Share

Smith Welch Webb & White Blog

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Defending the Veteran in Criminal Courts

Veterans from the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - as well as the veterans of previous wars - are entering the criminal justice system as defendants in disproportionate numbers to the general population.  The recent studies of the effects of PTSD and other combat related injuries demonstrate the need for assistance to the combat veteran.

It is essential for an attorney to understand the impact that combat service and foreign deployments have on the veteran client.  The stress to the family caused by multiple deployments is a major factor in increasing military divorces, and is also essential to the defense in criminal cases.

The increasing number of Veteran Courts and the resources available to veterans from the VA are powerful assets in assisting the veteran.  These tools can help provide alternatives to incarceration.  The attorney must be familiar with the VA, the military and the criminal courts to provide the level of service that the veteran deserves.

In Federal Courts, U.S.S.G § 5H1.1 provides for downward departures in sentencing for a veteran with significant military service.  In state and federal courts, the failure of an attorney to offer mitigation is deficient representation.  All veterans should include their military service as part of their defense or in plea/ sentence conferences for mitigation.  (See Porter v. McCollum, 558 U.S. 30, 130 S.Ct. 447.)

Those who have served and protected us deserve the best defense available.  Many of our veterans carry both visible and invisible scars because of their combat service.  The criminal court must take into consideration the effects of their wounds and the aftermath of serving our country when determining justice for those who have already sacrificed so much.

For more information on this topic, contact Christopher Chapman at cchapman@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-389-4864.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


Archived Posts

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
2014
November
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013
2011


Smith Welch Webb & White serve clients throughout the south metro Atlanta area including but not limited to McDonough, Stockbridge, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Henry County, Peach County, Jonesboro, Spalding County, Butts County, and Lamar County.



© 2019 Smith Welch Webb & White | Disclaimer
280 Country Club Drive, Suite 300, Stockbridge, GA 30281
| Phone: 855-505-7999

Attorneys | Practice Areas | FAQs | Locations | Jobs | News & Blogs

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative


Make a Payment