Tuesday, May 28, 2013

THE COOK COUNTY VETERANS TREATMENT COURT HELPS VETERANS WITH DRUG, DUI OR OTHER NONVIOLENT CRIMES

As a veteran of the United States Military, you may qualify for a special program to help deal with your criminal or DUI charges.

The Cook County Veterans Treatment Court program aims to prevent veterans from returning to the criminal justice system and to improve their quality of life. The program recognizes that those who have served their country may suffer from post-traumatic stress or other traumas. (The Lake County Circuit Court operates a similar program.)

In order to participate, you must obtain court approval. Your criminal defense attorney can help you navigate through this process.

As a veteran, you are eligible for the program provided you show willingness to participate, your crime is non-violent, you have no convictions for violent crime within the last ten years, and you haven’t been through the program in the last three years.

Once accepted, you must sign a contract with the court. You must participate in any treatment recommended by the Veterans Court Treatment Team. You must avoid alcohol and other illegal substances and submit to random drug testing. You cannot possess any weapon or commit another crime. You must report to your VA case manager and probation worker and appear at all court dates. You may also have community service. If you fail to comply with these requirements, the court may impose extra penalties.

While the program may seem tough, the program it is a real alternative to any criminal sentence you might otherwise receive. In some cases, completion of the program may result in a clean slate.

For more information, see Veterans Treatment Court. For an article on Lake County’s program, see Lake County Veterans Treatment Court Begins.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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