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Military Law in South Carolina

At Quindlen Law Firm, P.A., military personnel get solid representation from attorneys with actual experience in the armed forces, the military justice system and military administrative matters. Jeff Stephens served as an enlisted man and as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty and in the reserves for more than 20 years. Mary Fran Quindlen served in the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty and in the reserves for a total of seven years. As former Judge Advocates, Jeff and Mary Fran have extensive knowledge of the legal procedures that are unique to the United States military.

Changes to the rules for military prosecutions

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 makes ten changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the rules and charges used in military criminal trials.  Five other sections of the Act significantly impact court-martial prosecutions.  The ten changes to the Code are:

§ 531. Modification of eligibility for appointment as Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
§ 1701. Extension of crime victims’ rights to victims of offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
§ 1702(a). Revision of Article 32 (Use of Preliminary Hearings).
§ 1702(b). Revision of Article 60(c) (Elimination of Unlimited Command Prerogative and Discretion).
§ 1703. Elimination of five-year statute of limitations on trial by court-martial for additional offenses involving sex-related crimes.
§ 1704. Defense counsel interview of victim of an alleged sex-related offense in presence of trial counsel, counsel for the victim, or a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate.
§ 1705(a). Discharge or dismissal for certain sex-related offenses.
§ 1705(b). Trial of such offenses by general courts-martial.
§ 1706. Participation by victim in clemency phase of courts-martial process.
§ 1707. Repeal of the offense of consensual sodomy under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Of these ten sections and subsections, four do not take effect until the future. These are:

  • The new Art. 32 (effective Dec. 27, 2014);
  • The new Art. 60(c) (effective Jun. 24, 2014);
  • The mandatory minimums for sex offenses (effective Jun. 24, 2014); and
  • The requirement for trial by general court-martial for the sex offenses with mandatory minimums (effective Jun. 24, 2014).

The other five sections likely to have significant impact on court-martial prosecutions are:

§ 1708. Modification of Manual for Courts-Martial to eliminate factor relating to character and military service of the accused in rule on initial disposition of offenses.
§ 1716. Designation and availability of Special Victims’ Counsel for victims of sex-related offenses.
§ 1744. Review of decisions not to refer charges of certain sex-related offenses for trial by court-martial.
§ 1752. Sense of Congress on disposition of charges involving certain sexual misconduct offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice through courts-martial.
§ 1753. Sense of Congress on the discharge in lieu of court-martial of members of the Armed Forces who commit sex-related offenses.
 

New version of the Marine Corps Administrative Separation Manual

The United States Marine Corps recently updated its Separation and Retirement Manual which governs involuntary administrative separations.  The new Manual is found here.
 

Boards of Corrections of Military Records

Each military service is required to establish a board to consider applications from service members and former service members who want changes made to their military records, to include removal of adverse material, reinstatement of lost rank, etc.  Links to these boards with application forms to request corrections of records can be found here
 

Dedicated lawyers for the South Carolina military community

Quindlen & Merrifield attorneys are proud to serve the people who serve our country. Many of their clients are based locally, at posts including:

Quindlen & Merrifield, P.A. is familiar with the organizational structure of these South Carolina military facilities. The firm’s lawyers are comfortable in your environment. They know how to effectively communicate with you and other military personnel who may be involved with your case.

Comprehensive representation for military personnel

The firm’s lawyers provide aggressive counsel in all military law matters, including:

  • Defense at all levels of courts-martial
  • Defense of enlisted administrative separations and officer elimination actions
  • Corrections of military records
  • Representation during administrative investigations
  • Representation during reprimands of officers and NCOs
  • Defense of Article 15 and non-judicial punishment actions

The firm also handles selected appeals of military court decisions.

Put your trust in experienced military lawyers

Quindlen& Merrifield, P.A. is proud of its military affiliations and welcomes the opportunity to assist members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Contact the firm online or call (843) 379-2660 to speak with a Beaufort military law attorney.



Quindlen & Merrifield, P.A.
 
 

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