Coast Guard Defense Attorneys
Delivering the Legal Counsel Coast Guard Members Need
Coast Guard members stand up for the people of our nation, protecting its maritime borders and helping those in jeopardy. And while these brave individuals perform their duties with honor, some can be accused of violations or criminal offenses that endanger their career and sully their reputation. To protect their rights, freedom, and good name, they need someone to defend them just as hard as they defend their fellow Americans. They need a lawyer on their side ready to do what it takes to seek a favorable result on their behalf.
Daniel Conway & Associates is a highly experienced military defense law firm prepared to give a voice to those who have risked their lives to protect us. Our team consists of a former Marine staff sergeant and captain, a former JAG officer for the Army, and former Judge Advocates for the Army and Air Force. Additionally, Attorney Myers and Attorney Conway co-authored the Handbook of Crimes and Defenses in the Military. Thus, we are familiar with legal and military processes and can guide you through every stage of your case. Having handled cases involving nearly every area of military law, no matter what you are up against, our Coast Guard defense lawyers can deliver the sound counsel and aggressive representation you need.
Schedule a free initial consultation by calling us at (757) 401-6365 or contacting us online today.
Board for Correction of Military Records of the Coast Guard
Erroneous or unjust information on a Coast Guard member’s military record can leave a blemish on their good name and present challenges when they seek opportunities, such as promotions or reenlistment. Fortunately, they have legal recourse to seek relief from an error or injustice. The final avenue for remedy is going before the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) of the Coast Guard. This course of action can be pursued only after all other methods have been exhausted.
The BCMR reviews and corrects (if warranted) various personnel records, including, but not limited to, those relating to:
- Reenlistment codes
- Disciplinary actions
- Performance evaluations
- Selections for promotion
Seeking relief through the BCMR requires that the Coast Guard member file an application within 3 years of discovering the error or injustice. The form must be completed correctly and accurately. Additionally, the individual must attach documents containing evidence supporting their arguments that remedy should be granted. Failing to follow proper procedures could result in a delay or denial.
Because every detail in this process is important, if you are seeking to have an error or injustice rectified, it is critical that you retain legal representation. At Daniel Conway & Associates, our Coast Guard Defense attorneys can gather evidence, craft and present a compelling argument, and ensure that your paperwork is submitted timely.
Coast Guard Marks and Enlisted Evaluation Report Schedule
Periodically, Coast Guard members will be evaluated on their performance. Using performance standards of the Enlisted Evaluation Report, the rating official will assess various factors, including the member’s professional actions, ability to use acquired knowledge and skills, and leadership ability.
The Coast Guard member receives marks based on written standards. The marks range from 1 to 7, where 1 indicates unacceptable performance, and 7 indicates superior performance. The marks, along with comments left by the rating official, can affect various aspects of the member’s career.
If you have received low marks on your EER that you believe were erroneous, you may have a basis to appeal the rating.
When submitting an appeal, you must show that the poor evaluation was based on:
- Incorrect information,
- Discrimination, or
- Inaccuracies, given the circumstances.
Our Coast Guard defense lawyers can help you through the EER appeals process. We can assist in gathering evidence supporting your argument that the rating should be reviewed and craft a statement illustrating how you have met or exceed the standard you were marked low on. You have only 15 days from signing the evaluation report, which means time is of the essence. Reach out to Daniel Conway & Associates as soon as possible.
Coast Guard Court-Martial
A Coast Guard member accused of violating certain articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) may be subject to a court-martial. Although a court-martial is similar to a civilian criminal trial in that it seeks to resolve an alleged violation of the law, the nuances of the former are markedly different than the latter. Therefore, it is critical that a Coast Guard member whose case will be handled through a court-martial be represented by an attorney who understands the military justice system.
Three different types of courts-martial exist:
- Summary court-martial: If the Coast Guard member was accused of a minor offense, they might be subject to a summary court-martial. It involves a simplified process and is heard by one commissioned officer. A finding of guilt can lead to:
- Up to 1 month of confinement
- Pay forfeiture
- Reduction in rank
- Special court-martial: For a Coast Guard member accused of what would be considered a misdemeanor in civilian court, their matter will be handled through a special court-martial. During this process, a military judge and three officers hear the case. Punishments can include:
- Up to 12 months of confinement
- Pay forfeiture
- General court-martial: A Coast Guard member accused of a felony-level crime, such as sexual assault or murder, will have their case handled in a general court-martial. These matters are heard by a military judge and five jury members. The penalties include:
- Dishonorable discharge
- Lifetime confinement
At Daniel Conway & Associates, we recognize the severe and lasting effects of a court-martial conviction. That is why we explore all legal avenues to build aggressive strategies for our clients. If you are facing a court-martial, contact our Coast Guard defense attorneys for the counsel you need.
Coast Guard Drug Policy
The Coast Guard has stringent policies concerning drug use. Any Coast Guard member alleged to be involved in a drug offense can be removed from their duties, as they may present a risk to themselves, others, and the mission.
In the military, a positive drug test or urinalysis can result in criminal prosecution. Although some matters are resolved through administrative separation, others can be handled through a court-martial.
A Coast Guard member’s entire future is at risk if they are suspected of misusing illicit or prescription drugs. However, defenses can be raised to challenge accusations of drug abuse and to fight to protect the individual’s future.
For instance, a positive drug test or urinalysis could have been the result of:
- Switched samples: An error in procedures could have caused a mix-up and the Coast Guard member’s specimen was switched with someone else’s.
- False positives: Contaminated test tubes or improperly filed paperwork could have affected the analysis.
- Illegal or unconstitutional tests: The analysis may have been conducted outside of proper protocols and in a way that violated the Coast Guard member’s rights.
Our Coast Guard defense lawyers will carefully review every detail of your case to identify ways to fight the accusations against you.
Coast Guard General Orders
Coast Guard members are required to obey orders and fulfill the requirements of their assignments. Under Article 92 of the UCMJ, if an individual willfully disobeys orders or neglects their duties, they could be subject to severe penalties.
Article 92 provides that a Coast Guard member is in violation if they:
- Disobey a lawful general order, which can lead to
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for 2 years
- Dishonorable discharge
- Disobey other lawful orders, which can lead to
- Bad conduct discharge
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for 6 months
- Are derelict or negligent in performing their duties, which can lead to
- Forfeiture of pay
- Bad conduct discharge
- Confinement for 3 or 6 months
Certain defenses can be raised in Article 92 matters. For instance, it can be argued that the Coast Guard member was not aware that a lawful order existed.
At Daniel Conway & Associates, we understand the intricacies of cases involving general order violations. Our team is ready to fully investigate your situation and determine a course of action to seek a resolution in your case.
Experienced Defense for Coast Guard Members
At Daniel Conway & Associates, we stand up for the men and women who bravely stand up for our nation. Our team knows that any legal matter a Coast Guard member is involved in can significantly affect their future. That is why we walk beside them through every step in their case and zealously advocate on their behalf.
To speak with one of our Coast Guard defense attorneys, call us at (757) 401-6365 or complete an online contact form.
Why Hire Daniel Conway & Associates?
Frequent Coverage on High-Profile Media Networks
Practicing Worldwide With Years of Combined Legal Experience
Fast Responses & Free Initial Consultations Available 24 Hours
Court-Martial Experience in Every Service & Every Crime
Daniel Conway Partner
For the better part of the last decade, Mr. Conway has become a nationally recognized resource on military justice. Daniel Conway is a former Marine staff sergeant and captain. He is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of New Hampshire School of Law. Mr. Conway is recently a former President of the New Hampshire Bar Association Military Law Section and a current member of the DC Bar. Mr. Conway has also written a book on Military Crimes and Defenses that is near publication with a major ...Read More
Gary Myers Partner
Gary Myers is a former JAG officer and one of the most experienced civilian military defense counsel in the country. He attended the University of Delaware where he received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering in 1965. Gary Myers served as president of his freshman, sophomore and junior classes and went on in his senior year to be president of the student body. Gary Myers then attended the Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, and graduated in 1968. Gary Myers paid his way through law school by ...Read More
Brian Pristera Attorney
A Richmond, Virginia native, Mr. Pristera graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After spending some time as a DuPont engineer, specifically working on Kevlar manufacturing and ballistics applications, Mr. Pristera attended law school at the University of New Hampshire. On July 4, 2010, Mr. Pristera was commissioned in the U.S. Army in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mr. Pristera spent almost six years on active duty. He spent just over three of those years in criminal defense, ...Read More
Joseph Galli Attorney
Originally from Portland, Maine, Mr. Galli attended Elmira College in New York on a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship. At Elmira, he double majored in Business Administration and Public Affairs. Mr. Galli graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree and was Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Mr. Galli began his study of the law in 2009 at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. There, he focused on litigation and honed his advocacy skills as a member of the Advanced Trial ...Read More