In technical terms, “an assault is an attempt or offer with unlawful force or violence to do bodily harm to another, whether or not the attempt or offer is consummated.” See UCMJ Article 128. Most common scenarios involve one person unlawfully striking another and causing some injury or harm. In the military community, assault allegations usually stem from fighting or domestic violence. The allegations often result from alcohol related scenarios where significant disputes exist regarding the actual facts of an event.
In such cases, qualified and effective military lawyers can dramatically influence the ultimate resolution of a case. A skilled military lawyer will diligently research the facts and effectively marshal the witnesses and evidence to ensure the best possible result.
An effective defense strategy is certainly important in domestic violence cases. A criminal conviction for domestic violence may foreclose on a service member’s ability to serve in the armed forces. Federal legislation, the “Lautenberg Amendment,” prohibits individuals with certain domestic violence convictions from possessing firearms. Generally speaking, there is no exception that allows for firearm possession for military service. Those who cannot carry firearms usually cannot remain in the military for the long term. Thus, a domestic violence conviction will often lead to an administrative discharge or a denial of reenlistment.
If you are facing assault allegations, it is extremely important that you receive advice and guidance from a competent military lawyer at the earliest possible juncture. Early intervention by a skilled military lawyer can significantly alter the course and the outcome of your case.
Jeffrey Meeks and Bruce White have extensive experience in defending UCMJ Article 128 assault allegations. Please call for a consultation.