The Veteran’s Administration (VA), along with the Shelby County General Sessions Court, has recently begun a new program called Veteran’s Court. This program is aimed at helping U.S. veterans who have been charged with certain crimes get help through counseling and rehabilitation. Recognizing that many veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and resort to drug use, drinking, or stealing, the program aims to offer treatment rather than punishment. The program is for one year and is essentially supervised probation. If the veteran qualifies, he or she will be accepted into the program and given the opportunity to have the criminal charge dismissed. The veteran will be assigned a probation officer and must periodically check in with the court. Depending on the charge, they may be required to attend alcohol and drug classes or anger management. At the end of the year, provided all requirements have been met and he or she has not been arrested for any new offenses, the charge will be dismissed and can then be expunged from their record. Not all veterans will qualify for this program. Only non-violent offenses are accepted, including both misdemeanors and felonies. This can include drug possession, domestic assault, theft, and burglary. Violent crimes, crimes involving a weapon, and driving under the influence are not eligible. If you are a veteran in Memphis that has been charged with a crime, contact Memphis criminal lawyer Patrick Stegall to see if you qualify for veteran’s court. Mr. Stegall handles criminal cases of all types, and can help you navigate the court system and avoid a permanent conviction. Please contact him by phone at (901) 205-9894 or by email at

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