Aggressively Defending the Sailors Who Protect Our Country

The Navy expects all personnel to hold themselves to the highest standards, carrying out their duties with honesty and integrity. Thus, if you are a Sailor accused of a violation, you can be sure that your case will be harshly pursued. Although you may have the fighting spirit and have dedicated yourself to protecting the freedoms of your fellow Americans, when facing accusations, you might find yourself embroiled in a complex military justice system that seems stacked against you. Therefore, it is crucial that you level the playing field by retaining a Navy defense attorney who knows how to go up against the government and military officials.

Daniel Conway & Associates is one of the country's most experienced military defense firms. Our team has over 100 years of combined experience and has taken on high-profile cases involving service members. We are equipped and ready to tackle even the most complex matters. Delivering counsel to Sailors worldwide, we have provided representation in courts-martial, separation boards, discharge review boards, and federal courts. Whatever accusation you are facing, we can competently handle every stage of your case, providing sound advice and guidance throughout.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our US Navy lawyers by calling us at (833) 934-8265 or contacting us online today.

Navy Discharge Review Boards

Seeking to have a discharge upgraded requires going through the Navy Discharge Review Board (DRB). These hearings are concerned with whether propriety and equity were apparent in the Sailor’s discharge. In other words, were proper regulations followed, and was the decision fair?

The DRB will ask a series of questions to determine whether the discharge should be upgraded. These will center around how the discharge has affected the Sailor and why the Sailor is requesting the review.

Several mitigating factors can supplement the Sailor’s request for a discharge upgrade, including:

  • Service history
  • Awards
  • Level of responsibility
  • Acts of merit
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Post-service conduct

When you consult with Daniel Conway & Associates concerning going before a Navy Discharge Review Board, we can help you prepare. Our Navy defense lawyers will explain the questions you may be asked and advise on how to make statements. Every situation is unique. Thus, to ensure that our representation is tailored for you, we will obtain your military records, verifying that they conform to the Navy Performance Evaluation Instruction 1610.10c standards, and thoroughly investigate to determine whether errors of fact, law, procedure, or discretion affected decisions about your discharge.

Navy Nonjudicial Punishment

Sailors accused of minor violations may be offered a nonjudicial punishment (NJP). Also referred to as a Captain’s Mast, an NJP is a setting for addressing misconduct in a less formal way than a court-martial. The Sailor’s commander will determine whether an alleged offense is low level and whether the matter should be settled under Article 15 of the United States Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Sailors offered an NJP have the following rights:

  • To be informed of their right to remain silent
  • To be informed of Article 31 rights
  • To examine the evidence against them

Although a Sailor does not have the right to be represented by counsel during an NJP hearing, they can confer with a lawyer about whether to accept or refuse the NJP. Our U.S. Navy attorneys can guide you through the NJP process. We will evaluate your situation and possible courses your matter can take to identify a unique strategy for you.

Failing to Obey an Order in the Navy

Article 92 of the UCMJ concerns incidents involving a Sailor’s willful disobedience of an order or abandoning their duties.

There are three types of violations a sailor can be accused of:

  • Failure to obey lawful general orders or regulations, which involves:
    • The existence of a lawful general order
    • The Sailor had a duty to obey that order
    • The Sailor violated or failed to obey the order
  • Failure to obey other lawful orders, which involves:
    • The Sailor was issued a lawful order
    • The Sailor was aware of the order
    • The Sailor had a duty to obey the order
    • The Sailor violated or failed to obey the order
  • Dereliction of duty, which involves:
    • The Sailor had duties to perform
    • The Sailor was aware of the duty
    • The Sailor was derelict, neglectful, or inefficient in performing the duty

The punishments levied for failure to obey or dereliction of duty are serious and can severely impact a Sailor’s career and future. The sanctions imposed depend on the nature of the case.

Possible penalties include the following:

  • Failure to obey a lawful order:
    • Dishonorable discharge
    • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
    • Confinement for two years
  • Failure to obey other lawful orders:
    • Bad conduct discharge
    • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
    • Confinement for six months
  • Neglect or culpable inefficiency of duty:
    • Forfeiture of 2/3 pay for three months
    • Confinement for three months
  • Dereliction of duty:
    • Bad conduct discharge
    • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
    • Confinement for six months

Depending on the situation, defenses can be raised in an Article 92 matter. For instance, counsel can argue that defects or exceptions existed for the order, or the Sailor did not know that they had a particular duty to perform. Because of the limited defenses that can be mounted, these cases can be challenging. Still, at Daniel Conway & Associates, our U.S. Navy lawyers are up for the challenge. We are familiar with complex cases and know how to aggressively fight to protect our clients.

Navy MPO

Commanders issue Military Protective Orders (MPOs) in alleged domestic violence offenses to protect the alleged victim against future harm. A Sailor subject to an MPO will be ordered to stay away from the victim and may face various other restrictions that can severely limit their freedoms. The order remains effective until the commander terminates it.

Typically, an MPO is given by verbal or written notice, and no hearing is involved. If you have been subject to a Military Protective Order, our Navy defense attorneys can help appeal the decision.

Navy Drug Testing

The military is unique in that the results of a drug test can lead to criminal prosecution. Yet, a urinalysis or failed drug test does not mean that the Sailor is impaired by or knew that they ingested a controlled substance.

Many variables can affect results, including:

  • Improper handling of samples
  • Contaminated test tubes
  • Paperwork mix-up

If a drug test suggested that you consumed a controlled substance, your commander may take action through administrative separation, nonjudicial punishment, or court-martial. Regardless of the path your drug offense case takes, consult with one of our Navy defense lawyers right away.

Navy Article 31 UCMJ Rights

Although the military justice process differs from the civilian process, Sailors still have many of the same rights as civilians. These rights are enumerated in Article 31 of the UCMJ. They protect the Sailor from providing any information that could be used against them later in their case. The Sailor must be informed of their rights before an interrogation or being asked to make statements concerning the alleged incident.

Article 31 rights include:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to speak with an attorney
  • The right to be informed of the allegations against them
  • The right to have an attorney present during questioning

These rights are particularly important in a military case because the accused may see questions from a commanding officer as an order. But in a legal matter, the Sailor should not feel compelled to answer.

At Daniel Conway & Associates, we believe that Sailors must be treated justly through every stage of their case. When you choose our team for your defense, we will protect your rights and prevent you from making statements that officials might misconstrue.

Navy Court-Martial

If a Sailor is accused of a crime, such as sexual assault, their case may proceed through a Navy court-martial. A finding of guilt can lead to a reduction in rank, loss of career, and restrictions on freedoms.

There are three different types of courts-martial a case can go through:

  • Summary court-martial: This process is for minor offenses and involves a simplified procedure. The Sailor can consult with an attorney about how to handle their case. The maximum punishments levied for this type of court-martial include:
    • Reduction of grade,
    • Forfeiture of 2/3 pay for one month,
    • 60 days of restriction,
    • 45 days of hard labor, and/or
    • 30 days of confinement
  • Special court-martial: This process is for offenses considered misdemeanors in civilian court. Generally, a military judge and three jury members hear the case. The Sailor has the right to be represented by counsel. The maximum punishments in a special court-martial include:
    • Reduction in grade,
    • Forfeiture of 2/3 pay every month for 12 months,
    • 12 months of confinement, and/or
    • Bad conduct discharge
  • General court-martial: This process is reserved for the most serious offenses – those considered felonies in civilian court. The Sailor has the right to be represented by counsel. Possible punishments include:
    • Confinement,
    • Dishonorable discharge, or
    • Death,

Get Legal Representation from Dedicated Navy Defense Lawyers

As a Sailor, an allegation of improper or illegal conduct can turn your life upside down. You risk losing the privilege and honor to fight for your country. At Daniel Conway & Associates, we know that your future is at stake, which is why we will provide the aggressive representation you need.

To discuss your case with a member of our team, contact us at (833) 934-8265. Your initial consultation is free.

Why Hire Daniel Conway & Associates?

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  • Court-Martial Experience in Every Service & Every Crime
  • Daniel  Conway Photo
    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 ...

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  • Gary  Myers Photo
    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 ...

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    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, ...

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    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 ...

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