I was accused of a minor infraction and the CO did a inquiry investigation and found I was innocent of any wrong doing. I have the paperwork copy. My question is should I have anything to worry about. Is there a statute of limitations> Thanks in advance
The statute of limitations for most military offenses is five years, but there are exceptions. For murder there is none. For sexual assault, depending on when it is alleged to have occured, it varies from a set number if years to no statute of limitations. The majority of retirees whom I have seen prosecuted were for murder or sexual assault.
There is also a chance that this military investigator is taking part in a joint investigation with the local civilian law enforcement and that the locals may be more inclined to prosecute you in your civilian capacity. If anyone attempts to question you, I highly recommend you invoke both your right to remain silent AND your right to counsel. For more information about how to handle a military investigation, please see this legal guide: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-handle-a-military-law-enforcement-investigation
It depends on what the allegation is. Most crimes have a five year Statute of Limitations, but some have none. Don't speak to the investigator under any circumstances without an attorney present.
This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship with Mr. Cassara.
Say nothing to anyone other than a Defense lawyer. Talk to a lawyer first.
I doubt minor infractions are being investigated 3 years later... Serious infractions have SOLs greater than 3 years, some indefinite.
*NOT LEGAL ADVICE. YOU HAVE NOT PAID ME A RETAINER. WE DO NOT HAVE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. This is general information for educational purposes only. You should always hire a lawyer and reveal all the unique facts to get the best answer for your unique situation. Answering this question on a public forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.
If this was a minor infraction then you probably do not have anything to worry about. However, if you are on active duty, I would make an appointment at base legal to speak with a JAG defense attorney. They should be able to tell you with some certainty as to whether or not the investigation is actually closed or not.
If you are still receiving military benefits, the military can bring you back on military orders to prosecute you. Your statute of limitations is going to be different depending on what the charge is.
Article 43 of the UCMJ gives a statute of limitations for crimes other than: murder, rape, rape of a child, or any offense punishable by death (which none of these apply to you). So Article 43 says except for the offenses I just listed, a person charged with an offense is not liable to be charged if the offense was committed more than 5 years of the sworn charges.
It is not uncommon for the left hand of the military to not know what the right hand is doing. If your CO ordered an investigation, it sounds like a Command Directed Investigation (CDI), which is completely separate from the military police. So you very well could be the subject of an investigation and it does not matter that your were cleared before you retired.
Now, is the military likely to order you back into active duty? Likely not, but they could. This really underscores the importance of what other commenters have told you, do NOT talk to any investigators. Do not talk to anyone regarding the allegations. If you do get questioned, the only acceptable response is to request an attorney. The defense counsel at your base will likely not be of much help since you are retired and not facing an active case, they could accept you as a client but will most likely tell you that you are not eligible. So you can either sit and wait, or you can retain a civilian attorney who can be ready immediately if he need arises. Either way, I cannot stress enough the importance of not talking about this. Good Luck!
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