When you are suspected of committing a crime by a military law enforcement agency, you may be tempted to give a statement, thinking the investigators will accept your explanation and drop the case. It does not matter if you are innocent.
Talking to a criminal investigator without the benefit of counsel is one of the worst mistakes you can ever make!
Anything you say, whether orally or in writing, can be used against you!
Even if no disciplinary action results from the criminal investigation, a determination that you “probably” committed a crime will result in you being “titled.”
“Titling” results in a criminal record that lasts for about 40 years, which may have additional negative consequences, such as failure to pass a background check or loss of security clearance.
If you are erroneously titled, there is a process to have your criminal record expunged; however, it is extremely difficult to successfully appeal a titling decision.
Additional repercussions may arise if you cooperate with military law enforcement officials. For example, if you consent to a search of your phone for text messages, pictures, or video related to an investigation, they may search your entire phone. If you deleted anything from your phone, they can find it. They may pressure you to disclose your password. It is extremely difficult to suppress evidence obtained from a consensual search. If they think you lied to them, you may subsequently be charged with making a false official statement.
If any law enforcement official tells you they must advise you of your rights before talking to you or asks you to consent to a search of your home, person, papers, or property, invoke your right to remain silent, your right to an attorney, refuse consent, and contact the Law Offices of David P. Sheldon, PLLC immediately! We are here to help.
- CDR HM