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March 2009
Tim Bilecki

PTSD Veteran’s Charges for Aggravated Assault End Up with 15-Day Confinement

Over-intoxication, Aggravated Assault
Camp Casey, Korea
Army Sergeant First Class - E-6
Two grade reduction, 15 days confinement, no discharge.

Maximum Sentence:

5 years, DD, total forfeiture, reduction to E-1, Federal felony conviction

Mr. Bilecki, a worldwide court martial attorney, was retained after charges were preferred to a general court martial. Our client, a scout sniper with multiple combat deployments to Iraq who was later diagnosed with combat related PTSD , was charged with over-intoxication and aggravated assault on his wife. After an argument with her, the Soldier was alleged to have punched his wife repeatedly, which resulted in a broken nose, collapsed eardrum, and facial malignancies.

After the incident, the client confessed to members of his unit. Before the trial, the defense suppressed the portable breath test used to bolster the charge of over-intoxication since the machine was not properly calibrated. As a result, that charge was dismissed before trial.

The defense tried the case at a jury trial but was prevented from citing the client’s PTSD by a military judge. Mr. Bilecki then formulated a self-defense defense and devised an instruction that allowed mention of the client’s PTSD symptoms as well as his prior deployments.

The client was convicted of simple assault, a lesser included offense, and was sentenced to a two-grade reduction, only 15 days confinement and no discharge.

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