Under Investigation?

If you are being investigated for alleged felony-type offenses while in the military, understand that such an investigation may lead to criminal charges; in fact it is likely. It is urgent and essential that you get a lawyer on your side early in the process.

You may have received a notice that you are under investigation by one of the following agencies or a similar military investigatory agency:

  • The United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
  • The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID)
  • The Air Force Office of Special Investigation (OSI)
  • The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS)

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In 2006, Phillip Stackhouse began his military defense practice committed to 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 service members worldwide, often in high-profile cases.

Phillip Stackhouse, Attorney, represents U.S. service men and women in all phases of disciplinary actions, including:

Phillip Stackhouse, Attorney, defends clients facing military agency investigations as well as command investigations.

What Is A Command Investigation?

Command investigations are likewise critical events that call for quality legal counsel in the earliest stages. As the name implies, a command investigation is initiated and conducted by a specific command. While they are not normally conducted by an investigatory agency or a law enforcement officer, that is not to imply that criminal charges cannot develop from this type of investigation.

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.

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

The Command Investigation Process

If a service member is suspected of military misconduct, the investigating officer has an obligation to inform him or her of the suspicion and to read the suspect his or her 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 of 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, such as witness statements, pictures, and intelligence reports, a picture begins forming that the soldier who shot was negligent in his or her 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 or her 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.

A Pre-eminent Military Defense Lawyer, Recognized Around The U.S. Military World

From offices in San Diego and Vista, California, Mr. Stackhouse is ready to represent you in a military justice cases or investigations no matter where you are stationed throughout the United States or worldwide. Your career is on the line if you are under investigation. Contact Phillip Stackhouse, Attorney, to learn how to protect your rights and best interests.