PTSD vet arrested


Hi, I'm messaging you on behalf of my husband. Last night I had to bail my husband out of jail, he had a warrant out for his arrest. Because, a little over a month ago he had a PTSD attack, with suicidal thoughts. (Combat Veteran, in Syria, less than two years ago) I called the police, he had a weapon that he had bought from a gun store the day before hand. They are now proceeding to charge him with a felony for having a gun without a license, even though it was a suicide call. We are very poor, at the moment, and I would really appreciate some help finding him a low-cost, and/or free criminal lawyer. Thank You,

Jim's Reply:

Once we veterans cross the line and become part of the criminal justice system, our status as veterans doesn't help us much, if at all. This is particularly true if we're involved in crime that involves violence or weapons offenses or even the threat of such. While I understand that you claim the problems were precipitated by PTSD and mental health problems, once the events occur the system takes over and we work within those confines. Criminal defense lawyers want to be paid just like any professional who needs to run a business. I don't know of any who provide free services to anyone, even veterans once they're accused of acts of violence or weapons offenses. You may want to search in your region for a legal services program or otherwise rely on the system to provide him with a court appointed attorney. He should be encouraged to seek mental health treatment through the VA...he must understand that this shouldn't happen again. Good luck.

  • PS from StatesideLegal:  Low-income individuals charged with a felony should be eligible for free court-appointed attorneys or public defenders. Depending on when you live, there may also be a veteran treatment court near by.  Look here to see if there is one in your area.