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Thursday, May 09, 2019


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a junior enlisted military member defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) had the sexual assault case he faced dropped by the military before court-martial charges were preferred (UCMJ Article 120).

The military client was accused of, and investigated for, having sex with a military acquaintance when she was supposedly too intoxicated to consent.  The defense expected the witnesses to dispute that the complainant was too intoxicated, and to confirm she was engaged in behavior that indicated she was interested in the client, but one witness had a different perspective.  The initial allegation in the case came from a bystander who was romantically interested in the complainant, and it appeared from the outset that he was the driving (jealous) force who was truly pushing the complaint.  Because of this, we sat back and waited to see if the complainant would truly commit to the prosecution of the case – knowing that she was not too intoxicated to consent and that her behavior that night was all indicative of interest in the client.  

We received mixed messages from the government about whether the case was going forward, and requests for subject interview that we declined.  Ultimately, the complainant would not commit to going forward and the government dropped the case before court-martial charges were preferred.  This case was different than most, because our strategy in this case was to sit back and wait for the case to crumble based on what the other witnesses were saying and the complainant knowing we would be asking tough questions based on what those witnesses saw, whereas we are normally confronting the case head-on and presenting a glimpse of the government’s future case problems through defense submissions.

Had there been a court-martial trial and sex crime conviction in this case, the client could have been sentenced to a punitive discharge, a lengthy term of confinement in prison and, in addition, he may have been required to register as a sex offender.  Thankfully, the case was dropped and he was spared this risk of devastation to his future. 

While this military court-martial and sexual assault 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 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.

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