There are many reasons for which military members may face a criminal accusation. While all are extremely upsetting, few are more terrifying than an accusation of sexual assault. This is because just the allegations alone could have a long-lasting impact on your military – and civilian – career, your family, and ultimately your future.
What makes this even more alarming is that military commanders are often pressured by Congress to take each sexual assault claim to trial. Because of this military commanders will often send these cases onwards to trial even if they don’t believe in your guilt, simply to put the ball in someone else’s hands and to be able to say that they did their job. So what can you do to defend yourself? Here are some of the best defense tactics against charges of sexual assault in the military.
Call Out All the Lies
Many sexual assault cases come down to a situation of “he says-she says.” This can be very difficult for the jury to determine your innocence – unless you can demonstrate that what she says isn’t credible.
To do this your attorney can look through all of your evidence to determine which facts are most important before also identifying the inconsistencies in your accuser’s account of what happened. This evidence may include things such as:
- Text messages
- Social media posts
- Voice messages
Since you have the right to confront your witnesses, you’ll want to be prepared with the inconsistencies and lies you have identified in order to aggressively confront them about it.
It’s also important to understand that it also comes down to the accuser’s credibility. Take a look at the character of the individual accusing you. For instance, if you know that your accuser has made false statements or allegations in the past to someone, that person can testify to them.
In investigating all of the proper information, you may also uncover that the accuser has something to gain by accusing you of such a crime.
Prove that Consent Was Given
Whether or not a sexual assault has occurred depends mainly upon one factor: consent. While it may seem strange, sometimes the accuser isn’t lying but misunderstands what took place. Sometimes the accuser may have provided the defendant with all of the signs of consent without speaking.
It’s important to work with an attorney who understands the signs of consent and how to identify them for the jury. This often necessitates a more experienced military attorney.
Call Attention to the Lack of Evidence
The last defense tactic that should always be examined is whether there is a lack of evidence against you. You can overcome allegations of military sexual assault by demonstrating the lack of evidence.
It’s important to note that criminal cases require the state to provide the burden of proof: proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that if there are any reasonable doubts that the accused committed the crime in question, he or she cannot be found guilty.
There are numerous sources of evidence that can be very important in a military sexual assault case such as:
- DNA evidence
- Drug screen of the accuser
- Blood Alcohol test of the accuser
- Sexual assault forensic examination of the accuser
A lack of any or all of these sources of evidence can help to demonstrate lack of evidence.
The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.
If you are a military service member and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!