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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: Possession of Child Pornography Court-Martial Case against Enlisted Military Member Dropped by Government (UCMJ Article 134)

Military Criminal Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a military enlisted member who was facing a general court-martial in which he was accused of accessing and possessing child pornography on his personal computer had his court-martial case dropped in favor of an administrative disposition.  The accused military member was defended by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.). 

The client was accused of accessing and possessing images of minors (defined as anyone under the age of 18 years old) engaged in sexual activity and indecent poses.  This is commonly referred to as “child pornography.”  As the defense investigated our case, we learned that there was a serious legal issue involving the interrogation of the accused and the subsequent search and seizure of his computer, phone, and personal data devices.  After serving our pretrial motions on the government, which included a motion to suppress the statements and evidence, and just weeks before the general court-martial trial was scheduled to begin, the government elected to drop the court-martial case and military trial against the accused and, instead, to handle the case with administrative adverse action. 

Because of the nature of administrative actions in the military, and the associated privacy protections, more information cannot be provided.  Had this case gone to a general court-martial trial as originally scheduled, however, the maximum authorized punishment for a court-martial conviction on the allegations in this case would have included decades in prison, dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1, total forfeitures of pay and allowances, and sex offender registration would have been required.  Instead, the client can now press forward with his life without a federal criminal conviction and prison sentence in his past, and sex offender registration for the remainder of his life.    

While this military court-martial 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.

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases alleging accessing, possession, distributing, or creating child pornography in violation of UCMJ Article 92 or Article 134, see:

We offer free consultations for a case you may be involved in.  Just call us.

Thank you.    

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: Attorney Frank J. Spinner and I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens and The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in Northern Florida (Pensacola, Ft Walton, Destin, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, Panama City, Tyndall AFB areas) and Colorado Springs, Colorado (FT Carson, Peterson AFB, Air Force Academy, Schriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley AFB areas), but our military defense law practices are worldwide – we travel to wherever our clients are stationed or serving and need us.

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