Marine Corps vet in jail in Tennessee


My girlfriend, a Marine Corps veteran,  is in desperate need of legal counsel on criminal charges. She has severe PTSD and is of fragile mental state. We are both disabled vets in the midst of getting benefits. We have almost 0 cash. I need pro bono help. She is being held in Tennessee under a $17,500.00 bond.

Jim's Reply:

When a veteran enters the criminal justice system he or she gives up most of the veterans benefits we worked for. A veteran is a civilian and any time a civilian is caught up in the justice system, they're pretty much on their own. There is no criminal legal aid set aside for veterans. Your friend will likely be appointed an attorney by the system and that may be as good as it gets. You tell me that you're waiting on benefits so you can't yet really blame this on a service connected condition. Until that is adjudicated, she is just another citizen in trouble with the law.

  • PS from StatesideLegal: The state of Tennessee does have several specialized Veteran Treatment Courts described here.  The local VA also has specialized Veteran Justice Outreach staff who are responsible for direct outreach, assessment and case management for justice-involved veterans in local courts and jails.  More information about those free resources is available here.