Clearing Open Container Ticket for Operation Desert Storm Veteran Provides Path to a Better Life

Craig’s Story

After being deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Storm, Craig received an honorable discharge in 1995 but soon began a long struggle with alcohol addiction and was in and out of jail for petty theft and nuisance-related arrests. While in service to our country, Craig acquired numerous service-connected disabilities, including permanent spinal problems as a result of a broken back sustained in the line of duty.

As he was homeless on the date he was required to appear in court and did not have an address at which he could have received mail or other notice, he did not answer the summons. This resulted in increased fines and the license suspension.

But recently Craig has begun to turn his life around. He is living at the men’s domiciliary, an intensive inpatient residential treatment program located on the grounds of the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center. “It has been difficult for Craig to adjust to the regimen of the domiciliary,” says Ron, “but he seemed very on point and focused on the steps required to clear this ticket and move forward with his life.”

Since his arrival in May 2015, Craig has been in full compliance with this rigorous program. In addition to the program requirements, he voluntarily attends non-mandatory 12-step meetings at multiple locations to fully develop a sober network of friends and colleagues and ensure a lifestyle of continued sobriety and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

As he transitions in his recovery, Craig is now concentrating on continuing education and career training and development so that he may get a job in the near future. “I feel that Craig will be able to accomplish his goal of getting permanent housing and securing employment,” Ron says, “because he exhibited patience, which will be crucial for him on his long road to success.”

We’re happy to report that Craig was able to get his ticket dismissed in the interest of justice and that his license is now clear.

LACBA’s Veterans Legal Assistance Project conducts monthly self-help clinics at Patriotic Hall to assist veterans with removing legal barriers to employment. The project is focused on three main areas: (1) clearing tickets and warrants, (2) expunging misdemeanors, and (3) reinstating driver’s licenses.