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Veterans Court in Florida

If you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged, then you might be eligible to resolve your pending criminal charge by entering veterans’ court or a pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program.

Each county has its own version of Veterans’ Court. At Sammis Law Firm, our attorneys are familiar with the program requirements in Hillsborough County, and the surrounding counties including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, and Polk County, FL.

In Hillsborough County, you must submit a consent form and “VETERANS TREATMENT COURT APPLICATION” created for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit at the courthouse in Tampa, FL. A copy of the DD Form 214 must also be submitted to VTCApp@fljud13.org.

One prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office is assigned to Veterans Treatment Court in Division V. Since January 3, 2017, the Honorable Michael J. Scionti has been assigned as Hillsborough County’s judge for Veterans’ Treatment Court.

How long does it take to complete Veterans’ Treatment Court? For misdemeanor cases, completing VTC takes up to twelve (12) months. For felony diversion cases, completing VTC takes a minimum of eighteen (18) months. For all other post-adjudication cases, the length of the sentence is determined by the court at sentences or through plea negotiations with the prosecutor.

Upon successful completion of VTC, the following will occur:

  • For post-adjudication cases, you will have complied with an important condition of your probation or community control;
  • For deferred prosecution cases, the State will allow you to plea to an amended charge;
  • For Misdemeanor or Felony Pre-Trial Intervention cases, the State will dismiss the charges against you.

Attorney for Veterans’ Court in Hillsborough County, FL

If you are a veteran of the armed forces who is charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense, then you might be eligible to resolve your case in veterans’ court. Entering veterans’ court requires meeting different eligibility requirements.

Even if you are eligible, entering veterans’ court may not be the best way to fight the charges. Before you decide, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, Fl, at Sammis Law Firm. We also have a second office in New Port Richey, FL, in Pasco County, FL.

If you decide to enter veterans court, then our attorneys can help you complete the program successfully and apply for early termination when appropriate. If you are terminated from the veterans’ court program, we can also represent you on the underlying charges.

We focus on defending veterans in the criminal courts throughout Florida.

Call 813-250-0500.


What is the Veterans’ Treatment Intervention Program in Florida?

The pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program is referenced in section 948.16(2) which provides:

(2)(a) A veteran, as defined in s. 1.01, including a veteran who is discharged or released under a general discharge, or servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01, who suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem, and who is charged with a misdemeanor is eligible for voluntary admission into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program approved by the chief judge of the circuit, for a period based on the program’s requirements and the treatment plan for the offender, upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion. However, the court may deny the defendant admission into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program if the defendant has previously entered a court-ordered veterans’ treatment program.

(b) While enrolled in a pretrial intervention program authorized by this section, the participant shall be subject to a coordinated strategy developed by a veterans’ treatment intervention team.

The coordinated strategy should be modeled after the therapeutic jurisprudence principles and key components in s. 397.334(4), with treatment specific to the needs of veterans and servicemembers.

The coordinated strategy may include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the participant for noncompliance with program rules.

The protocol of sanctions may include, but need not be limited to, placement in a treatment program offered by a licensed service provider or in a jail-based treatment program or serving a period of incarceration within the time limits established for contempt of court.

The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the participant before the participant agrees to enter into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program or other pretrial intervention program.

Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program, if otherwise eligible, may have his or her arrest record of the dismissed charges expunged under s. 943.0585.


What is Florida’s Military Veterans and Servicemembers Court Program?

In 2012, the Florida legislature enacted 394.47891, which provides:

The chief judge of each judicial circuit may establish a Military Veterans and Servicemembers Court Program under which veterans, as defined in s. 1.01, and servicemembers, as defined in s. 250.01, who are convicted of a criminal offense and who suffer from a military-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem can be sentenced in accordance with chapter 921 in a manner that appropriately addresses the severity of the mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem through services tailored to the individual needs of the participant.

Entry into any Military Veterans and Servicemembers Court Program must be based upon the sentencing court’s assessment of the defendant’s criminal history, military service, substance abuse treatment needs, mental health treatment needs, amenability to the services of the program, the recommendation of the state attorney and the victim, if any, and the defendant’s agreement to enter the program.


Requirements for Veterans’ Court for Felony Charges in Florida

Sections 948.08(7) provides:

(7)(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, a person who is charged with a felony, other than a felony listed in s. 948.06(8)(c), and identified as a veteran, as defined in s. 1.01; a veteran who is discharged or released under any condition; a servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01; an individual who is a current or former United States Department of Defense contractor; or an individual who is a current or former military member of a foreign allied country, who suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem is eligible for voluntary admission into a pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program approved by the chief judge of the circuit, upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion, except:

1. If a defendant was previously offered admission to a pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program at any time before trial and the defendant rejected that offer on the record, the court may deny the defendant’s admission to such a program.

2. If a defendant previously entered a court-ordered veterans’ treatment program, the court may deny the defendant’s admission into the pretrial veterans’ treatment program.

(b) While enrolled in a pretrial intervention program authorized by this subsection, the participant shall be subject to a coordinated strategy developed by a veterans’ treatment intervention team. The coordinated strategy should be modeled after the therapeutic jurisprudence principles and key components in s. 397.334(4), with treatment specific to the needs of servicemembers and veterans.

The coordinated strategy may include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the participant for noncompliance with program rules. The protocol of sanctions may include, but need not be limited to, placement in a treatment program offered by a licensed service provider or in a jail-based treatment program or serving a period of incarceration within the time limits established for contempt of court.

The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the participant before the participant agrees to enter into a pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program or other pretrial intervention program. Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program, if otherwise eligible, may have his or her arrest record of the dismissed charges expunged under s. 943.0585.

(c) At the end of the pretrial intervention period, the court shall consider the recommendation of the treatment program and the recommendation of the state attorney as to disposition of the pending charges.

The court shall determine, by written finding, whether the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program. If the court finds that the defendant has not successfully completed the pretrial intervention program, the court may order the person to continue in education and treatment, which may include treatment programs offered by licensed service providers or jail-based treatment programs, or order that the charges revert to normal channels for prosecution.

The court shall dismiss the charges upon a finding that the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program.


Florida’s Statutory Definitions for Veteran Court

Section 948.16(2) provides:

(a) A veteran, as defined in s. 1.01; a veteran who is discharged or released under any condition; a servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01; an individual who is a current or former United States Department of Defense contractor; or an individual who is a current or former military member of a foreign allied country, who suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem, and who is charged with a misdemeanor is eligible for voluntary admission into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program approved by the chief judge of the circuit, for a period based on the program’s requirements and the treatment plan for the offender, upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion. However, the court may deny the defendant admission into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program if the defendant has previously entered a court-ordered veterans’ treatment program.

(b) While enrolled in a pretrial intervention program authorized by this section, the participant shall be subject to a coordinated strategy developed by a veterans’ treatment intervention team.

The coordinated strategy should be modeled after the therapeutic jurisprudence principles and key components in s. 397.334(4), with treatment specific to the needs of veterans and servicemembers. The coordinated strategy may include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the participant for noncompliance with program rules.

The protocol of sanctions may include, but need not be limited to, placement in a treatment program offered by a licensed service provider or in a jail-based treatment program or serving a period of incarceration within the time limits established for contempt of court.

The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the participant before the participant agrees to enter into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program or other pretrial intervention program.

Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program, if otherwise eligible, may have his or her arrest record of the dismissed charges expunged under s. 943.0585.


Application for Veterans’ Court in Hillsborough County, FL

To apply for Veterans’ Court in Hillsborough County, FL, the defendant, through their attorney, must sign an application agreement that provides:

DEFENDANT’S APPLICATION AGREEMENT

I, ________________________, hereby consent to the release and exchange of the information provided herein to the participating agencies of the Veterans Treatment Court (“VTC”) for purposes of determining eligibility for the VTC program.

I further consent to the exchange and release of information that could otherwise be deemed confidential, including but not limited to information about my diagnosis, psychological evaluations/reports, diagnostic screening/reports/records, psychiatric evaluation/progress notes, mental health evaluations and recommendations, medical history, treatment and medications, drug/alcohol assessments, progress notes/month status reports, and arrest/prior criminal record.

I understand and agree that the exchange of such information is necessary and required for me to participate in a Veterans Treatment Court program.

The participating agencies of the VTC include the presiding judge, the Administrative Office of the Court-13th Judicial Circuit, the State Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, other defense counsel, the Veterans Administration, and any other individual or entity providing services to the Veterans Treatment Court or the defendant including, but not limited to Gracepoint Wellness Center, the Department of Corrections, The Elk Institute, Phoenix House, Northside Mental Health Center, ACTS, DACCO, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Veterans Affairs Administration.

I understand that any disclosure made regarding mental health and substance abuse treatment is bound by Part 2 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (42CFR, part 2), by Parts 160 and 164 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations(HIPPA), and Florida Statutes 394.4615, which governs the confidentiality of mental health and substance abuse patient records, and that recipients of this information may re-disclose it only in connection with their official duties, and only with respect to these particular criminal proceedings.

As required by law, any clinical records made part of the Court file shall have an accompanying Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(d)(2) or Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Records pursuant to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(c)(9)(A)(vi) and (vii).

No other use or disclosure of confidential records is authorized by this agreement.
____________________________ ___________________
Signature of Defendant/Applicant Date
____________________________ ___________________
Signature of Attorney Date
____________________________
Name of Attorney (Please Print)

The Veterans Treatment Court and its members do not discriminate against qualified applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, disability or veteran status, or as otherwise prohibited by federal, state or local law.


Administrative Order on Veterans’ Court in Tampa, FL

One of the best ways to understand the requirements of Veterans Treatment Court is to read Administrative Order S-2016-032 which supersedes Administrative Order S-2015-012. The new administrative order became effective on October 1, 2016.

The administrative order provides, in part:

In furtherance of implementing provisions of the “T. Patt Maney Veterans’ Treatment Intervention Act” (sections 16- 20 of Chapter 2012-159, Laws of Florida), it is necessary and appropriate to make changes to the current Hillsborough County Veterans Court to focus on a greater number of veterans suffering from military-service related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problems who enter the criminal justice system.

Consolidation of the separate misdemeanor and felony veterans treatment courts will facilitate continued effective and efficient operation of a Veterans
Treatment Court. This consolidated specialized Veterans Treatment Court will enable consideration of the unique nature of the issues related to veterans, the need for appropriate treatment in an environment conducive to wellness, as well as the continuing necessity to ensure the protection of the public.

The Veterans Treatment Court will expeditiously and efficiently divert veterans with service-related issues into available veteran treatment programs without compromising the safety of the public. This specialized court division will increase the efficiency of the criminal court system and permit access to state, local and federal services and resources by utilizing Veterans Administration and Veteran Mentor Volunteer resources and support systems.

The Veterans Treatment Court consists of both a Pretrial Intervention Program component and a Post-Adjudicatory component.

By the authority vested in the chief judge under article V, section 2(d), Florida Constitution; section 43.26, Florida Statutes; and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215(b )(2), it is therefore ORDERED:

1. Establishment

Circuit Criminal Division “V” is hereby established as the Veterans Treatment Court division handling all eligible cases.

2. Limited Caseload

Subject to the availability of resources, the presiding Veterans Treatment Court judge is empowered with discretion to temporarily suspend the transfer or direct filing of any eligible cases into the Veterans Treatment Court. If the presiding judge decides to temporarily suspend the transfer or direct filing of any future eligible cases into Veterans Treatment Court, the judge must provide written notice of the suspension to the Public Defender’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office, the Clerk of Court (clerk), the Veterans Administration, the administrative judge of Circuit Criminal Division, and the chief judge.

3. Eligibility Criteria for Pretrial Intervention Program

In order to participate in the Pretrial Intervention Program component of the Veterans Treatment Court, a defendant must meet the following criteria:

A. Misdemeanor Cases – section 948.16, Florida Statutes

i. Veteran or Servicemember

The defendant is a veteran, as defined in section 1.01, Florida Statutes, including a veteran who is discharged or released under a general discharge, or a servicemember, as defined in section 250.01 , Florida Statutes.

ii. Service-Related Condition

The defendant suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem.

iii. Voluntary Participation

The defendant voluntarily agrees to participate in the Veterans Treatment Court for a period of time based on the program’s requirements and the treatment plan for the offender.

iv. Eligible Criminal Offenses

The defendant is charged with a city ordinance violation, a county ordinance violation, or a misdemeanor offense. v. Second Chance Denial The court may deny the defendant admission into the misdemeanor pretrial veterans treatment intervention program if the defendant has previously entered a court-ordered veterans treatment program.

B. Felony Cases – Section 948.08, Florida Statutes

i. Definition of Veteran or Servicemember

The defendant is a veteran, as defined in section 1.01, Florida Statutes, including a veteran who is discharged or released under a general discharge, or a servicemember, as defined in section 250.01, Florida Statutes.

ii. Service-Related Condition

The defendant suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem.

iii. Voluntary Participation

The defendant is eligible for voluntary admission into the pretrial Veterans Treatment Court upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion.

iv. Eligible Criminal Offenses

The defendant is charged with a felony, other than a felony listed in section 948.06(8)(c), Florida Statutes.

v. Second Chance Denial

The court may deny the defendant admission into the pretrial veterans treatment intervention program if

( 1) the defendant was previously offered admission to a pretrial veterans treatment intervention program at any time before trial and the defendant rejected that offer on the record; or

(2) the defendant has previously entered a court-ordered veterans treatment program.

C. Veterans Administration Services or Other Resources

The defendant must be eligible to receive services for evaluation and treatment planning through the Veterans Administration and Veteran Mentor Volunteer resources and support systems, or other available court-approved state, local, or federal resources.

4. Process for Identifying, Transferring and Assessing Eligible Pretrial Intervention Program Cases

A. Transfer by Clerk

Efforts should be made to identify potentially eligible defendants as early in their entrance to the criminal justice system as possible. The task of initial identification should be the responsibility of all entities involved, including the court, defense counsel, the Office of the State Attorney, the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office at booking, and the defendant. The issue of eligibility for Veterans Treatment Court may be raised at any court proceeding by the defendant, defense counsel, the Office of the State Attorney, or the court, during which the waiver of speedy trial requirement must be addressed.

Unless the presiding judge has provided notice of a temporary suspension of any future eligible cases into Veterans Treatment Court under section two of this administrative order, if any entity involved in the proceedings indicates on the record the belief that the defendant is eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program component of Veterans Treatment Court and the presiding judge finds that the defendant appears to be eligible, the court will transfer the case to the Veterans Treatment Court.

The clerk will set the case on the next Veterans Treatment Court docket. This transfer will occur without the necessity of a written court order.

B. Cases Filed Directly into Veterans Treatment Court

If cases that appear to be eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program component of the Veterans Treatment Court are identified prior to the State Attorney’s Office filing criminal charges, the case may be directly filed into Veterans Treatment Court unless the presiding judge has provided notice of a temporary suspension of any future eligible cases under section two of this administrative order.

C. Assessment by Veterans Administration

Prior to the first hearing in Veterans Treatment Court, the defendant should be assessed by the Veterans Justice Outreach Liaison for verification that the defendant meets eligibility criteria in subsections 3 A and B of this administrative order.

D. Confirmation of Eligibility

At the defendant’s first hearing in Veterans Treatment Court, the presiding judge will confirm the defendant’s eligibility for the program, provide appropriate instructions and information about the program, and confirm the defendant’s willingness to enter into a participation agreement and take part in treatment.

E. Waiver of Speedy Trial

Upon acceptance into the Veterans Treatment Court, the defendant voluntarily agrees to waive speedy trial.

F. Discharge from Veterans Court

If at any point it is determined that the defendant is not eligible for or unwilling to participate in Veterans Treatment Court, or the defendant is otherwise unsuccessfully discharged from Veterans Treatment Court, the case will be transferred back to the criminal division from which it originated.

If the case was not assigned to a criminal division prior to transfer to Veterans Treatment Court, the case will be assigned to a criminal division by the clerk in accordance with the applicable administrative order on assignment of cases and transferred to that division.

The case will be set for a disposition in the new division and copies of the transfer order will be provided to all parties.

G. Assistance by the Administrative Office of the Courts

To the extent resources are available, the Administrative Office of the Courts will facilitate the process by which a defendant is assessed in conjunction with the Veterans Treatment Court Oversight Committee; coordinate the procedure by which the written assessment is furnished to the State Attorney’s Office, defense counsel, and judge; assist the court in managing its caseload; compile statistics, and maintain the necessary documents to demonstrate compliance with any funding requirements.

5. Participation in the Pretrial Intervention Program Component of Veterans Treatment Court

A. Coordinated Strategy

The Veterans Treatment Court participant will be subject to a coordinated strategy developed by the veterans treatment intervention team.

The coordinated strategy is modeled after the therapeutic jurisprudence principles and key components in section 397 .334( 4 ), Florida Statutes, with treatment specific to the needs of veterans and servicemembers.

The coordinated strategy may include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the participant for noncompliance with program rules.

The protocol of sanctions may include, but need not be limited to, placement in a treatment program offered by a licensed service provider, placement in a jail-based treatment program, or serving a period of incarceration within the time limits established for contempt of court.

The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the participant before the participant agrees to enter into a pretrial veterans treatment invention program or other pretrial intervention program.

B. Court Hearings

The defendant is required to attend court hearings as set by the Veterans Treatment Court judge. The defendant must participate in continued assessment and treatment and engage in discharge planning. This participation must include the voluntary and truthful provision of information to the court and all collaborating entities in the assessment and treatment process.

6. Disposition of Case

A. Successful

At the end of the pretrial intervention program period, the court must consider the recommendation of the treatment program and the state attorney. The court may also consider other arguments or recommendations of the parties.

If the court determines that the defendant has successfully completed Veterans Treatment Court, the court must dismiss the charges.

B. Unsuccessful

If the court at any time determines that the participant should be unsuccessfully discharged from Veterans Treatment Court, including failure of the participant to provide truthful necessary information, the court will order the case transferred back to the criminal division from which it originated.

If the case was not assigned to a criminal division prior to being assigned or transferred to the Veterans Treatment Court, the case will be assigned to a criminal division by the clerk in accordance with the applicable administrative order on assignment of cases and transferred to that division.

The case will be set for a disposition in the new division and copies of the transfer order will be provided to all parties.

7. New Arrests

A. Eligible Charge(s) or Violation(s)

If, while participating in the Pretrial Intervention Program component of Veterans Treatment Court, a defendant is arrested for a new charge eligible for admission to Veterans Treatment Court, the Veterans Treatment Court judge will determine whether or not the defendant remains amenable for treatment and should be allowed to continue to participate in the program.

The judge will hear from the parties and consider the recommendation of the treatment program in determining whether the defendant will remain in the Pretrial Intervention Program.

If so, and the defendant agrees, the new charge will be transferred to Veterans Treatment Court. If the Veterans Treatment Court judge determines that the defendant should not remain in Veterans Treatment Court, the defendant will be unsuccessfully discharged by the court entering an order transferring the case(s).

The case will then be set for a disposition in the new division and copies of the transfer order will be provided to all parties.

B. Ineligible Charge(s)

If, while participating in Veterans Treatment Court, a defendant is arrested for a new charge not eligible for Veterans Treatment Court, the presiding judge may unsuccessfully discharge the defendant from the Veterans Treatment Court by entering an order transferring the case(s) in accordance with the transfer procedure in section 4F of this administrative order.

The case will be set for a disposition in the new division and copies of the transfer order will be provided to all parties.

8. Expunction of Records

Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the Pretrial Intervention Program component of Veterans Treatment Court, if otherwise eligible, may have his or her arrest record of the dismissed charges expunged in accordance with section 943.0585, Florida Statutes.

Petitions to Expunge for such defendants must be filed in Veterans Treatment Court and handled in accordance with section 32 of Administrative Order S-20 16-025 (Circuit Criminal Division Procedures) or any successor administrative orders.

9. Post-Adjudicatory Program Component of Veterans Treatment Court- Section 394.47891, Florida Statutes

A. Eligibility Criteria

In order to participate in the Post-Adjudicatory Program component of Veterans Treatment Court, a defendant must meet the following criteria:

i. Veteran or Servicemember

The defendant must be a veteran, as defined in section 1.01, Florida Statutes, including a veteran who was discharged or released under a general discharge, or a servicemember, as defined in section 250.01 , Florida Statutes.

ii. Service-Related Condition

The defendant suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem.

iii. Criminal Offense

The defendant is charged with or convicted of a criminal offense.

B. Acceptance Procedure

Admission into the Post-Adjudicatory Program component of Veterans Treatment Court must be in accordance with chapter 921, Florida Statutes, in a manner that appropriately addresses the severity of the mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem through services tailored to the individual needs of the participant, and based on the sentencing court’s assessment of the defendant’s criminal history, military service, substance abuse treatment needs, mental health treatment needs, amenability to the services of the program, the recommendation of the state attorney and the victim, if any, and the defendant’s agreement to enter the program.

C. Transfer of Case

i. Sentenced by Standard Criminal Division Judge

An eligible post-adjudicatory case may be transferred from a standard criminal division to Veterans Treatment Court via written order (1) after acceptance of an open plea of guilty or nolo contendre and imposition of sentence by another judge which includes successful completion of the Veterans Treatment Court Program; or (2) after a sentencing hearing following a guilty verdict, and imposition of sentence by another judge that includes successful completion of the Veterans Treatment Court Program.

If a case is transferred to Veterans Treatment Court after imposition of sentence by a judge in another criminal division, the case will proceed in the same manner as cases in the Pretrial Intervention Program component.

ii. Sentenced by Veterans Treatment Court Judge

A veteran or servicemember who suffers from a military service-related condition and whose criminal case is pending in a standard criminal division may request that the case be transferred to Veterans Treatment Court prior to entering a plea.

If the standard criminal division judge determines the case appropriate for transfer, the judge will enter a written order transferring the case to Veterans Treatment Court so that the Veterans Treatment Court judge may accept the plea and impose sentence at the first hearing.

Part of the sentence will include successful completion of the Veterans Treatment Court program.

After imposition of sentence, the case will proceed in the same manner as cases in the Pretrial Intervention Program component.

D. Violation of Probation, Drug Offender Probation or Community Control

i. Technical Violations

If a defendant in the post-adjudicatory component of Veterans Treatment Court is accused of violating probation, drug offender probation or community control not involving a new criminal charge, the alleged violation will be handled by the Veterans Treatment Court judge.

ii. New Eligible Criminal Charge Violations

If a defendant in the post-adjudicatory component of Veterans Treatment Court is accused of violating probation, drug offender probation or community control involving a new criminal charge that is eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program component of the Veterans Treatment Court, the new charge and alleged violation will be handled in the Veterans Treatment Court if the presiding judge in the Veterans Treatment Court determines the new charge appropriate for transfer.

iii. New Ineligible Criminal Charge Violations

If a defendant in the post-adjudicatory component of Veterans Treatment Court is accused of violating probation, drug offender probation or community control involving a new criminal charge that is not eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program component of Veterans Treatment Court, the new charge and alleged violation will be transferred back to the criminal division from which it originated.

If the original case was not assigned to a criminal division prior to transfer to Veterans Treatment Court, the new charge and alleged violation will be assigned to a criminal division by the clerk in accordance with the applicable administrative order on assignment of cases and transferred to that division. The case will be set for a disposition in the new division and copies of the transfer order will be provided to all parties.

E. Modifications of Probation, Drug Offender Probation or Community Control

Motions to modify or terminate probation, drug offender probation or community control on Post-Adjudicatory participants will be heard in Veterans Treatment Court.

If the case has been transferred from a Veterans Treatment Court division to another division, motions will be heard in the division assigned at the time the motion is filed.

10. Confidential Records

Prior to submitting to the mental health and substance abuse assessment, and any other assessments as deemed necessary by the court or any collaborating treatment entity, the defendant must consent to a waiver of confidentiality of the defendant’s confidential treatment records, allowing communications between the various providers, the Veterans Administration, and the court for verification of the defendant’s eligibility for Veterans Treatment Court and the continued monitoring of the defendant’s compliance in the program.

If the defendant refuses to agree to waive confidentiality for the purposes of verification and monitoring in Veterans Treatment Court, the defendant will not be eligible for, or allowed to continue in, Veterans Treatment Court.

No other use or disclosure of confidential records is authorized. Patient treatment records are deemed confidential as provided by Florida law and generally must not be filed in the court file. If it is necessary that a treatment record or report or any portion of a treatment record or report be filed with the clerk for placement in the court file of a defendant in Veterans Treatment Court, the filer must also file a “Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records” in accordance with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420.

The court will enter any appropriate order in accordance with Rule 2.420.

11. Veterans Treatment Court Oversight Committee

The Veterans Treatment Court Oversight Committee is hereby established to oversee Veterans Treatment Court operations in order to ensure proper training of court personnel and correct implementation of the Veterans Treatment Court model.

The committee is charged with recommending strategies to maintain the quality and effectiveness of Veterans Treatment Court and to ensure that the many treatment options now available for Veterans Treatment Court remain viable.

The Veterans Treatment Court Oversight Committee is comprised of the Public Defender or designee, the State Attorney or designee, the Trial Court Administrator or designee, a representative of the Veterans Administration, the Hillsborough County Sheriff or designee, the chair of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee or designee, a representative of any other service provider identified by the State Attorney’s Office or the Public Defender’s Office, the presiding judge in Veterans Treatment Court, the administrative judge of the Veterans Treatment Court, the administrative judge of the Criminal Justice Division, and the chief judge or designee.

The Veterans Treatment Court Oversight Committee will meet at least twice per year.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

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