Florida Senate - 2011 SB 138 By Senator Bennett 21-00250-11 2011138__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to military veterans convicted of 3 criminal offenses; creating s. 921.00242, F.S.; 4 providing that persons convicted of criminal offenses 5 who allege that the offenses resulted from 6 posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or 7 psychological problems stemming from service in a 8 combat theater in the United States military may have 9 a hearing on that issue before sentencing; providing 10 that defendants found to have committed offenses due 11 to such causes and who are otherwise eligible for 12 probation or community control may be placed in 13 treatment programs for an equal period of time in 14 certain circumstances; providing for sentence credit 15 for such defendants placed in treatment; providing a 16 preference for treatment programs with histories of 17 successfully treating such combat veterans; providing 18 an effective date. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 22 Section 1. Section 921.00242, Florida Statutes, is created 23 to read: 24 921.00242 Convicted military veterans; posttraumatic stress 25 disorder, substance abuse, or psychological problems from 26 service; treatment services.— 27 (1) In the case of any person convicted of a criminal 28 offense who would otherwise be sentenced to county jail or the 29 state correctional system and who alleges that he or she 30 committed the offense as a result of posttraumatic stress 31 disorder, substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming 32 from service in a combat theater in the United States military, 33 the court shall, before sentencing, hold a hearing to determine 34 whether the defendant was a member of the military forces of the 35 United States who served in combat and shall assess whether the 36 defendant suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder, substance 37 abuse, or psychological problems as a result of that service. 38 (2) If the court concludes that a defendant convicted of a 39 criminal offense is a person described in subsection (1), and if 40 the defendant is otherwise eligible for probation or community 41 control and the court places the defendant on probation or 42 community control, the court may order the defendant into a 43 local, state, federal, or private nonprofit treatment program 44 for a period not to exceed that which the defendant would have 45 served in the state correctional system or county jail, provided 46 the defendant agrees to participate in the program and the court 47 determines that an appropriate treatment program exists. 48 (3) A defendant granted probation or community control 49 under this section and committed to a residential treatment 50 program shall earn sentence credits for the actual time he or 51 she served in residential treatment. 52 (4) The court, in making an order under this section to 53 commit a defendant to an established treatment program, shall 54 give preference to a treatment program that has a history of 55 successfully treating combat veterans who suffer from 56 posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or psychological 57 problems as a result of that service. 58 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.