Court Programs For Veterans
Criminal procedure - court's duty to inform defendants with current or prior military service on first appearances and on pleas of guilty. At the first appearance of a defendant in court or upon arraignment, and before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the court shall ascertain whether the defendant is currently serving in the United States armed forces or is a veteran of such forces. The court shall inform any such defendant that he or she may be entitled to receive mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment, or other services as a veteran.
The chief judge of a judicial district may establish an appropriate program for the treatment of veterans and members of the military. The act states that, in establishing any such program, the chief judge, in collaboration with the probation department, the district attorney, and the state public defender, shall establish program guidelines and eligibility criteria.
The act requires a court, in determining whether to issue an order to seal criminal records of a petitioner who has successfully completed a veterans treatment program, to consider such factor favorably in making the determination.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)