Military Defense

How to Help Your Own Defense If You Are Charged With a Military Crime

By Joseph Low on August 12, 2015 - Comments off

Military Crime LawyerIf you are charged with an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) while on active duty, the charges threaten more than just your criminal record.  Criminal charges may affect your security clearance, your rank, or even your entire military career.  It is crucial that you take active steps to protect your rights and to seek the assistance you need to make the strongest possible case on your own behalf. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Keeping Your Personal Facebook Account? Tips for Servicemembers

By Joseph Low on July 16, 2015 - Comments off

Facebook Behavior With 1.44 billion users, Facebook has entered the lives of people the world over – including many active military servicemembers.  If you’re keeping your Facebook up to date while serving, it is important to remember that items you post may be viewed by people beyond your personal friends list, especially if you post items with a “public” view setting.  Your social media activity may also be used against you if you are charged with a violation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Here are some tips for handling your Facebook presence wisely: Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Army Relaxes Its Policies Regarding Servicemember Tattoos

By Joseph Low on May 12, 2015 - Comments off

Long Beach Military AttorneyThis April, the Army updated Army Regulation 670-1, which addresses tattoos.  The new policy relaxes the former rule, which went into effect in March 2014.  The new policy took effect April 10, 2015, according to the Department of the Army’s media relations office.

The new rules still prohibit soldiers from sporting tattoos on their necks, heads, faces, wrists, and hands, except that one ring tattoo is now allowed on each hand.  Tattoos depicting certain images or ideas, such as tattoos indicating an affiliation with “extremist” ideas or groups, indecent or “grossly offensive” tattoos, and sexist, racist, or demeaning words or images also remain unauthorized under the new policy. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Policy Change Means Boards Will See Junior Officer Black Marks

By Joseph Low on April 13, 2015 - Comments off

Civilian Military Defense Attorney Most officers are familiar with a policy that has been in place since 1997, which masks junior officer evaluation reports once the officer is promoted to captain or chief warrant officer three.  Beginning in early 2015, however, the policy has changed.  Now, when officer evaluation reports are submitted for filing in an officer’s Army Military Human Resources Record (AMHRR), they will be included in the packet that promotion, school, and command boards see when making decisions.

The original purpose of the old policy was to prevent officers from being penalized later in their careers for mediocre ratings or black marks acquired when they were still adjusting to military life.  According to Secretary of the Army John McHugh, however, the change is needed to shift the Army back to its competitive, best-qualified method of selecting officers for promotion. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

NDAA Reauthorization Undermines Good Soldier Defense

By Joseph Low on March 9, 2015 - Comments off

California Military DefenseThe recent reauthorization of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included a number of reforms intended to address rising concerns about sexual assault in the military. One of the reforms that gained bipartisan support, however, has made it more difficult for experienced California military defense lawyers to present a full picture of their client’s personal and professional service to juries.

The defense, popularly known as the “good soldier” defense, previously allowed defense attorneys to present evidence about a servicemember’s professional record in court as part of the defense’s response to allegations of sexual assault. The changes instituted in the most recent reauthorization of NDAA, however, limit the use of this defense, bringing military criminal procedure more in line with the rules of evidence used in civilian courts. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Challenging an Administrative Separation from the Military

By Joseph Low on February 9, 2015 - Comments off

California Military Criminal DefenseAn administrative separation might be sought for many reasons. For instance, a servicemember who does not successfully complete a drug abuse rehabilitation program, who is found responsible for misconduct, or whose performance has been found unsatisfactory may find himself or herself facing an administrative separation.

The way in which you leave the military affects both the benefits you receive as a result of your service and your employment options after your service has ended. In many cases, a servicemember facing an administrative separation does not want to leave at all. He or she is deeply devoted to the ideals, purposes, and processes of our armed forces, and does not want to see his or her hard work and loyalty go to waste. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Should You Accept an Article 15 Non-Judicial Punishment?

By Joseph Low on January 12, 2015 - Comments off

In some cases alleging a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a commander may use a type of administrative discipline called an Article 15 or “non-judicial punishment” (NJP). Typically, these are used for minor violations of the UCMJ.  They provide an alternative to sending a case to court-martial.

If you are offered an Article 15, your commander will read the charges against you and present the evidence that the Government has against you, at that time.  You will then have a limited amount of time – usually no more than a few days – to decide whether you want to “accept” the Article 15 or go to court martial, and you will be able to consult an attorney before you make your decision.  If you accept, you present your defense to your commander, who then makes the decision regarding both your guilt and your punishment. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Do I Really Need a Civilian Military Defense Lawyer?

By Joseph Low on December 16, 2014 - Comments off

For many military service members, the first time they face a criminal charge in the military is the first time they have ever been accused of a crime – inside or outside the armed services. Since military criminal matters are often different than those carried out in civilian courts, learning about your legal rights and options from a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in military matters is a must.

When you are charged with a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you have access to defense counsel, free of charge, through the U.S. Government.  You also have the option to contact an experienced civilian military defense attorney.  Many service members decide not to work with a civilian lawyer, assuming that the free Government lawyer will be able to give them enough help. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

What is the UCMJ?

By Joseph Low on November 18, 2014 - Comments off

Military Service members who are facing military criminal charges are likely to hear many references to the “UCMJ.”  For those who are new to the military criminal justice process, this acronym may be confusing.  What is the UCMJ, and how should you respond when you hear you’ve been arrested or charged with a violation under it?

UCMJ stands for “Uniform Code of Military Justice.”  Established by the U.S. Congress, the UCMJ defines and governs a wide range of activities for which service members can face criminal charges.  It also sets out basic rules for courts-martial and other legal proceedings and covers other related topics. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Why You Should Challenge Negative Findings in a Security Clearance Decision

By Joseph Low on October 13, 2014 - Comments off

When your security clearance is revoked or denied, it does not necessarily mean you have committed a crime.  Nonetheless, your security clearance is important to your current job and crucial for your career future.  Whether your security clearance has been revoked or your application for a new security clearance has been denied, you should strongly consider working with an experienced California military defense lawyer to challenge the findings and increase your chances of receiving a favorable clearance determination. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

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