Intro to Criminal Justice Resources for Veterans Video
Watch this Intro to Criminal Justice Resources for Veterans video produced by the Texas Veterans Legal Aid Coalition. This video provides brief information on veterans treatment courts, expunctions and nondisclosures, and driver's license restoration.
Veterans treatment courts are designed to meet the distinct needs of veterans in the criminal justice system and provide an alternative to incarceration. These special courts offer treatment, accountability, and structure while connecting a veteran to VA benefits they may have earned. These courts are designed to provide veteran specific treatment and give a veteran an opportunity to get their life back on track. For more detailed information about the importance of veterans treatment courts and the opportunities they provide, watch this Veterans Treatment Court Explained video produced by TakePart.
Eligibility varies from court to court. Some common eligibility requirements include:
- Veteran or current servicemember
- Connection between the offense and trauma caused during military service
- Honorable or General Under Honorable Conditions Discharge
- Criminal offense must be eligible (usually no sexual offenses or crimes against children, elderly or disabled)
Visit the TexVet map and click on the county your case is pending in to determine the exact eligibility requirements for that county.
Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the arrests and offenses which may qualify for expunction. Not all individuals with records eligible for expunction qualify to receive an expunction. If you are eligible for an expunction, but you fit into an exception, then your expunction may be denied. Use the Texas Fresh Start app to check if you may be eligible for an expunction. It's also a good idea to meet with an attorney about your particular situation. For legal resources check the Texas Veterans Legal Aid Coalition website and contact the organizations that serve your county.
If you are ineligible for an expunction, it's possible you might be eligible for a nondisclosure order. Texas Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter E-1 sets out eligibility requirements. There are different sections you can request a nondisclosure under and each section has specific requirements and procedures that you must satisfy in order to obtain a nondisclosure. Determining eligibility can be complicated. Use the Texas Fresh Start app to check if you may be eligible for a nondisclosure. It's also a good idea to meet with an attorney about your particular situation. For legal resources check the Texas Veterans Legal Aid Coalition page and contact the organizations that serve your county.
Click below to learn more about nondisclosures.
Review this Ticket Help Texas: A Toolkit to Resolve Your Unpaid Fines & Restore Your Driver's License. This toolkit was published by the Texas Fair Defense Project and Texas Appleseed and is a resource for Texans who are unable to pay fines.
Before asking the court for an ODL, check your license eligibility status at www.Texas.gov/driver. Click on “Drivers License Reinstatement and Status.” This free site will tell you if you can drive with your current license and, if not, what you need to do to become eligible.
You cannot get an ODL if:
- You lost your driving privileges because of a mental or physical disability.
- You lost your driving privileges for failure to pay child support.
- You need it to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
- The judge thinks you do not have an essential need.
- The judge is worried about public safety.
- You have received two ODLs in the past 10 years after a conviction.
- You have a “hard suspension” waiting period due to a prior DWI arrest or conviction.