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July 28, 2017 By Jeff King

  • Facing Nonjudicial Punishment? Know Your Rights!
    Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP) has various monikers among the branches of military service. In the Air Force or Army, non-judicial punishment is known as “Article 15”; the Marines use the term “Office Hours,” and the Coast Guard and Navy call it “Captain’s Mast.” While the names of non-judicial punishment vary from branch to branch, the purpose remains the same. NJP actions are used to discipline service members for “minor” offenses and misconduct such as petty theft, disrespect to military superiors, sleeping on watch, furnishing false information, reporting late for duty and/or disobeying commanding orders.   You have the right to retain a military defense ...
  • How Can I Get My Criminal Record Expunged or Sealed in Texas?
    If you have a criminal record, you may have very legitimate concerns that its negative effects could follow you throughout your life. Background checks can reveal your criminal records to neighbors, employers, potential landlords, friends, college admissions officers, and more. Even a few minutes of searching online can bring forth records that may cause people to view you in a negative light.   This is true even if your case was dismissed, you went through deferred adjudication probation, or you were not found guilty. Don’t think a dismissal, finishing probation, or an acquittal means that your case disappears from public records. It ...
  • Court Martial: Do I Need a Military or a Civilian Defense Attorney?
    A court martial can involve strictly military-based accusations, like desertion, or more general crimes like manslaughter or arson. In either situation, when facing a general-court martial or a special-court martial, the accused service member may be appointed a free military defense attorney. Military service members facing a court martial also have the option of retaining a civilian defense lawyer to protect their rights and freedom. Under what circumstances is it advisable to do so?   Benefits of a civilian defense lawyer   Benefits of a privately retained civilian lawyer include:   Earlier involvement – Some of the most important steps in a military case can take place ...
  • Sexual Assault in the Military: Discrimination and Discharge
    According to the most recent Pentagon estimate, the number of sexual assaults taking place in the United States military declined in 2016, to 14,900 versus 20,300 in 2014. Both figures were below the estimated 2012 level of 26,000 sexual assaults.   Reports of Sexual Assault Up   The number of reported sexual assaults increased slightly during 2016, however, to 6,172 versus the 6,083 reported in 2015. The larger reported figure was hailed by the Department of Defense as evidence of greater awareness of the problem, and proof that the system in place for personnel to report sexual assaults is working better than in past ...
  • Pleading the Fifth: Your Right Against Self Incrimination
    Many Americans who watch television or movies on criminal proceedings, or read news reports of trials, know that a witness can “plead the Fifth.” But what does pleading the Fifth, sometimes termed “taking the Fifth,” mean?   The Fifth refers to the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment protects citizens against self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment states “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…”   In practice, this means that during a trial, a defendant does not have to testify if the statements would give evidence that could be used to argue that he or she ...

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