Military-veterans' Criminal Court

New Laws

Arraignment: Extra advisements required.

Requirement of this bill-Defendants must be informed by the court that there are laws designed for persons on active duty or are veterans, who've been charged with a crime. The court must inform the defendant that the defendant may request a copy of the Judicial Council military

form that explains those rights and may file it with the court. The court must transmit the form to the county veteran’s service officer to confirm the defendant’s military service, and transmit the form to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Misdemeanor diversion program for military members

This bill provides that the court can, with the defendant’s consent and waiver of speedy trial rights, postpone prosecution, temporarily or permanently, of a misdemeanor and place the defendant in a pretrial diversion program, if the defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military and may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of the military service. The defendant can be referred to services for treatment. The responsible agencies must report to the court and prosecution at least every six months.

Penal Code sections 2695.1 to 2695.5.

This bill authorizes a veterans service organization to volunteer to serve as a veterans service advocate at each CDCR facility. The advocate is authorized to develop a veterans economic recidivism prevention plan for each inmate who is a veteran. Requires CDCR to provide the advocate with access, subject to restrictions, with inmates who are veterans, and to existing resources. The advocate must coordinate with the U.S., State, and county veterans service officers.