(a) The commissioners court of a county may establish a veterans treatment court program for persons arrested for, charged with, convicted of, or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for any misdemeanor or felony offense. A defendant is eligible to participate in a veterans treatment court program established under this chapter only if the attorney representing the state consents to the defendant's participation in the program and if the court in which the criminal case is pending or in which the defendant was convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision, as applicable, finds that the defendant is a veteran or current member of the United States armed forces, including a member of the reserves, national guard, or state guard, who:
(1) suffers from a brain injury, mental illness, or mental disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or was a victim of military sexual trauma if the injury, illness, disorder, or trauma:
(A) occurred during or resulted from the defendant's military service; and
(B) affected the defendant's criminal conduct at issue in the case; or
(2) is a defendant whose participation in a veterans treatment court program, considering the circumstances of the defendant's conduct, personal and social background, and criminal history, is likely to achieve the objective of ensuring public safety through rehabilitation of the veteran in the manner provided by Section 1.02(1), Penal Code .
(b) The court in which the criminal case is pending shall allow an eligible defendant to choose whether to proceed through the veterans treatment court program or otherwise through the criminal justice system.
(c) Proof of matters described by Subsection (a) may be submitted to the applicable criminal court in any form the court determines to be appropriate, including military service and medical records, previous determinations of a disability by a veteran's organization or by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, testimony or affidavits of other veterans or service members, and prior determinations of eligibility for benefits by any state or county veterans office. The court's findings must accompany any docketed case.
(d) In this section, “military sexual trauma” means any sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurs while the victim is a member of the United States armed forces performing the person's regular duties.
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