Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court
Regina Lewis, Coordinator
110 NW 1st Avenue
Ocala, FL 34475
What is the Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court?
The Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court [MCVTC] is a special division of the Marion County Court system. It is a Court-supervised program for those arrested in Marion 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 MCVTC instead of having their case precede through the regular court process. The MCVTC is a problem solving and hybrid court meaning it will handle misdemeanor cases, felony cases, cases in pre-trial diversion and cases in which sentences have been imposed. There is a particularly high prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Major Depressive Disorder among combat and other veterans. The MCVTC recognizes the unique challenges facing these veterans and help link these veterans to services.
The Mission of the MCVTC is to promote public safety while supporting eligible veterans and their families through a coordinated effort among veteran’s services, community services and the Court to leave no eligible veteran behind. NOTE: This mission is in furtherance of implementing in Marion County the provisions of the T. Patt Maney Veterans’ Treatment Intervention Act passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Florida’s Governor to take effect on July 1, 2012, as Section 394.47891 of the Florida Statutes.
The priority of the MCVTC is public safety. In that regard, the MCVTC seeks to address mental health and/or substance abuse issues of the eligible veterans and ensure they do not languish in the Marion County Jail without opportunity for treatment.
Who is Eligible?
A person can only be accepted or placed into the MCVTC as follows:
- The person must be a Eligible Veteran Defendant (EVD);
- The person has the burden of proof to establish their EVD status;
- EVD status may be established by a DD-214 Form;
- Both misdemeanor and felony VOP cases are eligible for placement into the VTC provided the sentencing judge on the pending VOP case authorizes the transfer of the VOP case into the MCVTC;
- Both misdemeanor and felony cases are eligible for admission into the MCVTC by a motion pursuant to Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.800( c ) [“Reduction and Modification of Sentences”] upon agreement of the sentencing judge, the State Attorney’s Office (SAO) and the EVD;
- The EVD must be represented by an attorney; and
- The EVD must be accepted or placed into the MCVTC according to one of the methods specified in MCVTC “Policy and Procedures Manual”.
ALL MISDEMEANOR DEFENDANTS are eligible for the MCVTC, however, cases involving a Driving Under the Influence [DUI] charge will only be allowed into the MCVTC through sentencing.
MISDEMEANOR DEFENDANTS must enter the MCVTC through one of the following 3 methods:
- placed by Order of the Marion County Court upon approval by that Court of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement entered into by the SAO and the Misdemeanor Defendant which Agreement requires graduation from the MCVTC;
- placed by Order of the Marion County Court through sentencing which imposed sentence requires graduation from the MCVTC; OR
- placed by a Transfer Order as such is authorized by Section 910.035(5) of the Florida Statutes upon approval of the MCVTC Judge.
FELONY DEFENDANTS may be eligible for the MCVTC with the following exclusions:
- the felony charge cannot be on the list set forth in Section 948.06(8)(c) of the Florida Statutes; and
- no felony Driving Under the Influence [DUI] charge is eligible for VTC.
FELONY DEFENDANTS must enter the MCVTC through one of the following 3 methods:
- placed by Order of the Marion Circuit Court upon approval by that Court of a Felony Pre-Trial Intervention Agreement or Veterans Treatment Court Contract entered into by the SAO and the Felony Defendant which Agreement or Contract requires graduation from MCVTC;
- placed by Order of the Marion Circuit Court through sentencing which imposed sentence requires graduation from MCVTC; OR
- placed by a Transfer Order as such is authorized by Section 910.035(5) upon approval of the MCVTC Judge.
The Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court is a collaborative effort of:
Marion County Court
Circuit Court for Marion County
Office of the State Attorney
Office of the Public Defender
Salvation Army Probation
Veterans Helping Veterans
Marion County Sheriff’s Office
Marion County Clerk’s Office
The Centers and The Vines
NAMI of Marion County
Below are helpful Links:
Veteran Treatment Court Policy Manual
Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court Brochure
Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court Application
Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court – Consent for Disclosure of Confidential Information
Marion County Veteran’s Treatment Court Attorney’s Guide