It’s difficult not to feel powerless when as a military member you are facing an investigation into your actions. Sure, it’s important to take all of your options into consideration, including hiring a civilian military attorney. But while you are searching for who can best help you in your current circumstances, there are still things that you can do to best insist who it is that you end up choosing.
If you understand the allegations that have been launched against you, the first thing that you can do is to record your own recollection of the events in question.
Although the manner in which you record these things is not as important, there are a variety of ways in which you can do so. One way is to record these things by typing something out on your computer (if you still have it). Just be sure to save the file as “FOR MY LAWYER ONLY.” However, keep in mind that you never have the right to hide evidence of a crime that has been committed. Therefore placing any related evidence of the sort in a file doesn’t do anything to help you.
When you are being accused of a crime, it’s often in your best interest to write down (in detail) what you were doing the day or night before the alleged incident, the night of, and the day after. You should also make a list of those who were with you at the time and may be able to attest to your actions or interactions. Include all interactions with the complainant – even if they seem minor to you.
Make sure to list other factors of relevance, such as how much alcohol (or drugs) you consumed as well as how much the complainant consumed, who made the purchase and how, the type of alcohol, the volume of the alcohol, any receipts you may have, etc. It’s important that you are honest and include things that you may not feel are the most favorable so that the prosecution can’t come back later on and paint you as a dishonest person. If at any time you list another person, it’s important that you also include their contact information.
When it comes to any potential witnesses, you can create a file called “FOR MY LAWYER ONLY – POTENTIAL WITNESSES” to include those who should have relevant information regarding what you are being accused of. These are fact witnesses. You may also list character witnesses, who know you well and can verify your character. Be sure to include the following information for each potential witness (should you have it):
- Duty location/place of residence
- Unit of assignment
- Phone number(s)
- Email address(es)
- Short summary of who the person is
Remember not to contact these individuals regarding your case – your attorney will be the one to do that. If you do so you could actually end up jeopardizing your case in several ways.
Social Media Evidence
Another thing that could be beneficial is to create a document called “SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MY LAWYER ONLY,” which can house all of your social media account usernames, pictures, etc. You can also save social media information that you find on the complainant – but again be sure not to contact them. You may also wish to include a date for when the individual’s account was active. Taking a screenshot of the account may also be beneficial should they deactivate it before you go to trial.
No matter what, just keep in mind that you are simply collecting information for the sole purpose of sharing it with your attorney. Never contact anyone else.
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!