Every service member receives a characterization of service upon completion of his or her tenure in the military. A “less than honorable” discharge damages a veteran’s post-service employment and educational opportunities, and disqualifies him or her from many VA benefits. A discharge upgrade is an administrative process by which a veteran’s characterization of service may be improved from a less desirable to a more desirable type, thereby restoring their benefits. To learn more, visit our Legal Services page and see the below article from U.S. Veterans Magazine.
PENAL CODE SECTION 1170.9
In response to concerns about the overall well being of our nation’s veterans as they reintegrate into civilian society, the California Legislature adopted Penal Code section 1170.9. It states that a person “convicted of a criminal offense” who is a present or former member of the military and suffers from military sexual trauma (MST), traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or mental health disorders as a result of service may be ordered into treatment instead of incarceration. If the defendant does what is required under the statute, the court may restore the veteran “to the community of law abiding citizens.” To learn more, see the below article from Orange County Lawyer magazine.