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Monday, November 11, 2019

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!


Please take some time today to reflect on, and offer thanks for, those brave veterans who have served and protected our country and ideals in the past, those who are currently serving, and the families who support and share in their sacrifices for us.
  
Have a wonderful and meaningful Veterans Day!

Sunday, November 03, 2019

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYER: THREE RECENT MILITARY RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES DROPPED FOR CLIENTS REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY RICHARD V. STEVENS (UCMJ ARTICLE 120)


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, three different military clients accused or rape and sexual assault, who were represented and defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.), had their cases dropped by the government (UCMJ Article 120).

The first military client was a senior NCO who was close to retirement.  He was accused of forcible rape by a civilian acquaintance.  As the investigation proceeded toward court-martial charges, the complainant’s story started to fall apart, which included text message evidence before and after the alleged event that did not match her story or make sense in light of her allegations.  Even though the complainant was willing to participate and go to trial with the case, the military decided to take adverse administrative action against the client instead, because they concluded that they would not prevail in trial.  This is now a common occurrence – the military concludes that they could not win at trial, so they attempt to punish and discharge the accused administratively.  In response to the military administrative adverse action against the client, we submitted a lengthy and aggressive rebuttal, with evidentiary exhibits including text messages and witness statements we obtained.  Based on the defense rebuttal, the case against the client was dropped, and he was cleared to move forward with his military career. 

The second and third recent military rape/sexual assault cases were against junior enlisted clients.  In both cases, as the investigations proceeded, the text and chat evidence that was uncovered was contrary to the complainants’ stories, and made no sense in light of their allegations.  When this reality became apparent to the complainants, in both cases, the complainants elected not to participate in the cases and the military took no further adverse action against the clients.  They were cleared to move forward with their military careers.    

All three of these cases involved “hook-ups.”  All three of these cases involved some amount of drinking alcohol.  In two of the three cases, the complainants had boyfriends behind whose backs the complainants were behaving in a very inappropriate way given the status of their exclusive relationships. 

These three recent military cases, again, raise the concern about how false allegations are made to shield a person from the personal and/or professional consequences of their bad behavior.  They show how false allegations are so harmful not only to the person who is falsely accused, but to those who are true victims of sexual assault and to the military justice system.  And, they show how electronic evidence can be crucial in exposing the truth, and not allowing allegations to be blindly believed because it is politically expedient. 

Here is an article written back in 2013 by a female executive and media member, who was also the mother of teen sons, that discussed some of these very troubling issues:

 
Had there been court-martial trials and sex crime convictions in these cases, the military clients could have been sentenced to punitive discharges, lengthy terms of confinement in prison and, in addition, they would have been required to register as sex offenders.  Thankfully, these military rape/sexual assault cases were dropped and the clients were spared this risk of devastation to their futures. 

While these military sexual assault cases were 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 rape and/or sexual assault in violation of UCMJ Article 120, type "rape" or "sexual assault" into the search bar above the blog posts and 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYER: Senior Military Officer Represented by Attorney Richard V. Stevens Retires Honorably, at Highest Rank, after Disputed Disciplinary Action Triggers Officer Grade Determination (OGD)


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a senior military officer defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) who had previously received a disputed administrative disciplinary action retired honorably from the military, at the highest rank he held. 

Because this was an administrative case, there are Privacy Act issues and regulations that preclude the reporting of specific details.  However, what can be generally described is…

Prior to being represented by Attorney Stevens, the senior officer client had received a disciplinary action that was disputed, but was not rescinded.  Consequently, when the client applied to retire, an Officer Grade Determination (OGD) was triggered and Attorney Stevens represented the client in that action.  In response to the OGD notification, the defense submitted a comprehensive rebuttal, not only to the disciplinary action, but detailing the exemplary service of the officer at the highest rank he held.  After consideration at the Secretary level, the senior officer client was notified that he would retire at the highest rank he held. 

He now moves on to the next chapter in his life, without the stain of a reduced retirement rank along with the significant financial penalty of such a retirement reduction.  While the defense was successful in this military case, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in some previous case(s) does not guarantee success in any particular future case.  No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law as we do, can guarantee the outcome of any military case. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly administrative disciplinary cases, please 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

Monday, October 07, 2019

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYER: NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER (NCO) REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY RICHARD V. STEVENS HAS SECURITY CLEARANCE REINSTATED

Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a noncommissioned officer (NCO) represented and defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) had their security clearance reinstated and military career preserved.

Because this was 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 NCO client received an administrative disciplinary action and notification of revocation of security clearance.  If the security clearance was revoked, the client would face involuntary administrative discharge due to lack of requisite security clearance.  Through the course of the processing of this case, the defense submitted multiple rebuttals.  This included a rebuttal to the DoD Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF).  Ultimately, the client received notification that the security clearance was reinstated and, therefore, the client would not face involuntary administrative discharge. 

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. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly administrative disciplinary cases, please 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world

Monday, September 23, 2019

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYER: FIELD GRADE MILITARY OFFICER REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY RICHARD V. STEVENS HAS DISCIPLINARY ACTION DOWNGRADED



Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a field grade military officer defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) had their disciplinary action downgraded and military career preserved.

Because this was 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 military officer client was investigated and received an administrative disciplinary action that would have, ultimately, ended the client’s military career due to the adverse performance report and failure to promote to a higher rank that would have occurred after the disciplinary action was finalized.  Through the course of the processing of this disciplinary action, the defense submitted multiple rebuttals.  Ultimately, the administrative disciplinary action was downgraded to such an extent that it should not impact future performance report, promotion, or career. 

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. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly administrative disciplinary cases, please 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: MILITARY OFFICER FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS IN SEXUAL ASSAULT COURT-MARTIAL TRIAL (UCMJ Article 120)


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a military officer who faced a general court-martial (GCM) in which he was accused of the sexual assault of a civilian acquaintance was found not guilty of all charges and specifications by the Military Judge at his court-martial trial.  The accused military member was defended by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.), and the trial was litigated over 4 days in front of a Military Judge alone.

The military officer client was accused of sexual assault by the acquaintance who he met at a bar on the night at issue.  Their interactions at the bar were revealed through witness statements and CCTV footage, which included flirtation and kissing, despite the complainant having a boyfriend who was not out with them that evening.  The complainant claimed she was not interested in the client, but her behavior toward him at the bar that evening indicated otherwise. 

Then, the complainant went to the apartment of the client with her intoxicated friend.  The complainant claimed the forcible sexual assault occurred in the apartment, although she admitted to kissing the client and giving him her phone number after the alleged sexual assault.    

The civilian authorities initially investigated the case, and elected to drop it and refused to take the case to trial.  The complainant hired an attorney and challenged that decision, and the civilian authorities still refused to take the case to trial.  The military, however, elected to take the case after the civilians dropped it. 

As with many of these cases, both sides had experts in forensic psychology, digital forensics, and sexual assault examinations (forensic nurse examiners [FNE]) – some of whom were called as witnesses during trial. 

As a result of the motion hearings, the defense was able to obtain evidence from the complainant’s phone and other evidence that was ultimately helpful to expose the truth of what happened – which was not sexual assault. 

During trial, and a cross-examination of the complainant that lasted for hours, the defense was able to expose numerous inconsistencies in the complainant’s story, motives to make false allegations (including her boyfriend), and things that did not make sense about her story.  In addition, the defense committed the complainant to trial testimony that was refuted by other witnesses, which appeared to indicate the complainant was lying under oath at trial. 

During trial, the defense also raised deficiencies in the investigation of the case, to include insufficient investigation into the background of the complainant, and failure to obtain relevant evidence to determine if the complainant’s claims were corroborated or refuted – instead of just accepting her word on certain points.    

Ultimately, after four days of trial, the Military Judge returned a verdict of not guilty of all charges and specifications (full acquittal).    

Had there been a conviction in the case, the client could have been sentenced to a dismissal (equivalent of dishonorable discharge), decades in prison, forfeitures of all pay and allowances and, in addition, he would have been required to register as a sex offender.  Thankfully, that did not happen and the client can now continue with his military career. 

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 rape and/or sexual assault in violation of UCMJ Article 120, type “rape” or “sexual assault” into the search bar above the blog posts.  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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYER: NAVY OFFICER AND PILOT REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY RICHARD V. STEVENS REMAINS QUALIFIED FOR AVIATION SERVICE AFTER FIELD NAVAL AVIATOR EVALUATION BOARD (FNAEB)

Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, the U.S. Navy determined that a Navy officer and pilot defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) would remain qualified for aviation service after a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board (FNAEB). 

The officer/pilot client faced the FNAEB based on alleged failure to progress in flight upgrade training.  The command was seeking to have the client disqualified from further aviation service.  The client and attorney Richard V. Stevens attended the FNAEB, in which written presentations were made and the client testified.  Several alleged issues were considered.  Then, after the FNAEB concluded, and the case was processed up through the U.S. Navy Air Boss, other written submissions were made by the defense/respondent. 

Ultimately, the Air Boss determined that the client would remain qualified for aviation service in the Navy, and would transfer to a different airframe.  Given that the initial command recommendation was to disqualify the client from aviation service, this was a successful outcome.     

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. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases involving aviation issues and Flying Evaluation Boards, 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Happy and Reflective Memorial Day!



Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day - a day for remembrance of those Americans who have died in service to our country.  We hope you all have a happy and meaningful Memorial Day (weekend).  In the midst of your other activities, please take some time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday and say thanks for those brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country, and the ideals we stand for!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYER: ANOTHER MILITARY OFFICER AND PILOT REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY RICHARD V. STEVENS PREVAILS AT FLYING EVALUATION BOARD (F.E.B.) AFTER AVIATION MISHAP


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, another military officer and pilot defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) prevailed in a litigated Flying Evaluation Board (F.E.B.) hearing that addressed an aviation mishap the pilot was involved in and other alleged flying incidents. 

The officer client was involved in an aviation mishap that resulted in a Safety Investigation Board (S.I.B.), a Command Directed Investigation (C.D.I.), and a Flying Evaluation Board (F.E.B.).  During the F.E.B. process and hearing, the client was accused of lack of judgment regarding the mishap, and other alleged flying incidents.  The client was represented by attorney Richard V. Stevens.  

An F.E.B. hearing is a formal administrative hearing before fellow pilots in which recommendations are made about whether the accused pilot should remain in aviation service, and whether that pilot can continue to wear his wings. Based on that recommendation, the pilot could continue his military career, or he could face the loss of his flying career, his military career, and be involuntarily administratively discharged.

In this F.E.B. case, the defense called multiple witnesses and presented considerable evidence not only in support of the pilot, but addressing the unique circumstances of the aviation mishap and other alleged incidents.  After closing arguments, the F.E.B. members delivered a unanimous recommendation in favor of the pilot continuing in military aviation service.  Because an F.E.B. is a closed administrative hearing, specific details cannot be provided. 

This is the third Flying Evaluation Board defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens in the past several months.  

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. 

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases involving aviation issues and Flying Evaluation Boards, 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.