records and requests a hearing thereon.
3. If the justice court, municipal court or district court, as applicable, orders sealed the record of a defendant who is discharged from probation, whose case is dismissed, whose charges were conditionally dismissed or whose judgment of conviction was set aside pursuant to NRS 176A.290, the court shall send a copy of the order to each agency or officer named in the order. Each such agency or officer shall notify the justice court, municipal court or district court, as applicable, in writing of its compliance with the order.
Nevada Veterans Treatment Court Rules & Expectations
- Participants are not allowed to use alcohol, illicit drugs, synthetic substances, medical marijuana, and certain (addictive) prescription drugs while in the Veterans Court program. Veterans are also not allowed to use energy drinks, detoxification, and/or colon-cleansing products. Participants may only use prescribed medications under the direction of a licensed physician, and all over-the-counter medications should be carefully screened and used only as directed on the label. Certain narcotics, opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants are not allowed, even with a prescription, except in emergency situations or with court approval. Participants must notify the Veterans Court team of any and all medications they are prescribed and/or over-the-counter products they are taking and take all medications to the Choices group for lab review.
- Participants will attend all scheduled treatment sessions, on time, including diagnostic evaluation appointments, intake appointments, orientation sessions, and recovery support groups
- Participants will attend any level of treatment, including detox, residential, and/or day treatment, as recommended by a diagnostic evaluation.
- Participants will submit to all forms of drug testing as required. Missing a test, failing to provide a urine sample, providing a sample of insufficient quantity, or providing a diluted sample will be considered and treated as a positive result for drugs and/or alcohol.
- Participants will notify the Court, treatment provider, and their probation officer immediately of any change in residence or contact information (phone number)
- Participants will pay all required fees for their participation in Veterans Court. Participants will not be eligible for graduation until all fees are paid in full.
- Participants will treat all Veterans Court team members and Veterans Court participants with respect. Fraternizing among Veterans Court participants is discouraged.
- Participants will arrive on time and dress appropriately for Court. The following will be considered dress code violations:
- Shorts/revealing tops/belly shirts
- House slippers
- Sagging pants/ Underwear showing
- Vulgar/Offensive or drug-related slogans
Termination From Veterans Treatment Court
The following program violations will be grounds for termination from Veterans Court:
- Falsification of urine analysis (UA) sample
- Refusal to submit to any form of drug test
- Attempted bribery of UA monitor
- Forgery of any program-related document
- Aggressive/intimidating behavior toward staff or program participants
- Gang-related behavior
- Weapons possession
- Drug sales
- 3rd Bench Warrant issued by the Veterans Court Judge
In accordance with the accepted Veterans Court Agreement, participants who are arrested or charged with a new crime and/or disobey VTC program regulations while already within the program may be immediately removed. Moreover, those who don’t satisfactorily complete their time in VTC could face prosecution for any offense that resulted in admission to this court.
Graduation From Veterans Treatment Court
To be certified as a successful participant in the VTC program, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
- No positive alcohol/drug tests, including missed and invalid tests, for a minimum of 90 consecutive days.
- Maintained consistent attendance at all court appearances and treatment appointments
- Achieved a stable source of income, living arrangements, and healthy interpersonal relationships as determined by the treatment team
- Achieved an understanding of your personal problems of addiction, mental health, criminal behavior, and relapse prevention
- Have completed a definitive aftercare plan which may include self-help meetings, outpatient counseling, or an Alumni group
- Fulfillment of goals as stated in your individual treatment plan or positive progress toward appropriate long-term life goals
- All fee obligations are met
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Veterans Treatment Court Cost In Nevada?
- Veterans Court Fee: All Veterans Court participants are required to pay a court fee of $1,500, which is to be paid in installments of not less than $30 per week for the scheduled 52-week program.
- Program Fees: The court subsidizes drug testing fees, and when necessary some treatment costs, for most Veteran Court participants. Most veterans will get their treatment at the VA or Vet Center at no cost to them. Felony DUI participants in Veterans Court are mandated, by law, to pay for their drug tests and treatment, house arrest, and alcohol or drug monitoring devices on their vehicles; thus, FDUI participants will incur additional costs to participate in the program. See the FDUI fee section in this handbook
- Additional Fees: In addition to the above fees, participants may be required to pay additional costs associated with services that are depending on the services they may need during your drug court program, you may be required to pay fees associated with house arrest, a sober living house, an alcohol monitoring device, etc.
What Treatment Services Are Available In Veterans Treatment Court?
Veteran’s Court offers a variety of services to meet the needs of those who have served, including but not limited to:
- Substance abuse detox and counseling,
- Mental health counseling,
- Anger management and impulse control treatment,
- Medical services,
- Trauma therapy,
- Vocational education and guidance, and
- Wellness education.
You will be matched with veteran mentors who can provide you with the same support as an AA sponsor. These Veteran’s Court Mentors are there to guide and assist you throughout your program journey, while also serving as a source of accountability.
Who Is Eligible For Veterans Treatment Court In Nevada?
Veterans and active military who have been convicted of specific offenses may be eligible for treatment programs designed specifically with the members of our Armed Forces in mind. Nevada Revised Statute 176A.043 states that any person who is currently serving in any branch – including National Guard or Reserve branches – of the United States Armed Forces is considered a member, while NRS 176A.090 defines veterans as those individuals who have previously served in any division, reserve part or National Guard unit of America’s forces.
Veterans and military members may be eligible to receive treatment if they are experiencing mental health issues, such as PTSD, substance abuse, or alcoholism.
Can I Get Nevada Veterans Treatment Court For A Felony?
If you have been charged with misdemeanor offenses, there is a good chance you will be referred to Veteran’s Court. However, if your charges are more serious – felony convictions in particular – that does not rule out the possibility of being served through the Clark County Veterans Court-supervised outpatient treatment program. In fact, this program works collaboratively with the Veterans Administration to offer aid to those struggling with addiction and mental health issues connected directly or indirectly to military service; providing them access to much-needed care and support.
Contact Our Nevada Veterans Treatment Court Attorney Today
In cases of criminal charges wherein the defendant’s mental capacity or substance use due to military service may have played a role, attaining legal counsel from our Nevada Veterans Court attorney without delay is crucial. Reinstatement with a mandated treatment program is much more favorable than jail time, especially considering that completing the program can shield you from having a criminal record. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we specialize in aiding military personnel and anyone facing criminal charges by helping them secure access to beneficial rehabilitation programs. Contact us now for guidance on how we may be able to assist you!