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Thursday, April 23, 2015

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: Military Member Accused of Illegal Drug Use and Possession (UCMJ Article 112a) Successfully Defended at Trial - Avoids Punitive Discharge and Significant Jail Sentence

Military Criminal Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a military enlisted member who was facing a court-martial in which the allegations included wrongful use of illegal drugs (methamphetamine) on more than one occasion, possession of illegal drugs (methamphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of UCMJ Article 112a and 134 was successfully defended at trial.  The accused military member was defended by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.). 

At trial, the accused client pled guilty to wrongful use of methamphetamine and a related offense without a pretrial agreement (plea deal).  The client pled not guilty to the claims of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  The litigated trial regarding these two allegations resulted in the client being found not guilty of both allegations.  The trial, therefore, proceeded to sentencing only based on what the client had originally pled guilty to.  Prior to sentencing, the defense won a motion for illegal pretrial punishment.  The maximum authorized sentence the client faced, based on the guilty plea, included a Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD) and one year in jail.  During sentencing, the government argued for a BCD and up to 8 months in jail, depending on other factors.  In response, the defense pointed out significant mitigating circumstances in the case and argued for no BCD and no confinement.  The client was sentenced to no BCD and received only 10 days in jail based on the mitigating circumstances and the defense motion that was won prior to sentencing. 

The sentence of no Bad Conduct Discharge was particularly important in the case because the client had an approved medical retirement which would have been lost if the government’s argument for a BCD had been successful.     

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 illegal drug use, drug possession, drug distribution or introduction of illegal drugs onto a military installation, in violation of UCMJ Article 112a, please also 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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