Men and women in the United States military endure high costs of service. the impact of military service on veterans can be immense and long-lasting. These may include alcohol and substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, unemployment, and strained relationships. With the increase of veterans with serious needs in our criminal justice system, comes the need for the system to develop innovative ways of working to address these issues and needs. The Veterans Court is a specialized part of the Suffolk County District and County Criminal Courts. The Court provides a means to successfully help veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them with the tools they need to live a productive and law abiding life through treatment, rehabilitative programming, reinforcement and judicial monitoring. Successful completion of the program can result in a reduction of the legal charge upon completion.
400 Carleton Avenue
Central Islip, NY 11722
Hon. John J. Toomey
SUFFOLK COUNTY VETERANS TRAFFIC COURT
In addition to an expedited process and longer conference with a prosecutor, Veterans Docket Day will help facilitate a complete avenue of reform, understanding and assistance for veterans. There will also be support groups present on VDD to assist veterans in addressing other issues that they may want to resolve. The Agency anticipates a concerted effort with town, local and village Justice Courts in Suffolk and Nassau counties to establish open lines of communication in order to help Veterans find a complete and fair resolution.
The program differs from a veterans court within a criminal court venue, as the agency’s program will help resolve the initial infractions, which may be the underlying cause of a criminal charge. If a motorist is ticketed for an aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, the motorist is suspended due to unpaid or unanswered tickets, in many cases, those tickets are under the jurisdiction of the Agency and in the reaming cases, the tickets are most likely under the jurisdiction of the town, local and village justice court.
Veterans Docket Day is held at the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency in Hauppauge on the third Friday of the every month at 2:00 P.M. The program may include, but is not limited to, the following considerations:
- Veterans will be conferenced before the general public.
- Prosecutors will give Veterans more comprehensive conference, including time to discuss the causation of all events that led them to the agency.
- Assessment of consequences/penalties based upon ability to pay fines and offering alternatives to fines.
- Consideration on red light camera citations and parking fines.
- Assistance in regaining their license to drive expeditiously; attempt to remove any barriers associated with the agency to licensing.
- Provide DMV forms as necessary to assist with matters such as the reapplication for a drivers’ license.
Justice For Vets is dedicated to transforming the way the justice system identifies, assesses and treats our veterans, leading the national effort to put a veterans treatment court in reach of every veteran in need. We are committed to ensuring that no veteran is left behind by providing training and technical assistance to help communities bring together local, state, and federal resources to directly serve veterans involved in the justice system due to mental health disorders, trauma, and substance use. In doing so, we keep veterans out of jail and prison—preventing the loss of one of our nation’s greatest assets to our families and communities—and connect them with the benefits and treatment they have earned, all while saving tax dollars for the American public.
Justice For Vets has helped establish over 200 veterans treatment courts and trained over 3,000 court staff. In addition, Justice For Vets has conducted 16 volunteer veteran mentor boot camp training, serving 1,000 veteran mentors representing 125 communities across 30 states.
Established in 2010, Justice For Vets is a division of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.
Note: Justice For Vets does not and cannot offer legal advice or substance use/mental health services. If you are seeking legal or clinical assistance, please visit our resource page.