Veterans who suffer from combat trauma can often find themselves on the wrong end of the law through accidents and episodes beyond their control. If you're a vet with PTSD, you need to contact a veterans law attorney if you're accused of or charged with a criminal offense. Here's what you need to know.
Combat Veterans Have a Higher Likelihood to Commit Crime
It's a harsh truth, but combat trauma and other stresses combined can increase the chances of a vet to engage in a criminal offense. Studies show a good chunk of the prison population consists of combat veterans. Those same studies conclude the VA fails to treat certain aspects of PTSD that can help to prevent or mitigate a lot of those involuntary criminal acts.
What If You Haven't Been Diagnosed with PTSD
Even if you haven't had an official diagnosis, criminal behavior can become the catalyst that shows you have an active case of PTSD. It can represent the cry for help that leads to a diagnosis and proper treatment for your trauma.
Many veterans go undiagnosed. In addition, signs of PTSD can vary greatly from person to person. Sometimes, PTSD doesn't become apparent until months or even years after the initial trauma. It's possible for decades to pass before the trauma manifests in a way professionals can diagnose.
PTSD is a Defense in Criminal Law
The law recognizes PTSD as a valid criminal defense. You have experts, studies, evidence, case law, and professional opinions to back you. It's an especially important defense if it didn't come up initially, but was discovered before you attempt to appeal a court's decision.
Don't Let a Criminal Case Go Unchallenged
Veterans convicted of criminal offenses can face a slew of problems beyond the obvious. For example, you can lose or have reduced VA benefits, and you can lose your VA pension. After serving a prison sentence over 60 days, you may have to reapply for many things.
Don't let a charge against you go unchallenged. Even if you're already serving time, you should speak to a veterans law attorney, like Goodman Katz Koonce & Maroc, about your appeal or the possibility of reducing your sentence.
If you suffer from combat trauma, you're recognized as someone with a disability and need the appropriate treatment that coincides with your condition. Even if you don't know you have PTSD, it's worth it to use your situation to find out.