DALLAS COUNTY VETERANS TREATMENT COURT (“VTC”)
The Dallas County Veterans Treatment Court is a specialty court diversion program that provides an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution for veterans charged with a crime in Dallas County who meet specific criteria.
The purpose of the program is to provide treatment to veterans who have mental health and/or substance abuse issues that caused or contributed to the circumstances surrounding the veteran’s criminal charge.
- Charged with an offense in Dallas County that would typically receive a community supervision (probation) recommendation from the prosecutor.
- The statute requires that a clinical evaluator must be able to establish that a mental health and/or substance abuse issue related to military service contributed, in whole or in part, to the commission of the charged offense.
- Veteran must sign a sworn affidavit that he/she has not previously received an expunction through participation in any Veterans Court or program.
- Most types of cases will be considered, including both misdemeanor and felony DWIs, Aggravated Assault, Possession of Controlled Substance, and Family Violence cases.
- Veteran is NOT eligible if he/she is charged with MAN/DEL of a Controlled Substance, indecency or sex crimes of any type, or cases involving a death.
- Prior criminal history does not automatically exclude a veteran from participation, but extensive criminal history may result in an application denial by the State.
- Combat service is not a requirement for participation.
- Veterans with Other than Honorable discharges will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Access to VA and community provider treatment services
- Continuous court monitoring of treatment progress
- Consistent appearances in court in front of the judge
- Peer mentoring by qualified veteran’s court mentors
- No cost to veterans. All participation conditions, treatment services, and monitoring devices are paid for by the program. No court costs, probation fees, fines or fees of any kind will be collected from veteran.
- Successful completion results in a dismissal of the charges, and where eligible, an expunction will be filed on veteran’s behalf free of charge.
- Eligibility is determined by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
- Complete diversion program offering dismissal, and possible expunction to successful participants.
- No plea is required to participate.
- Veteran will receive an individualized treatment plan recommended by a licensed clinician, and treatment services associated with that plan will be offered at no cost to the veteran.
- Program has a statutory minimum duration of 6 months. Duration depends on each veterans’ individualized treatment plan and his/her rate of progress. Average duration is 12-18 months.
Process & Instructions
- Consult with an attorney about applying to VTC. Attorneys may contact VTC Coordinator, Jerry Barker, at (214) 653-5935 to obtain an application and/or ask questions about the program.
- Fill out VTC application and have attorney submit it to VTC Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Application is reviewed by Dallas County District Attorney’s Office to determine veteran’s eligibility.
- If veteran is deemed eligible to apply, the VTC ATRS assessor will contact the veteran directly to schedule a clinical evaluation.
- VTC Coordinator will inform veteran’s attorney of acceptance or denial via email. If accepted, VTC Coordinator will include instructions to attorney on how to proceed. If denied, no information procured during the VTC application process will be used against the veteran in the future prosecution of his/her case(s).
- Current participants of VTC appear in court every Thursday at 2pm, or every other Thursday in some instances, meet with a supervision officer once per week, and attend prescribed treatment appointments.
- Once treatment is complete, the veteran begins a 90-day maintenance period after which the case is dismissed, and where eligible, expunged.