Jurisdiction: Who Prosecutes Crimes Committed By Military Members?

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Recent PostsThis case begins in 2011, when LaTasha Freeman, a civilian employee working as an administrative secretary on base in Afghanistan, was attacked by a bomb-sniffing dog named Kallie that had been brought on to locate hidden explosives along roadsides—one of...

Interviewer: What creates the military having the jurisdiction to prosecute? Is it because a military member is committing the crime, even if it may occur off base?

Chris Cazares: The military has jurisdiction over any military member, anywhere. If a crime occurs on base or off base they can have jurisdiction.

However, if the infraction happens off base, it generally is concurrent jurisdiction. If they want to prosecute the member, they likely will have to request jurisdiction from the local authority to see who is going to end up taking the lead.

If it is on base, they have exclusive jurisdiction, if it’s a military member-to-military member or military-to-civilian, military’s going to have jurisdiction.

Interviewer: With domestic violence, is there any other common fact pattern, such as when someone comes back from deployment, they’re having a hard time adjusting, are there any other common scenarios where this happens?

Will a No Contact Order Be Issued When Domestic Violence Occurs Within a Family?

Chris Cazares: Different stressors, like financial stressors, PTS, deployment are attributed to assault.

Interviewer: In the case of a military member living in base housing with his family, and he’s accused of assault domestic violence. Will he have a ‘no contact’ order issued?

Chris Cazares: Yes, that’s the first thing that would happen. If a military member is accused of either sexual assault or domestic assault, involving two individuals, the commander is going to put a ‘no contact order’ on them, almost immediately.

Can Your Attorney Have the No Contact Order Modified or Rescinded?

Interviewer: If there’s a family involved with wife and kids and someone hires you are you able to try to intervene and make a plea to have the no contact order modified or rescinded? Is that part of your strategy to help somebody?

Chris Cazares: It can be, but oftentimes you don’t want them to have contact. If there’s a family involved and the commander’s being unreasonable or it’s a misunderstanding and the person recanted, it certainly is a consideration.

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