North Carolina Preliminary Inquiry Attorney
If you have been notified of a command investigation begun to look into allegations of a criminal offense, misconduct or poor performance, get an aggressive, experienced military defense attorney on your side as soon as possible. Your military career is in jeopardy and you can't afford to wait to see how things will turn out.
Contact the Law Offices of Phillip Stackhouse · Free Consultation · Services Worldwide
In 2006, Phillip Stackhouse opened the Law Offices of Phillip Stackhouse, committed to the practice of protecting the rights of service men and women and civilian contractors facing criminal and disciplinary actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He is respected as an effective, knowledgeable and aggressive military defense attorney, representing servicemembers worldwide, often in extremely high-profile cases.
What Is a Command Investigation?
Command investigations are, as the name implies, an investigation initiated and conducted by a specific command. While they are not normally conducted by a law enforcement officer, that is not to imply that criminal charges cannot develop from this investigation.
The command investigation is normally conducted by a commissioned officer appointed by a commander. The subject of a command investigation may be as criminally innocuous as investigating the loss of military property or an accident, but may be specifically directed toward military criminal charges, such as:
- Theft of military property, larceny
- Drug possession and substance abuse
- Sex offenses
- Fraud, credit card fraud, ID theft, check forgery
- Computer crimes, Internet offenses
If a service member is suspected of committing an offense, the investigating officer has an obligation to inform him of the suspicion and to read the suspect his rights under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. These rights include the right to speak to an attorney and the right to not make a statement of any sort, two rights that should be exercised.
An example of such an investigation might be an assault or hazing that took place in the barracks, or perhaps a sailor was reported positive for a controlled substance, e.g., marijuana, on a recently taken urinalysis.
Perhaps not as apparent is how these investigations, which do not start out investigating an allegation of criminal misconduct, can turn into an investigation that is investigating a matter that may result in criminal charges. An example would be an investigation into an auto accident. As the investigating officer begins collecting information about the accident, e.g., police reports, blood alcohol content results, medical records, and witness interviews, a picture begins forming that the driver of the auto was possibly drunk while driving.
Another example might be an investigation into a combat shooting where a soldier questions the actions of another soldier. As the investigating officer begins collecting evidence, e.g., witness statements, pictures, and intelligence reports, a picture begins forming that the soldier who shot was negligent in his decision to shoot.
In addition to investigations that may turn into criminal charges are investigations that could be detrimental to one's career. An example of such an investigation would be how the aforementioned hazing case affects a subordinate commander if the proper training was not conducted or if there was an atmosphere of condoning such conduct. The result of this investigation may not result in charges against the subordinate commander, but may cause a senior to lose trust and confidence and subsequently relieve the subordinate commander of his position.
Each military department has a regulation addressing the conduct of a command investigation and such investigations are also covered in the Manual for Courts Martial.
I represent U.S. service men and women in all phases of disciplinary actions, including:
- Command investigations
- Boards of inquiry
- Administrative separations
- Article 32 pretrial investigations
- Revocation of security clearance
- Courts martial
A Preeminent Military Defense Lawyer, Recognized Around the U.S. Military World
From offices in Jacksonville, North Carolina, he represent members of the U.S. Armed Forces and military contractors involved in military justice cases and investigations at installations throughout the United States and around the world. The right Jacksonville command investigations attorney can save your career. Contact his office for a no-cost initial consultation about his services and how he can help protect your rights.