Author - Gagne Scherer and Associates

3 Ways a Military Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Fight For Your Rights

As a member of the United States military, being accused of criminal misconduct is an extremely serious situation. Not only can a conviction end your military career, it can also result in the loss of your freedom and significant difficulties in obtaining employment in civilian life. It’s crucial for anyone in the military that has been accused of a crime to retain a highly experienced military lawyers. There are many ways that an attorney will defend your rights, three of which are discussed below. 1.  Ensure that any investigation does not violate your constitutional rights Just because you joined the military does not mean that you have given up your constitutional rights. Military law enforcement investigations are limited by several provisions of the Bill of […]

Military Members and Allegations of Child Pornography Crimes: Steps To Take

When people who are in the military are accused of criminal offenses related to child pornography, the consequences can be dire. Not only could they be subject to imprisonment and mandatory registration as a sex offender,1 a conviction would end their military career and significantly affect their opportunities in civilian life. It is critical for servicemen and women who have been accused of the possession or dissemination of child pornography to take steps to ensure that their legal rights are protected. Some of these steps are detailed below. For specific advice about your situation, call Gagne, Scherer & Associates, LLC today to speak with a military criminal defense attorney today. We are highly experienced in this area of court-martial, state, and federal law.  Call us […]

Careless or Unwise Internet Use May Result In a Child Pornography Offense

The Internet has dramatically changed the pornography industry. Adult materials that once were only obtainable at specialized stores or shops and were considered taboo by some are now streamed into our homes and offices at the click of a mouse. Many people are surprised to learn that their Internet habits may result in arrest and prosecution even if they did not intend to access pornography of minors. Offenses involving the distribution, possession, creation, or the violation of any other child pornography law1 are extremely serious and can severely restrict a military member’s freedom, career, and future civilian opportunities. For this reason, it is extremely important for anyone accused of a criminal offense involving child pornography to talk to an experienced lawyer immediately. Our law firm […]

Physical Evidence Used In Military Sex Offense Cases

The military has aggressively increased efforts to bring charges against military members accused of sexual assaults allegedly committed against civilians or fellow military members. However, in order to convict someone of sexual assault1 or similar misconduct under the UCMJ, the military must present evidence to the jury or judge supporting the allegations at court-martial. As with any other criminal charge, an allegation of sexual assault must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. However, the military at all echelons of command has been tainting the minds of potential jurors through ill-informed, mandatory training on issues related to sexual assault, especially alcohol-related incidents. The scariest consequence of this training is that there is now a mentality of “strict liability” rather than a legal burden of proof. If […]

Always Take Board of Inquiry Investigations Seriously

When allegations of serious misconduct have arisen against an Air Force or Army officer, you may be the subject of investigation by a Board of Inquiry (BOI).1 This investigation is extensive and your entire record of conduct can be considered by the BOI when deciding whether to take punitive action against you. A Board can consider less-than-stellar performance and non-related conduct in addition to any facts available relating to the allegations against you. BOI procedures carry serious potential consequences, including the following: Reduction in rank for retirement-eligible officers Other than Honorable characterization Discharge2 With so much at stake, you need to approach a BOI as seriously as if it were a court-martial. You have rights at BOI hearings Anyone who is the subject of a […]

Any Trace of THC Can Lead To Military Criminal Charges

In the military, suspected consumption of illegal drugs is taken extremely seriously. Knowing possession or use of marijuana is a crime, but what might surprise military members is that the army considers even trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your system to be indicative of disallowed substance abuse. In fact, the allowable amount of THC in your system is a mere .0001 percent. Any violation of this prohibition can lead to charges under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for violating a lawful regulation. The Army Regulations regarding substance abuse1 not only ban using marijuana and similar substances for recreational purposes, but go even further to ban the use of hemp oil and similar hemp-related products. Many of these products are harmless, […]

Military Penalties for Social Media Statements

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States provides Americans with the right to free speech. While military members also have this right, there are some important limitations based on their service. Specifically, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)1 prohibits military members from using “contemptuous words” regarding prominent government officials, especially the president. This is because the military is expected to serve and follow the orders of these high-ranking officials whether or not they agree with the politics of the administration in power. In order to preserve this neutrality, military members can face consequences if they fail to remain apolitical. However, social media presents a popular platform for political and highly-charged statements for everyone, including military members. While military members are allowed […]

Consequences of a DUI for Military Members

Art. 111 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)1 makes operating a car, boat, or airplane while drunk a criminal act. This is just like a civilian charge for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Depending on your situation, you may face DUI charges under either the UCMJ or the civilian laws of the state you are in. The following is some additional information regarding the consequences of a conviction. If you were arrested off base In most cases civilian DUI charges will be filed if you were stopped and arrested off of the installation. Simply because your charges are in civilian court instead of military court, however, does not mean that you will not face military-related consequences for a conviction. Your commanding […]