In 2011, Delaware County created Veterans Court. The Court seeks to address the increasing number of veterans entering the criminal justice system after serving our country. Many Veterans suffer from the wounds of combat, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Delaware County Veterans Court’s mission is to provide substance abuse and mental health treatment to the men and women who served our country while balancing the interest of the community in punishing, rehabilitating and deterring these defendants from committing future crimes. In a collaborative effort with the Office of the District Attorney, Defense counsel, and the Veterans Administration, the Delaware County Veterans Court seeks to provide defendants with treatment and services needed to return to being productive and law-abiding citizens.
To qualify for veterans benefits a veteran must have received an Honorable discharge but they can still enter the Veterans Court Program regardless of the character of their discharge. The veterans must agree not to take any narcotics including prescribed narcotics while enrolled in the program. The veteran agrees to supervised probation and treatment for 18 months and upon successful completion the criminal charges will be dismissed.
A veteran may not be eligible for the Veterans Court Program if he/she has any of the offenses listed below as either an open charge, prior adult conviction or prior juvenile
adjudication. Also, the veteran is ineligible for a charge of Attempt, Solicitation and or Conspiracy to Commit the listed offenses below.
1. Offenses involving children such as interference with custody, concealment of a child’s whereabouts, endangering a child’s welfare and corruption of minors where the crime is of a sexual nature.
2. Other offenses including escape, stalking, impersonating a public servant, contraband, and promoting juvenile prostitution.
3. Pennsylvania motor vehicle violations including driving under the influence for the third or Subsequent Tier 3 offenses within 10 years or a crash involving serious bodily injury, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, accidents involving death or personal injury resulting in serious bodily injury or death, accidents involving death or person injury while not properly licensed resulting in serious bodily injury or death, falsification of identification number, dealing in vehicles with falsified numbers, dealing in titles for stolen vehicles, false application for certificate of title registration, altered, forged or counterfeit documents, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer when graded as a felony of the 3rd degree, indecent assault, incest, indecent exposure if the veteran knows or should know victim is under 16 years old.
4. Theft offenses including any theft where value is equal or greater than $10,000, deceptive business practices where theft value is equal or greater than $10,000, or victim is sixty years of age or older, theft by extortion, burglary, however a veteran is still eligible if offense is burglary of a non-residence and no one else is present.
5. Weapon offenses and explosives including possessing, manufacturing, selling or transferring firearms, or carrying explosives on conveyances.
6. Crimes of Violence including murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated Assault, kidnapping, arson, intimidation or retaliation against victims or witnesses, and drug delivery resulting in death.
7. Sexual offenses including rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and aggravated indecent assault.
If you are a veteran charged with a crime contact Gregory J. Spadea of Spadea & Associates, LLC in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania at 610-521-0604.