I was a witness to an incident and the following morning I was contacted by my commander to come in for questioning. When the call came in there was no number that popped up and extremely hung over I said that I was in Kansas City. When the commander replied no your not you need to be here in thirty minutes I said roger and immediately went to work. He then told me that he was going to article 15 me for lying, I refused to sign my counseling statement and said I was still drunk from the night before I didn't realize who you were. They are pushing for an article 15 and I plan on taking this to court marshal please advise.
Nothing as of right now.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.The charge would be Art 107, UCMJ. The elements of Art 107 are(1) That the accused signed a certain official document or made a certain official statement;(2) That the document or statement was false in certain particulars;(3) That the accused knew it to be false at the time of signing it or making it; and(4) That the false document or statement was made with the intent to deceive.So they have to prove you knew it was the commander and lied...if they can prove that? Then can convict you.Were it me? I would take the Art 15, since a court martial conviction for lying would be a federal conviction for lying...not something you want on your record.
How could they prove I knew it was the commander? Which I did not.
They can ask the commander if, in his opinion, you know his voice. That would be admissible evidence. I agree, you may win this...since they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. But they can use circumstantial evidence (the fact you lied then admitted it when he called you on it).SO you are taking a risk to refuse Art 15 and take this to court.Your call...I would not risk a federal conviction for lying...but that is just me.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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