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Representation at an Article 32 Hearing

Importance of Having Experienced Court-Martial Lawyer at Article 32 Hearing
With the dwindling rights that are available to an accused at the Article 32 stage of a General Courts-Martial, attorneys can be tempted to not give this hearing the attention it deserves. For example, even though an alleged victim is not required to testify at the hearing and most of the time will decide not to testify, it is still important to request his or her production. Sometimes you will be surprised and the alleged victim will testify. This could happen because she is advised by her attorney that testifying is good practice for the actual trial or maybe she elected not to have a Special Victim Counsel (SVC) and just wants to testify. Whatever the reason, having another statement from the alleged victim that is not just sworn, but subject to penalty of perjury is significant when it comes to cross examination of her on the witness stand. Another example is even though the Preliminary Hearing Officer’s (PHO) recommendation to the Convening Authority (CA) is merely advisory, it is still important to argue that the Government failed to meet the probable cause threshold. I have had the CA dismiss charges pursuant to the PHO’s recommendation after I pointed out legal weaknesses in the charging decision. The Government can also use the PHO’s recommendation to exert “client control” over an alleged victim who appears to be making spurious allegations. The bottom line is, even though the probable cause threshold at an Article 32 is low, most rules of evidence do not apply, alleged victims are not required to testify, and the CA can ignore the PHO’s opinion, it is still important that you have an attorney who is dedicated to fighting for you at this stage of the proceedings. Click to view a sample of results from our experienced court-martial attorneys. To speak to our experienced court-martial lawyer, contact us using the form below or by calling (808)358-7318.

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