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Aviano Air Base Airmen Need A Staunch Military Court Martial Defense To Save Their Careers

The first time a young Airman finds themselves in the crosshairs of the military justice system, it can be a frightening event. Truth be told, it should be a frightening event as the military justice system does indeed take prisons and it destroys careers along the way.
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Air Force personnel out of Aviano Air Base are no exception and, in fact, service personnel stationed overseas are more likely to see a more stringent application of the UCMJ. That’s because commands want to avoid any international embarrassment as a result of your behavior, which means they will destroy you in a public and spectacular fashion to scare everyone else into proper behavior. If they are looking to make an example out of you, then you have one choice, and one choice only. You put together a staunch military court martial defense and you fight like hell. Or you can sit back and watch as they take everything from you. That’s your career, retirement, and perhaps even your freedom. Let’s talk about how you fight back.

UCMJ Abuse and Misuse Occurs On The Regular at Aviano Air Base

One of our greatest frustrations as military court martial defense attorneys is that we see little consistency as to how the UCMJ is enforced from command to command. What is perfectly acceptable behavior at one command will find an Airman facing a court martial in another. This is a problem when new Air Force personnel transfer to Aviano as they are not prepared for how some commands enforce the UCMJ on foreign soil.

Now, Italy is home to some remarkable American military history and a great deal of that history was performed by men unjustly treated by the United States military. For evidence of that, you need to look no further than the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This regiment was composed entirely of segregated Japanese Americans that the United States didn’t trust to fight in the Pacific. 

Despite acts of inexplicable gallantry, many men of the 442nd would never live to see their awards due to their race. However, when all awards were finally tallied after decades later service reviews, the 14,000 Japanese Americans that served would accumulate 18,143 awards in less than two years. That includes 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars, and more than 4,000 Purple Hearts. Their conduct through the Italian campaign was exemplary and they deserved every reward and then some that they received.

Bilecki Law Group, PLLC

Bilecki Law Group, PLLC
Aviano AFB, Italy

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The Military Justice System Doesn’t Always Get It Right

We tell the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team to point out that military leadership doesn’t always get it right and you can include the military justice system in that statement. This is often hard for young service members who find themselves in trouble with the UCMJ to understand. They look up to their command and they trust their leadership, but now they are about to lose everything at the hands of that same command. If you are facing this abuse and misuse of the UCMJ right now, you have to fight back and you’re going to need some help. Below you’ll find just some of the charges we defend for service members out of Aviano and you’ll quickly see that we take the big cases without backing down.

UCMJ Article 120 or Article 134 (Sex offenses) – These cases can include rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, sexual assault of a minor, indecent viewing, indecent recording, forcible pandering, indecent exposure, and other Article 120 and Article 120(c) offenses.

At this current moment, commands are under intense pressure by the Pentagon and Congressional leadership to root out sexual misconduct within the military. While this is a noble and worthy pursuit, this has created a climate of wrongful prosecutions and allegations being treated as objective fact. Commands want to look tough on the issue and they are ignoring the evidence in the process. If you are facing these charges out of Aviano AFB, you’re going to have to fight back if you want to save your career and your freedom.

UCMJ Article 121 (Fraud and Larceny) – We defend cases such as conspiracy to defraud the military, BAH fraud, OHA fraud, extortion, larceny, wrongful appropriation, and more. BAH fraud is one of the more common frauds we defend against and oftentimes, it’s just a young service member making a silly mistake.

When stationed in a foreign country, the opportunity for language barriers or cultural norms to be misunderstood are exacerbated. There could be a reasonable explanation for the accusation for extortion or wrongful appropriation and we’ll fight to get that truth known.

UCMJ Article 128 (Assault and Violent Crime) – We represent service members facing charges including murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault, and cases involving self-defense and defense of another. Fights can be more frequent in foreign countries due to cultural misunderstandings and U.S. service members can routinely find themselves the subject of heckling from the locals.

What starts off as a simple fight between the U.S. Airman and a local because the Airman ordered pineapple on his pizza in Italy can turn serious when makeshift weapons like a pool cue or a chair get involved. The bottom line is that young men fight and our service personnel are not excluded from this aggressive tendency. It shouldn’t be the end of your career and we need men and women in Europe who know how to fight.

UCMJ Article 112a (Drug Crimes) – We defend cases involving drug possession, drug distribution, drug importation, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, positive urinalysis cases, tampering with urinalysis cases, and more. These cases often involve illegal controlled substances

such as marijuana, LSD, methamphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, molly, opioids, analogues, and more.

Drugs are as prevalent in Italy as they are in the United States. It is far too easy for U.S. service personnel in Italy to get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time resulting in drug charges. There are almost always local civilians involved who walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist while our fine men and women have to stand tall before the UCMJ.

Punitive Articles of the UCMJ 77-134 (Military Specific Offenses) – These include charges such as fraternization, unauthorized absence (AWOL), disobeying a lawful order, conduct unbecoming an officer, and much more. Service members stationed on foreign soil are often disproportionately penalized for minor infractions because commands don’t want the wrath of the local population when a soldier does something stupid off base.

With all of these charges, you have to put together a staunch military court martial defense. If you did indeed make a stupid decision, you are still going to have to put together a staunch military court martial defense if you want to secure the best possible outcome. What you can’t do is quit and hope for mercy. Fighting is your only option, so let’s talk about how you fight.

Fighting Back Against UCMJ Abuse Out Of Aviano Air Base

Remember, the military justice system doesn’t always get it right. We realize that you may very well love the Air Force, but when the military justice system comes after you, you’re going to have to change that relationship status to “it’s complicated.” All the military justice system sees is an opportunity to make an example out of you in order to keep everyone else in line.

Namesake and founder, Tim Bilecki, spent years inside the military justice system as a senior defense counsel and he can tell you just how rigged the system is against the defense. Military prosecutors don’t like to lose, and they will do anything to preserve their high conviction rate. You need an experienced defense attorney who knows how to fight back and who doesn’t give a damn about his own military career, because he wears a suit instead of a uniform to work these days.

If you are facing court martial or investigation, reach out to us and give us a call or shoot us an email. We’ll give you a free defense strategy session that you can use even if you choose not to retain us. We’ll put together a defense so aggressive, it’s almost a sin not to call it an offense. We will fight like everything is on the line, because we know that it is.

You have to fight back or the military justice system will roll over you without so much as acknowledging that you are there. It doesn’t matter if you are six months from retirement, they will take everything from you. Reach out to us and get us into the fight. As long as you are willing to fight like hell, so are we. The military justice system doesn’t always get it right and you are not wrong to fight back.

Don’t just plead guilty… Fight Back !