Back in May of 2012, Broward County launched Broward Veterans Court.
Similar in fashion to Drug Court, which favors rehabilitation and treatment over punishment, Broward Veterans Court is a 12 to 18 month program whereby participants can receive alcohol and substance abuse treatment, as well as social services such as education, job training, and job placement.
In order to qualify, a participant must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The program is treated like an intense form of probation.
Not every offense and offender will qualify for Veterans Court. However, many veterans serve our country only to return home with no job, few resources, and combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. An ordinary misdemeanor or felony court is not the right forum in which to properly and adequately address veterans' issues.
If you have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and are under prosecution for a crime in Broward County, you may want to explore the possibility of Veterans Court.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.