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Virginia has many people in the military who reside in the Commonwealth and there are times when there are accusations of military law violations lodged against them. It is important to understand that the military has its own courts to deal with those who are either members of the military or are students at a service academy. Having legal representation that does not understand how the military justice system works can lead to mistakes in the process. For those faced with charges and the potential penalties for military law violations, it is imperative to be represented by a law firm that is experienced in military cases.

A student at the U.S. Naval Academy is facing a court martial for a sexual assault that happened in March 2018. The 23-year-old midshipman was set to graduate from the academy, but he is awaiting the outcome of his case. The incident occurred in Florida when a woman was alleged to have been assaulted as she slept. Other charges include causing bodily harm and obstruction of justice after urging a member of the U.S. Marines to lie in an attempt at impeding the investigation. He is also said to have deleted information from another seaman’s cellphone. The midshipman was in an elite program that would have allowed him to take part in Nuclear Power School.

Being convicted of crimes committed in the military and court martialed can not only negatively impact a person’s freedom by resulting in jail time, but it can hinder them throughout their lives. This is especially problematic for people who have been admitted to one of the military academies and are set to have a career in the military. All criminal allegations should be taken seriously – particularly sexual assault – but an allegation does not automatically imply guilt. Having a defense from a law firm that has former members of the military and those well-versed in military law can go a long way toward a successful defense.

A midshipman is facing a slew of charges related to an alleged sexual assault and for obstructing justice. If he is convicted, he will not only lose his military career and the chance at an elite job while in the military, it will be an issue for the rest of his life. He must have a strong defense from a firm that specializes in military law. Those who are in a similar position must do the same and defend their rights while protecting their future.