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Category Archives: Evidence

evidence

The “He Has Done It Before Rule”

By Capovilla & Williams |

Generally speaking, the rules for a court martial do not allow prosecutors to introduce as evidence other crimes committed by the defendant in the past. Military Rule of Evidence 413 is an exception. Rule 413 says that accusations of prior sexual misconduct can be admitted at a sexual assault court martial as evidence of… Read More »

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The Rape Shield Law

By Capovilla & Williams |

Servicemembers charged with sexual assault need to know about Military Rule of Evidence 412, known as the Rape Shield Law. Rule 412 is designed to protect the privacy and dignity of victims of sexual assault by ruling evidence about the accuser’s sex life that isn’t strictly relevant to the charged offense inadmissible. Your accuser… Read More »

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Two Hearings: Arraignment and Motions

By Capovilla & Williams |

The court martial is under way. First up: Two pre-trial hearings and the beginning of the discovery phase, where each side shares its evidence with the other and builds its case. We’ll talk about discovery in the next post. In this one, we want to discuss the two pre-trial hearings. The Arraignment Hearing The… Read More »

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Who’s Who at the Court Martial

By Capovilla & Williams |

Military courts-martial are similar to civilian trials, but there are some notable differences. The most important have to do with the key officials assigned to the court by the convening authority. The Military Judge The military judge presides over your case during the trial, and is also the final authority in all matters having… Read More »

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Your Rights at the Article 32 Hearing

By Capovilla & Williams |

The Article 32 hearing is a crucial juncture on the way to a general court martial, and what happens there has significant consequences. Fortunately, Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) guarantees important rights for the accused. The Right to be Prepared To ensure you’ll have the information you need to… Read More »

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military investigation

Military Investigations: Your Attorney’s Role

By Capovilla & Williams |

While law enforcement works to verify your accuser’s version of events, your attorney should be working to verify yours.  When this is done properly, your legal team will be ready to refute the prosecution’s narrative and set the record straight throughout the case and at trial. One word of caution: Do NOT conduct this… Read More »

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Military Criminal Investigations: Law Enforcement’s Role

By Capovilla & Williams |

The pre-preferral period of a military prosecution is the investigative period, where law enforcement determines whether or not sufficient evidence exists to file criminal charges. Most of the crucial information to be used at trial is usually uncovered during this initial investigation. This post looks at how law enforcement gathers evidence in response to… Read More »

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Why Independent Investigations Are Critical in Military Criminal Cases

By Capovilla & Williams |

Our firm recently represented an E-5 SGT stationed at a well-known Army base in the United States.  He was charged with a serious crime related to sexual misconduct.  Even though this dedicated serviceman’s career, benefits, and reputation were at stake, CID refused to interview the key witnesses who were present at the time of… Read More »

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Taking a Pretrial Agreement or Plea Bargain

By Capovilla & Williams |

Our team of experienced military defense lawyers gets many questions about whether it’s best to negotiate and accept a pretrial agreement that’s been proposed  by the government, or go to trial to seek the best resolution to your legal issue. The simple answer is that it depends on a number of very important factors… Read More »

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Sexual Assault Evidence

The Purpose and Impact of Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations in Military Cases

By Capovilla & Williams |

In many cases alleging sexual assault in the military, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) plays an important role in establishing guilt or innocence.  This post will discuss the purpose, process, and impact of a SAFE on sex assault cases in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The purpose of a SAFE… Read More »

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