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Domestic Violence

The Congress has created the "new" crime of Domestic Violence which covers more than just a spouse or child.

The crime is "new," because acts of domestic violence in the past were prosecuted, but under various of the Assault charges falling within Article 128, UCMJ.

What to do if you are a military member accused of domestic violence or facing court-martial for Article 128b, UCMJ.

Where does it start?

When police are called to the house, the male is always required to leave, stay away, and be issued a military protective order (MPO). Unlike civilian orders of protection, there is no due process for issuing or revoking the MPO. At Cave & Freeburg, we have helped have them lifted or amended.

complaint is made to FAP.

Be aware that you should exercise caution in this situation because they are not necessarily your friend. This call from FAP is the time for you to hire an experienced military (civilian) defense lawyer. We have a lot of experience with these cases. Because of that, our early intervention has helped many minimize the adverse consequences or, in some cases, show that it is the wife who is the abuser.

School Social Workers hear it from one of your children at school.

A friend of the alleged victim decides to report it.

Is FAP, a command investigator, law enforcement, or the OSTC accusing you of any of the following acts or conduct (if so, you could be facing the dire consequences of a court-martial, as well as other effects on your career, service, and life). NOTE: you may also end up with an additional STALKING charge.

The consequences for the male, because that’s who FAP and others usually consider the offender, can be severe--adverse actions at the command level, administrative discharge, or court-martial. A court-martial conviction can lead to a lifelong prohibition on possessing firearms.

The maximum confinement the judge could give is between three and 11 years.

What is the crime?

If you do this, you will likely face the Government coming down hard on you. Congress added 128b, UCMJ, to prevent alleged abusers from having possession of firearms. (Note: if accused, you can expect the military to take your weapons until the case over.)

The federal Lautenberg Amendment says you cannot own or possess firearms if convicted of an act of domestic violence at a Special or General Court-Martial. Should you be convicted, your name and information will go into a national database so sellers and the ATF can check up on you if you attempt to buy a firearm.

Domestic violence charges cover more than just physical abuse. It can also involve threats, emotional manipulation, controlling behavior, and financial abuse. If your actions have caused fear or harm to your partner, it's important to acknowledge that.

Reading Article 128b, you will see these words, which show ways in which you can get in trouble.

A violent act, threats against the “person or property.”

“intent to threaten or intimidate.”

Violating a Military (or civil) Protective Order with the intent to threaten or intimidate.”

Strangling the person. 

Broader range of potential victims.

A former spouse is someone else with whom you had a child, someone you live with, or someone with whom you had a romantic or intimate social relationship.

No court-martial, so what?

Administrative Separation or Discharge for Domestic Violence

You will be involuntarily separated. The Navy and Marine Corps make it mandatory to process for separation. See MILPERSMAN 1910-233MARCORSEPMAN, MCO 1900.16. The Air Force and Space Force’s policy is the same with DAFI 32-3211) as is the Army with AR 635-200.

While you may not end up being separated, you may be barred from reenlisting in your service or another.

We are experienced in domestic violence prosecutions. We understand the complexities of these cases, including evidence collection, witness testimony, and potential defense strategies.

We can ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. This includes understanding the charges against you, having legal representation during interviews, and presenting your case effectively.

Client Reviews
Many years after retiring from the USN, I suddenly found myself in a very unwelcome legal matter with the Navy. It was a total shock and I was very concerned as to the impact this would have on me and my family. Philip was so helpful, truly a calming force, and his legal help was invaluable to me, I am so thankful that I availed myself of his services! Rob
Phil Cave has helped me through NJP and restoration of my security clearance. He even came to visit me in Spain. I never thought I would work again and he certainly through with advise and guidance that we're exactly spot on. He is my hero and thanks to him I gave my life back... Bryan
Mr. Cave saved my military retirement! His promise to me from day one was that he would fight as hard as he could he right the wring that had been done to me. And he did! I am so very thankful and grateful to him. He genuinely cared about me and made my case his priority. He used all his experience and knowledge to put forth a good defense. I am very pleased with him and will recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney. Crystal