Washington D.C. Military Law Blog | Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
Worldwide Representation

Washington D.C. Military Law Blog

Court-martial dismisses assault charges due to lack of evidence

In several recent posts, we’ve discussed the benefits of consulting with a private law firm regarding sexual assault allegations.

One benefit of having a private attorney is the absence of any conflict of interest. Whereas a commanding officer is typically the first in the chain-of-command to be notified regarding an alleged criminal incident, a private attorney has no relationship with any of the parties. A service member can place his or her confidence in an outside attorney without any fear of reprisals or retaliation.

A private law firm can protect you after military sexual assault

In several recent posts, we've discussed why it is important for service members to consult with a private attorney regarding sexual assault allegations. A private, civilian attorney might not be subject to the same potential conflicts of interest as a JAG attorney.

A civilian attorney also chooses his or her private clients, rather than being involuntarily assigned to them as part of JAG duties. That choice is important, as a law firm that focuses on military law, like ours, can devote its full resources and advocacy on a military client's behalf.

Officials add sexual assault training to Academy's curriculum

Training in the U.S. Naval Academy has expanded beyond tactical maneuvers: Several weeks ago, the Academy hosted a sexual assault awareness training. The training included scenario-based questions, interactions between the audience and the military trainers, as well as role-play exercises.

The all-day program was jointly designed by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. Notably, the trainers also targeted a broader audience than just military service members. A sexual assault victim in the military may consult civilian resources for help, such as a private law firm that focuses on military law. For that reason, the training explored ways to strengthen how civilian and military communities might better work together in responding to sexual assault allegations.

The Case of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and the Value of His Defense Team

If you are a member of the military being investigated or charged with a crime, it is always best to hire a qualified attorney who can help protect your rights. Having a solid and dependable military defense attorney is crucial, especially if it is your first time navigating through the complexities of the law.

Getting Illegal Evidence Suppressed In A Military Criminal Case

The legal system continues to walk the fine line between prosecuting dangers to society and protecting our right to privacy. An 11-member en banc federal appeals court has ruled that while U.S. Navy investigators violated federal law in providing evidence in a child pornography case, that decision won't benefit the perpetrator. The 42-page opinion reverses a 2014 opinion by a three-member panel of the court.

Is a cultural shift required to reduce military sexual assault?

In our last post, we discussed the topic of sexual assault in the military, which made national news when it was mentioned by one of the presidential candidates. Although raising awareness of the issue is a first step, there must also be follow-through.

When it comes to attitudes about sexual assault, a recent commentary suggests that many Americans continue to regard the issue as a problem affecting others. The author of the article asserts that change must begin by recognizing the problem to be the responsibility of everyone, not just victims or perpetrators.

Sexual assault in the military a topic of presidential campaign

The issue of sexual assault in the military recently became a talking point in the presidential campaign. One of the candidates theorized about its underlying cause.

What our military law firm finds most notable about the statement is that it implicitly acknowledges that sexual misconduct is, in fact, a topic of concern in the armed forces. Regardless of partisanship, the publicity warrants a second look at some of the data.

Two Coast Guard cadets face courts-martial over sexual assault

Sexual assault allegations against two students at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have escalated to court-martial proceedings.

As readers may recall, there is a chain-of-command in military investigations. A commanding officer often has the discretion on how allegations of misconduct or criminal behavior are handled. Not every complaint progresses to a criminal proceeding, for example.

Sexual assault allegations against general raise larger questions

Does the military justice system handle criminal sex allegations impartially, regardless of the accused’s rank? A recent sexual assault investigation against a four-star general has raised this very question among commentators.

The issue is a procedural one: commanders often have discretion in referring certain matters for further investigation or even prosecution. For an alleged victim of sexual assault, there is a choice whether to file a restricted or unrestricted report. The former report does not identify the accused by name or culminate in a criminal investigation. For an unrestricted report, a victim reports the matter to his or her unit commander, and that may trigger an investigation.

Service members may need a military law firm even after discharge

A service member may have need of a lawyer that focuses on military law for a variety of reasons. In fact, a need may also arise after a service member has left military service. For example, a former service member might encounter military-related discrimination after leaving the service.

Fortunately, there is a federal law on point. Called the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA, the law is intended to protect the right of service members to return to their civilian jobs after leaving military service. USERRA specifically makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of an individual’s military obligation, whether past, current or upcoming.

David P. Sheldon | International Military Law Attorney

For more information, or a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of David P. Sheldon, online or call us at 202-546-9575 or 202-546-9575 toll free.

Office Location

100 M Street SE, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20003

Toll Free: 202-546-9575
Phone: 202-546-9575
Fax: 202-546-0135
Map & Directions

Take The First Step with
a Free Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response