Hernando County Veterans’ Treatment Court
Kathleen Lonergan, Alternative Courts Coordinator
20 North Main Street, Room 464
Brooksville, FL 34601
Phone: (352) 540-6279
Fax: (352) 754-4235
Hernando County Court Administration provides the Veterans’ Treatment Court program described here, under the leadership and supervision of Circuit Judge Richard Tombrink, Jr.
What is the Hernando County Veterans’ Treatment Court (HCVTC)?
The Hernando County Veterans’ Treatment Court is a special division of the Hernando County Court system. It is a Court-supervised program for those arrested on felony charges in Hernando County who have a mental illness, substance abuse, or other mental health condition related to their military service, who need treatment and other services, and who choose to participate in the HCVTC instead of having their case proceed through the regular court process.
The Mission of the HCVTC is to promote public safety while supporting eligible veterans and their families through a coordinated effort among veterans’ services, community services and the Court to leave no eligible veteran behind. NOTE: This mission is in furtherance of implementing in Hernando County the provisions of the “T. Patt Maney Veterans’ Treatment Intervention Act” passed by the Florida Legislature as Section 16 of Chapter 2012-159 of the Laws of Florida and signed into law by Florida’s Governor to take effect on July 1, 2012, as Section 394-47891 of the Florida Statutes.
Who is Eligible?
A person can only be accepted or placed into the HCVTC as follows:
- The person must be an Eligible Veteran Defendant (EVD);
- The person has the burden of proof to establish their EVD status;
- EVD status must be established by a DD-214 Form showing the requisite campaign badge or period of wartime service;
- Felony VOP cases are eligible for acceptance or placement into the VTC provided the sentencing Judge on a pending VOP case affirmatively authorizes the transfer of the VOP case into the VTC;
- Felony cases are eligible for admission into the VTC by a motion pursuant to Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.800(c) [“Reduction and Modification” of Sentences] upon agreement of the sentencing Judge, the SAO and the EVD;
- The EVD must be represented by an attorney;
- The EVD must enter a guilty or no contest plea to each charge pending, or admission of pending violation of probation to be placed into the VTC by any method;
- The EVD must be accepted or placed into the HCVTC according to one of the methods specified in HCVTC “Policy and Procedures Manual”.
FELONY defendants must have charges no more serious than third degree felonies to be eligible for the VTC with the following exclusions:
- The felony charges must be “non-violent” as such is determined by the SAO;
- The felony charges must not involve heightened scienter or preplanned fraudulent behavior as such is determine by the SAO;
- The Felony charges cannot involve the illegal sale of any drugs; and
- No Felony Driving Under the Influence [DUI] charge is eligible for VTC.
FELONY defendants must enter the VTC through one of the following two (2) methods:
- Placed by Order of the Hernando County Circuit Court through sentencing which imposed sentence requires graduation from VTC [Felony Sentence Method]; or
- Placed by a Transfer Order as such is authorized by Section 910.035(5) upon approval of the SAO [Transfer Method].
The Hernando County Veterans’ Treatment Court is a collaborative effort of:
Hernando County Circuit Court
Hernando County Court Administration, including
Office of the State Attorney
Office of the Public Defender
Hernando County Veterans’ Services
Department of Corrections: Probation and Parole
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
Hernando County Clerk’s Office
Volunteer Veteran Mentors
BayCare Behavioral Health
Below are helpful links: