MILITARY DRUG CRIMES LAWYER
At Bilecki Law Group, We believe every service member has earned their right to an aggressive defense on their day in court. We specialize in taking the fight to the prosecution and winning cases that others said were unwinnable.
What is Article 112a, UCMJ
In the United States military, wrongful use of drugs is a serious crime defined under Article 112a, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This statute defines not only wrongful use of drugs, but also wrongful possession with intent to distribute, wrongful introduction with intent to distribute, wrongful manufacture with intent to distribution and wrongful importation or exportation. All these offenses fall under Article 112a of the UCMJ.7
While many drugs are being legalized and the civilian world has taken a relaxed stand to the use of illegal drugs, the military is altogether different. Drug prosecutions are on the rise, and the military has a zero-tolerance stance on anyone caught using, possessing, manufacturing, or distributing drugs. If you are an active duty military service member and you are accused of any drug related offense under the UCMJ, you run a high risk of having court martial charges preferred against you. At minimum you face non-judicial punishment and administrative separation.
A conviction at a court martial for drug related offenses typically involves the following punishments: Reduction to the lowest enlisted rank. Forfeiture of all pay and allowances. Confinement. A punitive discharge from the service. To avoid a conviction of a military drug offense, you must have an experienced court martial lawyer defending you.
The Military’s “War on Drugs”
The War on Drugs has made its presence known well beyond the civilian community and into the bases, barracks, and courts of the U.S. military. Unfortunately for service members, military prosecutors vigorously prosecute individuals that are even remotely suspected of purchasing, using, or selling illegal drugs, without ever considering the context of events or the service member’s previous service to their country.
To make matters worse, most members of military law enforcement could care less about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or even the rights afforded under the UCMJ. CID, NCIS, and OSI agents charged with eliminating drugs or contraband tend to search first and come up with a legal justification later. In one case that illustrates this point precisely, Bilecki was able to get one deceptive CID agent in Okinawa, Japan to admit that he fraudulently altered a consent to search form after a Soldier signed it. In that case, all charges were dismissed.
If this sounds like the military is taking drug crimes seriously, then you’d be right. There comes a point when service members charged with military drug crimes need to stand up and fight to tell their side of the story. That time for you could be right now, which is why it’s more important than ever to have a defense team on your side that understands your rights, your story, and your service to America.
Defenses to Military Drug Offenses
It is also important to understand that you can’t bury your head in the sand and turn a blind eye to the substance you are using. While you must know the substance you used was of a contraband nature to be convicted, you may not willfully and intentionally remain ignorant of a fact important and material so that you escape the consequences of criminal law.
Real Consequences of Drug Offenses
After you’ve been accused of the possession, trafficking or use of drugs as a military service member, your career, reputation, and freedom all come under fire. As the vice tightens, you cannot tell the difference between your allies, and your enemies. The threat to your military career and civilian future is both clear and present.
- Military senior leadership is going after drug offenders hard and fast.This zero-tolerance policy could land you in jail for years without proper legal representation.
- The country you swore to protect now fights to have you incarcerated and your reputation demolished in a very public fashion.
- Your brothers and sisters in the military already believe you’re guilty. Acquaintances and even friends are watching you drown and think you’ll take them down with you.
- Your very defense attorney from the JAG office tells you to plead guilty and accept the first deal offered to you because that’s the best you’ll get.
- You may be dishonorably discharged for even the smallest of drug charges. Your GI benefits will disappear overnight. You will be stripped of your rank and your service will be forgotten.
- A dishonorable discharge is public knowledge for all to see. Your dream job may be handed to another former service member or civilian with a clean record.
Regardless of the utymembers accused of the full spectrum of drug offenses. From relatively minor positive urinalysis charges to international drug trafficking, we hauve the experience, street smarts and tenacity to take on drug offenses at all levels in the military justice system.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Offenses
Yes. The military has a zero-tolerance approach to drug use. If the case makes it to a court martial, expect the prosecution to bring all its resources to bear against you. Much like the prior and current Administration goes after service members accused of sexual assault with a zeal we’ve never seen before, the current military leadership is looking to go after drug offenders with the same kind of determination. This will only lead to more prosecutions, more aggressive tactics by prosecutors and harsher sentencing.
This will only lead to harsher sentencing and more aggressive tactics by prosecutors. This is why it’s more important than ever that you have court martial lawyers with a proven record for winning drug cases in the military.