Rocco Zito was in the Marines for 4 years. Judge Booras is the first judge in the Palm Beach Veterans’ Court. Last Friday, Zito, charged with Possession of Cocaine and appeared before Judge Booras as the first veteran in Palm Beach’s Veterans’ Court, Division VA.
Every month approximately 60 veterans enter the criminal court system in Palm Beach County. Some of these veterans committed their crimes while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Others committed their crimes because they were suffering from mental health disorders. Still others committed their crimes simply because they were homeless and desperate. Thankfully, these veterans now have the option of Veterans’ Court available to them.
Division VA was designed to help those veterans who have issues in their lives that contributed to their crimes. One thing continually stressed is the Veterans’ Court programs are not free rides. Veterans will be forced to complete various treatment programs, undergo counseling if necessary, and comply with any other court orders. Should they complete all requirements, their charges will be dismissed. Should they fail, they will go to trial on their original charges.
Eligibility for a hearing at the Veterans’ Court is based on the types of charges levied against the veteran. If their crime produced a victim, they will likely not be able to participate.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.