How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask PhilCave Your Own Question
PhilCave, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 1069
Experience:  33 years military law experience.
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
PhilCave is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Heres the story...About 2 years ago I was under investigation

Customer Question

Here's the story...About 2 years ago I was under investigation for use of controlled substance. My name was mentioned in a statement so CID brought me in. I was accused of using spice. There was 4 people, including myself, that were under investigation at the time. This took place back in June 2011. I was in the process of checking out and at the same time CID was interrogating me. Well, after no evidence of me using spice and passing a urinalysis I was let go. 3 days before I left the command to fly to my next command I was brought in one more time. CID had an affidavit for seizure and took my cell phone along with the 3 others. They told us they were shipping the phones to forensics in Georgia and that it would take 6 months max. I was able to check out and check in at my new command in Japan. 2 of the 3 personnel were convicted of spice. One of them had a bag of it in his room and the other had some in his car. The third person was let go because they found nothing in his room. My question is, is this a closed case? It's been 2 years. Recently, CID from my last base informed the 4 of us that they were shipping back our phones to us. 2 years later? Does forensics take that long? and if so, wouldn't I be held under investigations until the phones came back? I just want to make sure this is a dead issue. No one at my command here in Japan has ever mentioned that case to me. I'm assuming the personnel at my last command never gave them information about what was going on. My guess is CID took our phones as a way to bluff and scare us. I could be wrong because I don't know the legal side of it. Thank you for your time sir.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Can you tell me, did you get your phone back?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not yet. Due to the time zone difference and conflicting schedules, I have not contacted CID from my last command. Two of the other guys got their phones back. One of them told me they got just the phone and nothing else attached.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago. I see I provided you a prior answer and you refused to accept/rate it.

I will opt out and allow other experts to assist you with this, as it seems you are not happy with my answers.

Best of luck to you sir

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.
Hi, I am a moderator for this topic. It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm ok with continuing to find an answer.

Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your patience. We will continue the search for a professional for you.

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your patience, your business is very important to us, we are waiting on a professional with the right expertise to come online. Feel free to let us know if you would like us to continue searching for a professional or if you would like us to close your question. Thank you for your understanding!
Expert:  PhilCave replied 4 years ago.
Hello, thanks for asking your question.
Yes, USACIL takes six months or more to do forensic examinations of media looking for evidence. Yours was likely put on the back-burner because they have much more serious cases involving child porn and sexual assault that need to be done first.

When you were interviewed it's possible you were "titled" and your name put in the CID/NCIC database. If that has been done, there may be an issue if you need to apply for a security clearance or are due for an update.

They are required to return property once an investigation is closed and the property has no evidentiary value.

Thus, the return of the property and the length of time indicates the likelihood to me that the case is closed. As I said, the only potential issue at this time is the clearance.

There is a two year statute of limitations for imposition of Article 15 punishment and a five year statute of limitations for prosecution at court-martial.

The fact that you PCS'd tells me you weren't flagged. Which is a reason you got to PCS and why no-one is looking or interested in your situation.

Absent someone coming forward with new allegations I think the case is likely closed and over.

Lesson learned - stay away from or report people involved in illegal drug use or possession.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I read that the statue of limitations no longer applies to a military member once they are discharged. After discharged, the case is no longer active. If this is true than does that mean that the case has been closed because the 3 other personnel have been discharged or are there possibilities it can remain open as long as I'm still in? Even though I'm the only one still in from the case. What exactly do they look for in digital forensics?

Expert:  PhilCave replied 4 years ago.
What has happened in the military to others is irrelevant to you.
The statute of limitations in the military applies to you.
Yes, CID investigations can remain open for several years. But, it looks like yours is closed because the evidence is returned.
They want emails, texts, and pictures of people using spice or ordering spice or talking about spice use, possession, and distribution. Apparently they didn't find anything like that on your phone, or the others.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is it possible for forensics to retrieve deleted text messages and pictures?

Expert:  PhilCave replied 4 years ago.
Sometimes. But it's harder to do on cellphone.
But again, they've given the phone back and so it's likely the case is closed.

Related Military Law Questions