Smartphone apps are playing a role in many areas of society, even military and/or criminal law. In a recent example, a cell phone video may have played a role in the decision to charge a Navy civilian employee with three misdemeanor counts.
The video shows the civilian pointing his gun at three young men on the street outside his home around 8 p.m. It’s unclear why a confrontation arose in the first place, or whether the civilian felt threatened in any way. Fairfax County police are still investigating the incident.
To the extent that the altercation was unjustified, the civilian could be liable for the misdemeanor offense of brandishing a firearm. Although the punishment for a misdemeanor offense is generally less severe than for a felony, its potential punishment may still include fines and/or imprisonment.
The civilian is a registered professional engineer and works as a Navy advisor. The Navy Department has even awarded him two meritorious civilian service awards. Nevertheless, the Navy put him on administrative leave after the cell phone video of the altercation made the news.
As a civilian, the engineer will not be subject to the military’s criminal justice system. The local court system will instead handle the man’s criminal trial. Nevertheless, the man may be facing adverse administrative consequences from the Navy. In this regard, an attorney that focuses on military law could provide assistance. Our law firm has helped many clients with a variety of administrative issues, including adverse personnel actions and administrative separations.
Source: Navy Times, “Navy official charged after allegedly aiming gun at men during dispute,” July 20, 2016