/ 6.23.22

The Effects of PTSD on Veteran-Related Criminal Charges

Written by: Doug Ridley

How a PTSD Diagnosis May Affect Your Criminal Case

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition affecting countless current and former service members in the United States. A person’s experiences in the military are unlike any other, which may result in exposure to unparalleled stress and trauma. Under certain circumstances, veterans and active members of the military may qualify for a pretrial diversion program if they have PTSD and have committed an eligible offense. 

At Ridley Defense, we are honored to represent current and former members of our armed services. We recognize the sacrifices they have made for our country and are dedicated to providing the highest level of representation. Attorney Douglas Ridley was selected to represent the private defense bar as Ventura County set up its mental health diversion program, which serves as a model for other programs throughout the state. 

If you have served or are currently suffering from PTSD and have been charged with a crime, contact our office at (805) 208-1866 for a confidential and complimentary consultation. 

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that can be both devastating and debilitating. It is generally caused by exposure to a traumatic event and is common among individuals who have been exposed to combat, training accidents, and other military experiences.

The National Center for PTSD estimates that as many as 1 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women who have experienced trauma will develop the disorder. PTSD after certain types of trauma, such as sexual assault and military experiences, is more common than after other types of traumatic events. 

How Common Is PTSD in Service Members?

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, post-traumatic stress disorder affects thousands of veterans. It is estimated that 11-20% of those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are afflicted with the condition. Additionally, around 12% of Gulf War veterans and 15% of Vietnam War veterans have diagnosable PTSD. 

What If I Am Charged with a Crime?

If you are a current or former service member who has PTSD and has been charged with a crime, you might be eligible for pretrial diversion. California courts recognize that mental health may play a significant role in the commission of certain crimes. Depending on the situation, an active or former member of the military may qualify for a diversion program which, if successfully completed, would result in the criminal charges being dismissed.

It is essential to discuss your case with an attorney experienced in mental health and military diversion. Attorney Douglas Ridley was instrumental in helping to sculpt Ventura County’s mental health diversion program. He served as the only defense attorney on the committee which developed and implemented the county’s innovative program. 

He and the entire Ridley Defense team continuously advocate for the rights of those afflicted by mental health disorders. Together they work tirelessly to represent military members who have been accused of a crime achieve a favorable disposition on their cases, including a reduction or dismissal of the charges when possible.

Contact Our Office Today

If you have PTSD after serving in the military and are now facing criminal charges, contact our office at (805) 208-1866for a complimentary consultation. All case evaluations are confidential and without obligation to retain our services. In gratitude for their service, we are proud to offer current and former members of the armed services a military discount. Call now to get started.

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