Being falsely accused of a military crime can be a daunting and distressing experience. When asked to provide information about the allegations to law enforcement, remaining silent is typically the best course of action. However, there are rare instances where speaking with law enforcement can actually work in your favor.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Before even thinking about speaking to law enforcement or your command, you should ALWAYS talk to an experienced attorney first. Never attempt to navigate these types of situations alone. A lawyer skilled and experienced in military law will safeguard your rights, ensure proper procedure, and provide expert guidance.
Understanding the Context
When suspected of committing a crime, law enforcement or your command will eventually approach you and ask you to make a statement. If you’re innocent of the crime, AND IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED THIS OPTION WITH AN EXPERIENCED MILITARY ATTORNEY, it may be worthwhile to provide law enforcement with the information necessary to help clear your name. This is especially true in current times, where false allegations are routinely filed and investigated despite the lack of evidence of guilt. If you can provide proof of your innocence, AND ONLY IF YOU HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF A MILITARY ATTORNEY, you may want to provide this information to law enforcement. Not only will doing so help close the investigation, but it may help avoid an arrest, an action that could follow the client far into the future, even if the client is never formally charged with a crime.
A Real-Life Example
As discussed here, one instance where speaking with law enforcement helped clear a client’s name occurred in San Diego at the Coast Guard Investigative Service Law Enforcement Office. Don King, a lawyer from King Military Law, accompanied his client, who was falsely accused of serious crimes, to the office. After extensive discussion with Mr. King and careful consideration, it was decided that the best course of action would be to come forward and attempt to clear the client’s name.
Upon arrival, the client was read his rights, and the agents from the Coast Guard Investigative Service questioned him. During the questioning, the client’s innocence became evident, leading to the removal of any personnel flags or suspicions associated with his name. Furthermore, the agents assured him that they would report back to his command, effectively eliminating him as a suspect in the crimes he was wrongly accused of. Most importantly, law enforcement declined to arrest the client, preventing the client from having a record of the arrest.
The Benefits of Speaking with Law Enforcement
Clearing your name from false accusations is not only emotionally relieving but also helps protect your future prospects and career. Addressing the situation with the guidance of an experienced military attorney, you might restore your reputation, avoid an arrest record, and move forward with your professional life.
Final Thoughts: Seeking Professional Assistance
It cannot be stressed enough that clients should NEVER engage with law enforcement without the assistance of a lawyer experienced in military criminal law. Speaking with law enforcement or military command representatives is very risky, even if you believe you are innocent and have proof of that innocence. Always first consult with an experienced military attorney who has the expertise to navigate the legal complexities surrounding false accusations and who can help you make informed decisions about engaging with law enforcement.
Remember, when you are accused of a crime, declining to engage with law enforcement should be the default. However, making a statement may be worth considering if doing so might help clear your name or avoid your arrest, but NEVER do so without the assistance of an experienced military lawyer.
If you or a loved one find yourself accused of a military crime, the team at King Military Law has over a century of combined experience. We are former military judges, military appellate judges, prosecutors, military defense attorneys, military law enforcement officers, and military Commanding Officers–all ready and willing to support your fight. Give us a call and let us help.
King Military Law