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Military Suspect Rights

You should consider yourself a suspect any time you are called in for questioning by CID, NCIS or any other law enforcement agency, or even your chain of command if you are read your Article 31 warnings. You are obviously a suspect if you are arrested, detained or apprehended by law enforcement. You should also consider yourself a suspect if you hear rumors around your unit that you are being investigated by law enforcement or your chain of command.

The Number One Rule for a suspect is: do not talk to anyone without first speaking with a defense attorney. You have a right to refuse to answer questions under Article 31 as well as the United States Constitution and you must exercise that right. It is important to understand that this right even applies in a combat zone or on a ship underway. You must also understand that Military investigators are not there to hear your side of the story. They do not want to just clear things up so you can go back to your unit. Their entire reason for being is to build a criminal case against you. Do not become the government’s best witness against you by talking. You also need to be aware that it is perfectly alright for investigators to lie to you to get you to talk. They may tell you that other people have talked and that talking to them can only help you. Do not fall for this. Again, if you are a suspect, do not talk to anyone except a military defense lawyer or qualified civilian counsel. Invoke your right to remain silent and demand to speak to a defense counsel immediately.

In a military investigation, another law enforcement tactic is to try to get a suspect to take a polygraph test, also known as a lie detector. Do not do this. Polygraph results are not admissible in any military court. This is because scientific studies, including studies conducted by the military have shown them to be unreliable due to a number of subjective factors that could indicate deception even when the suspect is telling the truth. Investigators want a polygraph because they know you will fail and they will use this against you in negotiating. The Number Two Rule is: do not take a polygraph. If you are a suspect in a criminal investigation you can contact us anytime for a free consultation.

Tacoma Criminal Defense Attorneys


The team at Krupa & Clark are excited to announce some new changes in our practice.  Steven Krupa will be leaving the firm to explore new opportunities effective June 30, 2020.  As of June 1, 2020, the name of the firm will be changed to the Law Offices of Michael Clark.  The firm will continue to focus on helping people who have been injured through the negligence of others, as well as other matters. The team, and especially Michael Clark, want to thank Steven for his years of dedicated service to his clients and the greater bar association, as well as for his friendship. We are proud of our association with Steve and look forward to seeing what the next chapter has in store for him.

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