Gonzalez & Waddington – Attorneys at Law

False Accusations of Sexual Assault in the Military & Why Are They So Common?

I, CLIENT NAME, the accused in a case which has been or will be referred to trial by court-martial, hereby acknowledge that I was advised by ATTY of the following:

  1. I was told that there exists an attorney-client relationship between myself and my counsel which gives me a privilege and incentive to discuss everything I know about the charges with my counsel. Failure to disclose all information I know about the case will make it difficult for my attorney to represent me to the fullest. Telling my attorney any information which is false will severely inhibit my attorney in defending me. All information I discuss with my attorney is confidential and may not be revealed to others without my consent.
  2. That I have the following rights to counsel:
    1. I have the right to consult with a lawyer qualified to practice before military courts.
    2. ATTY has been, or will be detailed to counsel me prior to my court-martial. He has advised me that I basically operate as my own attorney during the proceeding. I have the right present my case I have the right to call and question witnesses on my behalf, as well as to cross-examine witnesses against me. The summary court officer should assist me in these matters.
    3. I also have the right to be represented at trial by a civilian lawyer provided at my own expense, if it will not unreasonably delay the proceedings.
  3. I should not discuss any aspect of my case with anyone without the approval of my defense counsel and without my attorney present. This includes, friends, roommates, chain of command, investigators, family members, etc.
  4. My case will be heard by an officer appointed by my battalion commander. I may ask that officer questions to see if they are impartial and may challenge them from hearing the case if I have a good reason.
  5. I should consider the following rights and other considerations regarding the appropriate plea in my case:

Ucmjarticle120255 Gonzalez &Amp; Waddington - Attorneys At Law

    1. I may turn down the summary court-martial and demand a full court-martial.
    2. I am legally entitled to plead guilty or not guilty to any or all of the specifications and charges.
    3. I may plead not guilty to any offense even though I am guilty, and believe that I am guilty of the offense.
    4. I should not plead guilty to an offense unless I am, in fact and in my personal belief, guilty of every element of that offense.
    5. A plea of not guilty by me to any offense places the burden upon the prosecution to prove me guilty of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt. I have the right to assert any defense or objection.
    6. A plea of guilty to an offense admits every act or omission charged and every element of the offense.
    7. A plea of guilty to an offense would permit the court to find me guilty without further proof of that offense.
    8. If I plead guilty to an offense, I waive my right against self-incrimination, my right to trial on the facts and my right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against me as to the offense.
    9. I may submit to the convening authority an offer to plead guilty providing that he will approve no sentence greater then a stated amount when he takes action on the finding and sentence in my case. If the convening authority accepts such an offer, he is bound to reduce my sentence in his action to the agreed limits if the sentence adjudged by the court exceeds those agreed limits.
    10. The elements of each offense charged have been explained to me as well as the elements of lesser included offenses.
  1. Prior to the findings of the court, I may be sworn and take the stand as witness in my own behalf. I have the rights and privileges of any other witness and may be cross-examined if I do testify.
  2. I may remain silent and am not required to testify at the trial. If I do remain silent, this will not count against me or be considered as an admission of my guilt nor may the prosecutor comment to the court upon upon my silence.
  3. If I am found guilty, I may present evidence in extenuation and mitigation of the offense of which I was convicted. I may testify under oath or I may remain silent. In addition if I wish, I may make an unsworn statement in extenuation and mitigation. I cannot be cross-examined upon this unsworn statement, but the prosecution may offer evidence in rebuttal of the statement. I may make this unsworn statement orally or in writing, or both, and either my counsel or myself, or both of us, may make the statement. I may also present evidence of good duty performance and my potential for rehabilitation. This evidence may be in the form of documents and testimony of witnesses, either in person or by phone.
  4. The maximum sentence that can be adjudged against me by the court if I am found guilty of all of the offenses, either pursuant to a plea of guilty or plea of not guilty is
    • Confinement: 30 days (or 45 days hard labor w/o confinement or 60 days restriction)
    • Discharge: None
    • Forfeiture: 2/3 pay for 1 month.
    • Reduction the grade of E1:
    • Fine: In combination with Forfeitures, cannot exceed 2/3 pay for 1 month.
    • Reprimand.
  5. Though I can’t be given a punitive discharge at this level of court, if I demand a higher level court and I am discharged with either a dishonorable discharge or bad-conduct discharge, the discharge will be a permanent restriction on my employment and government benefits. Conviction at a Special or General Court-Martial is a federal conviction, but I understand that a conviction at this summary court-martial is not a federal conviction.
  6. In the event a finding of guilty on any or all charges and specifications has been entered against me, and a sentence is adjudged, I may appeal the findings and the sentence to the convening authority (battalion commander) within 7 days of my hearing.
  7. If a sentence adjudged by the court includes confinement, I will begin serving that portion of sentence immediately. I may request the convening authority to defer confinement until he takes action on the case if I can establish a good reason for doing so. I may petition the convening authority for clemency from any sentence by the court before action is taken.
  8. I have checked the information in the top portion of my charge sheet for accuracy.
  9. I have received the following advice from my detailed defense counsel:
    1. I must comply at all times with every term of any restriction placed upon me. Violation of restriction will most likely result in additional charges and pretrial confinement.
    2. I must stay out of trouble while pending court-martial. I must perform my duties as expected, respect superior NCO’s and officers and strive to maintain a good attitude.
    3. I must not discuss my case with anyone. This means roommates, friends, and anyone in my chain of command. If I am asked about my case by anyone, I should simply reply that my lawyer has instructed me not to discuss the case. The only exception to this rule is if my attorney specifically instructs me to do something or
      talk to a specific person.
    4. On the day for trial I must be neatly groomed and be wearing proper Class A uniform.

Closing Arguments Examples: Kick-Ass Closing Arguments Part 1: Closing Argument Template

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