Wrongfully Convicted at NJP? Let the Experienced Lawyers at KML Win Back What you Lost

Picture this: An honorable Sailor, dedicated to serving their country, finds themselves facing an unjust reduction at non-judicial punishment (NJP). Everything they have worked for, including their retirement and reputation, is suddenly at stake. In a system that seems to be stacked against them, where can they turn for help?

Enter the Navy lawyer – the unsung hero who steps in to save the day. In this blog post, we delve into the incredible story of how King Military Law, armed with their expertise and determination, fought tooth and nail to defend a Sailor’s rights, ultimately securing not just their retirement but also their hard-earned reputation.

You see, this Sailor had already exhausted all avenues within the NJP process and even went through an appeal, only to be met with disappointment and despair. But when they approached King Military Law, they found a glimmer of hope. With a strategic approach, the firm brought the case to the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR). And guess what? The BCNR agreed with them!

In a stunning turn of events, the BCNR recognized the validity of the Sailor’s claim and decided to remove the guilty finding on the first specification of the NJP. This crucial move made it incredibly difficult to justify the Sailor’s reduction in rank. As a result, the BCNR made the decision to restore the Sailor to the prestigious rank of Petty Officer First Class.

This victory not only saved the Sailor’s retirement but also restored their faith in the system. It goes to show that when faced with injustice, fighting back is not only possible but essential. The military justice system can be daunting, but it is important to remember that you don’t have to navigate it alone.

When the chips are down, hiring a firm that knows how to tackle these complex legal battles can make all the difference. King Military Law, with their extensive experience and unwavering dedication, has proven time and time again that they are the ones you want in your corner. So, if you or a loved one find yourselves wronged by the military justice system, don’t lose hope. Reach out to King Military Law and let them fight for your rights.

Remember, when it comes to defending your rights, a Navy lawyer can be your saving grace in the face of adversity. Stand up, fight back, and reclaim what is rightfully yours – your retirement and your reputation. Let King Military Law be the ally that stands with you on this challenging journey.

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Dismissed Before Trial: Celebrating Our Client’s Victory

two kids and their mom with their military dad

In the realm of military court martials, few outcomes are as favorable as having the case dismissed before the trial even commences. It’s the ultimate victory, a moment of celebration for both the accused and their legal representation. Today, at KML, we are proud to share the news of our latest triumph. After months of arduous work, tireless evidence collection, and intense pre-trial hearings, we have achieved precisely that outcome for our client – an innocent Marine who can now leave this grueling saga behind and embrace a future full of promise and possibilities.

This well-deserved victory not only ensures our client’s freedom but also secures an Honorable discharge, a testament to their innocence and dedication to serving their country. It is a moment of vindication, a turning point that allows them to move forward with their life, putting this ordeal firmly in the rearview mirror. We, at KML, congratulate our client on their resilience and unwavering determination throughout this challenging journey.

If you or a loved one find yourself facing the daunting prospect of a military court martial, it is crucial to arm yourself with an aggressive and experienced attorney well-versed in the intricacies of military law. The difference between success and failure often rests on the expertise and tenacity of your legal representation. So, don’t hesitate to seek out the assistance you need to navigate this complex and demanding process. At King Military Law, we understand the gravity of these cases, and we stand ready to fight for your rights and deliver justice. After all, it is in moments like these that experience matters most.

Discover how our seasoned court martial lawyers can help you secure the best possible outcome. Read on to uncover the intricacies of military court martials and the importance of having a skilled advocate by your side.

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Why Your Choice of Military Defense Attorney Matters

Have you ever thought about the crucial role a defense attorney plays in your legal battle? Well, it turns out that your choice of a defense attorney can make all the difference when faced with military criminal charges. In a recent case that has sent shockwaves through the military justice system, a senior Marine lawyer was found to have unlawfully threatened defense attorneys representing a Sailor. The incident serves as a stark reminder that not all lawyers are created equal, and the consequences of making the wrong choice could be dire.

In this particular case, the senior Marine lawyer sent a chilling message to the defense attorneys by insinuating that their careers would suffer if they fought too hard for their client. The implicit warning that future promotion boards “would remember” their commitment to the client instead of prioritizing their loyalty to the Marine Corps sent shockwaves through the legal community. It exposed a glaring gap in the system where the interests of the Marine Corps seemed to overshadow the pursuit of justice.

Fortunately, the defense attorneys in question acted courageously and reported this egregious violation of fairness. However, the impact of this incident lingers, serving as a sobering reminder of the power dynamics at play within the military justice system. This highly publicized case raises an important question: if you or a loved one find yourself facing military criminal charges, who do you trust to defend your rights?

As the old saying goes, “When Experience Matters Most,” and it couldn’t be more true in the realm of military law. Choosing a defense attorney with a deep understanding of the intricacies of military justice is paramount. They should not only possess a comprehensive knowledge of the law but also be committed to upholding the principles of justice and fairness. A skilled defense attorney will not only fight for your rights but also ensure that you are treated with the dignity and respect you deserve throughout the legal process.

The case involving the senior Marine lawyer’s unlawful threats serves as a stark reminder that there are lawyers out there who prioritize their loyalty to institutions over the well-being of their clients. When your future is on the line, finding a defense attorney who will prioritize your interests above all else becomes crucial. So, whether you’re facing military criminal charges or simply want to be prepared for any future legal battles, choosing the right defense attorney is a decision that should not be taken lightly. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into why your choice of a Marine lawyer matters and how it can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Stay tuned as we explore the nuances of military law and provide valuable insights to help you navigate this complex terrain.

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Military Law Enforcement Investigations Can Forever Impact Your Life, Even if You Were Never Charged or Arrested

Soldier in handcuffs
Soldier in handcuffs

This article describes a similar problem we see at King Military Law—A servicemember was investigated by the service’s law enforcement agency (LEA) (NCIS, CID, AFOSI, CGIS, etc.) but was innocent of the accusations. In fact, after the investigation, and because of the lack of probable cause, the military took no disciplinary action against the servicemember and the servicemember thought everything was clear.

Unfortunately, that turns out to not be true. Years later, when trying to renew a security clearance, get a job as a civilian, obtain a license to carry a weapon, etc., that servicemember learns that the investigation went into a federal system accessible by several agencies, and shows what he was investigated for (rape, murder, larceny, etc.). As a result, the servicemember finds himself losing out on opportunities, sometimes never even knowing why.

The LE process that causes this issue is called “titling.” Applicable regulations require that DoD LEAs will “title” the subject of a criminal investigation and by including that information (the subject’s name and personal information and the crime for which he was investigated) into the Defense Clearance and Investigations Index (DCII). That action is then available to the FBI, civilian LE, and several federal, state, and local agencies and may even show up when a potential employer does a “background search” on the servicemember.  What the reader then often interprets the information as, is that the subject was “arrested” for that crime and makes decisions accordingly.  This has prevented clients from working for police departments, in nursing homes, or even getting real estate licenses. In this article, the Green Beret was denied a concealed carry permit for this reason. It’s scary and it’s unfortunate—the impacts of having someone accuse you of a crime in the military may be horrific years later.

The original “titling” decision is left up to the LE agent assigned to the investigation. As a result, mistakes are made more often than you might think. The applicable regulations state that the LE agent need only have “credible information” that a subject committed a crime in order to “title” someone. What type of information is “credible?  Well, that’s up to that LE agent. One thing is clear, “credible information” is a lower standard than “probable cause” which is what civilian LE must have before they are permitted to start a similar process.  Fair? No. Very real? Yes. 

And once you’re “titled,” the military has made it very difficult to have the record expunged. But it’s not impossible. The military will review requests for expungement and may grant requests if the subject can prove one of several things, many of which now incorporate the standard “probable cause.” For example, expungement requests might be granted if:

(1) Probable cause did not exist to believe that the offense for which the covered person was titled and indexed occurred, or insufficient evidence existed or exists to determine whether such offense occurred.

(2) Probable cause did not or does not exist to believe that the covered person committed

the offense for which they were titled and indexed, or insufficient evidence existed or exists to

determine whether they committed such offense.

The LEA official considering expungement must also consider:

(1) The extent or lack of corroborating evidence against the covered person with respect

to the offense.

(2) Whether adverse administrative, disciplinary, judicial, or other such action was initiated against the covered person for the offense.

(3) The type, nature, and outcome of any adverse administrative, disciplinary, judicial, or

other such action taken against the covered person for the offense.

If the LEA denies a request for expungement, the servicemember may make the same request to that service’s Board of Correction of Military Records. 

The military claims that “titling” is not a disciplinary or judicial procedure, and that it will not be used to harm a servicemember or vet. Unfortunately, that statement ignores reality, and servicemembers who were wrongly accused but investigated, face the likelihood that such a false allegation will forever impact their lives. That’s wrong. 

If you or a loved one were “titled,” there is hope. Please reach out to an attorney experienced in military law to help you through this complex—but important—area of law. 

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King Military Law

~~ When Experience Matters Most ~~

Defense Counsel Mistakes Result in Client’s Convictions Which Are Then Overturned by the Military Appellate Court

Military law is a complex and fascinating subject that affects the lives of millions of individuals serving in the armed forces. Whether you are currently serving, have a loved one in the military, or simply have a keen interest in understanding the intricacies of our legal system, this blog post is your ultimate guide to cracking the code of military law. In this comprehensive exploration, we will delve deep into the rules and rights that govern the military, shedding light on a topic that is often shrouded in mystery.

From the moment individuals take their oath of service, they enter a world with a unique set of laws that differ from the civilian legal system. Military law encompasses everything from disciplinary actions and court-martials to the protection of individual rights within the armed forces. Understanding this legal framework is not only crucial for service members but also for civilians who want to support and advocate for those who put their lives on the line to protect our nation.

In this blog post, we will unravel the complexities of military law, exploring its historical origins, key principles, and the rights and responsibilities it entails. We will examine landmark cases that have shaped the evolution of military law, shedding light on the challenges faced by service members and the legal protections they are entitled to. By the end of this guide, you will have a firm grasp on the intricacies of military law, enabling you to navigate this complex system with confidence and understanding. So, whether you’re a service member, a military spouse, or a curious citizen, get ready to embark on a journey to unlock the secrets of military law.

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When Military Appeals Work

I have written and spoken frequently on the importance of a thorough review for appeal. When a servicemember is convicted of a military crime, the conviction will be reviewed on appeal by a military appellate court that has the power to permanently set aside (or erase) the conviction. 

Here’s the latest case that proves that point: Our client was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a military jury and sentenced to 65 months in prison and a dishonorable discharge. He hired KML to review his appeal and it became clear that his conviction was unjust.  We put together a comprehensive brief and received the following ruling from the court in May of 2023:

“After weighing the evidence . . . we are not convinced of Appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. [W]e have determined that the evidence is factually insufficient to support Appellant’s conviction [and] the findings and sentence are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.”

This means that this deserving client is released from the Brig, returned to active duty, paid the pay to which he was entitled while in confinement, and his criminal conviction record is erased. Justice took nearly three years, but it eventually happened!

If you or a loved one were convicted by a military court, please find a military lawyer experienced in appellate work who can ensure you have every chance at receiving the justice you deserve.

King Military Law
~~ When Experience Matters Most ~~

False Accusations at the Incident Determination Committee

Fewer things are more distressful than being falsely accused of a crime. Fewer false accusations bring more pain and uncertainty than being falsely accused of abusing your children. Here at KML, we see these false accusations all too often, usually lodged by a vindictive spouse during a  contentious child custody proceeding.

And the military’s Family Advocacy Procedures (FAP) don’t help. FAP and Incident Determination Committees (IDC) decisions can have immediate and drastic effects on a servicemember’s career, leading to security suspension, suspension of duty, promotion withholds, and even separation from the military and criminal proceedings. Worse, these effects often result from an IDC decision that is based only upon the false accusations—nothing more!

But you can fight back. An innocent client recently contacted KML after the IDC “substantiated” horrible, false allegations against the client. KML conducted an aggressive, comprehensive investigation into the allegations and the accuser, and submitted our results to the IDC, asking that it grant the opportunity to submit a “late” appeal and that it reverse its decisions.

As you see from the attached, the IDC did both, and this client is now on his way to getting his professional life back. While the wounds of being falsely accused will take time to heal, and an officer’s career doesn’t immediately “snap back” afer an appeal is won, both are now Beginning.

If you or a loved one are falsely accused and find yourself facing an IDC, please don’t rely upon the system to “get it right.” Act immediately, and consider consulting with an aggressive, experienced lawyer to help guide you through this process and to effectively fight back on your behalf.

King Military Law

~~ Where Experience Matters Most ~~

Maximizing Your Chances of Successfully Correcting Your Military Record: Hire an Attorney

Hire an Attorney

Are you an individual with a military background who’s unhappy with the record that the Department of Defense has on you? Are your complaints with the record being ignored, or even worse, have your requests for corrections been rejected? It is possible to have your military records amended, however it may take some persistence and dedication.

When it comes to military records, the process of amending them can be lengthy and overwhelming. The Department of Defense has a set of guidelines and procedures that must be followed in order to successfully make corrections to a military record. As such, it can be extremely beneficial to have legal representation. A lawyer experienced in military law can navigate the bureaucratic channels and ensure the proper steps are taken to get the corrections made.

The process of correcting military records involves an appeal path and specific filing requirements. It can be difficult to determine what is necessary to qualify for a successful correction without being familiar with military regulations. An attorney can review the documents to ensure any submission

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Security Clearance Processing

Active duty military members, civilian Defense Department employees, and civilian employees of Defense Department contractors are very likely to need a security clearance for access to sensitive information to perform their work. Typically, the start of the process to obtain that clearance is the completion of a questionnaire, or the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (or e-QIP).  This lengthy form contains numerous questions delving into the Applicant’s life and background which may generate potential issues during a background investigation that may result in a decision to deny the Applicant’s request for a clearance. A clearance may only be granted when “clearly consistent with the interests of national security” and any doubts are resolved in favor of national security.

When preparing to complete the form, the Applicant must acknowledge that failure to provide truthful information may be prosecuted as a violation of Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1001; and that a violation could result in imprisonment and/or a fine.  As a practical matter, if the Applicant submits untruthful answers, their likelihood of being granted a clearance decreases significantly.

Prior to completing and then submitting the form, the Applicant should review the National Adjudicative Guidelines (Guidelines). Even if the Applicant recognizes some potential issues with the Guidelines and their background, the Applicant should provide truthful information as a favorable outcome is still very possible in many cases.  The Guidelines address conditions that may mitigate concerns and taking early efforts to address these potential concerns may lead to a favorable result. Seeking the advice of counsel early in the process may make all the difference.

The most frequent issue that results in hurdles in the clearance granting process is financial considerations:

Financial Considerations

Most Applicants have some debt, even delinquencies. Failing to live within one’s means, satisfy one’s debts, and meeting one’s financial obligations may indicate poor self control, a lack of judgment, or an unwillingness to abide by rules and regulations. Financial problems may also indicate security concerns such as excessive gambling, mental health conditions, and substance abuse (including alcohol), thus making the Applicant susceptible to coercion or blackmail. 

But there are “mitigating” reasons for debt as well. These include: the behavior happened so long ago, was so infrequent, or occurred under such circumstances that it is unlikely to recur and does not cast doubt on the Applicant’s current reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment; the conditions that resulted in the financial problem were largely beyond the Applicant’s control (e.g., loss of employment, a business downturn, unexpected medical emergency, etc.); the Applicant has received or is receiving financial counseling for the problem from a legitimate and credible source and there are clear indications that the problem is being resolved or is under control; the Applicant initiated and is adhering to a good-faith effort to repay overdue creditors or otherwise resolve debts; the individual has a reasonable basis to dispute the legitimacy of the past-due debt which is the cause of the problem and provides documented proof to substantiate the basis of the dispute or provides evidence of actions to resolve the issue; to mention a few.  

For these reasons, an Applicant may desire to seek advice from counsel about whether they may have problems getting a favorable determination on their application. Frequently, getting out ahead of the process may help the Applicant to obtain a clearance.

Mr. Ray Blank handles security clearance issues at King Military Law. Ray is a retired Air Force Judge Advocate who then spent over a decade prosecuting security clearance proceedings for the government. He’s been involved in hundreds of security clearance cases, understands the process “from the inside,” and knows why and how decisions are made. You can’t find a better counselor to help you through the process. 

If you or a loved one are preparing to apply for or are facing issues with, a security clearance, reach out to us today for a free consultation. We want to help you and, better yet, we know how.

King Military Law

~~ Where Experience Matters Most ~~

What To Do if You Receive a Security Clearance Denial & Why It’s Vital to Hire a Lawyer

Security Clearance

In the world of government jobs, one of the most sought-after criteria is a security clearance. It takes a long time to get one, and even after months of processing, individuals can still face difficulty in getting approved. Sadly, many applicants will also receive a security clearance denial, which can be both stressful and discouraging. It’s important to remember that a security clearance denial does not mean you cannot reapply; it merely means that you may need to take a few extra steps to navigate the process of reapplication or contesting the decision.

Understandably, most applicants are unable to navigate the legal system on their own and need the help of a professional lawyer. A lawyer can not only help you to best understand the requirements of a security clearance but also to review your case and advise you on your options in the event of a security clearance denial. This guidance can prove invaluable, as they have the expertise to evaluate the full scope of the security clearance process and all the potential

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