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Recently, a senior field grade military officer defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) had his case that began as an anticipated general court-martial trial dropped, and low-level administrative discipline was issued, allowing the client to retire honorably.
Because this ultimately became an administrative disciplinary case, there are Privacy Act issues and regulations that preclude the reporting of specific details. However, what can be generally described is…
The senior military officer faced a military and federal investigation that was international in scope. He was generally alleged to have engaged in improper interactions with foreign agents or representatives. The defense disputed these claims, but the investigation continued for a lengthy period. While the government was proceeding as if this case would end up in a general court-martial trial, the defense maintained that the investigation would not uncover or substantiate evidence that supported the claims. Ultimately, the allegations and case against the client alleging improper foreign interactions was dropped for lack of evidence supporting the claims. There was no court-martial.
During the course of the investigation, however, the government learned of alleged minor misconduct within the client’s personal life, and served the client with low-level administrative discipline regarding this, despite the reason the investigation was actually launched. The senior military officer was then able to retire, honorably, from the military.
Had this case resulted in a general court-martial and conviction, the client faced a federal criminal conviction, lengthy prison sentence, and a punitive discharge (dismissal). While this military case was successfully defended, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in previous cases does not guarantee success in any particular future case. No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law, can guarantee the outcome of any military trial or case.
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