When you are in the military and someone has accused you of domestic violence, not only can it change your career but it can end your military career. In fact, the Lautenberg Amendment, a federal law passed in the late 1990s, states that a person who has plead guilty to a misdemeanor involving domestic violence cannot lawfully possess firearms. Many members of the armed services must carry some type of firearm on them and when this is the case, it can be very difficult to carry out your job with such a misdemeanor on your record. If you are a member of the military and someone has accused you of domestic violence, you should not try to explain your situation to your commanders or to a police officer.
Instead, you legally have the right to remain silent and wait to speak with your attorney on the best thing to do next. When this is the case, a military attorney in Fort Hood, like one from The Federal Practice Group, can help you with your case. You want a military defense attorney on your side who understands the ins and outs of domestic violence charges and how these types of charges and convictions can impact your military career. Don’t hesitate to call a trusted attorney from our office today.
What kind of trial would I get?
When a member of the military faces these types of charges, it is likely that the type of court proceedings you can expect would be a court-martial. However, it is possible that your commander may attempt to punish you and draw out information from you through Article 15. When this is the case, a commander may pressure you into talking about what happened and this could mean even if you did not commit domestic violence, your words can be used against you. Through Article 15, you may face punishments like additional duties and responsibilities on the weekends, being forced to stay on base, or even getting kicked out of the military entirely.
What is domestic violence?
The definition of domestic violence can vary greatly, but it is typically when one person exhibits a pattern of violent behavior and even coercive behavior over another person that they are in some type of intimate relationship with (a spouse or a partner). It could look like:
- Severe beatings
- Threats of harm
- Controlling behaviors
- Sexual Assault
Are there any possible defenses?
When you work with one of our military defense attorneys, we will work hard to understand the details of the situation and determine what the right defenses are. Some defenses may include:
- Self-Defense. If you can prove that you were acting in self-defense against the accuser and you were protecting yourself or your children due to an imminent threat, you may have a solid defense.
- Lack of Proof. Depending on the argument, one of the best strategies for defense is poking holes in the argument.
- False Accusations. Depending on the circumstances—like child custody battles—the other side may be making accusations out of spite.
If you are a member of the military and someone is accusing you of domestic violence, seek out the help of an attorney now. Your future and your career are hanging in the balance.