Article 32 Preliminary Hearings in Okinawa and Mainland Japan
Is Your Attorney Prepared for the Changes to Court Martial Preliminary Hearings?
You’ve diligently searched for a defense attorney operating in Japan
that knows the ropes and can help you secure a victory in court. But are
any of the attorneys that you’ve considered prepared for the changes
to preliminary hearings that occurred in early in 2015? These sweeping
changes have completely redrawn the map when it comes to defense strategy.
They’ve also made it considerably more difficult for the defense
to plan and prepare for the upcoming trial.
Bilecki & Tipon has seen these changes coming for years, and we’ve been diligently
preparing for them. While other law firms that take clients in Japan have
simply given up using the Article 32 to their benefit, Bilecki & Tipon
continues to gather as much information during these hearings as possible.
The new laws of the Article 32 have dramatically reduced the defense’s
ability to gather facts, while effectively giving the prosecution free
reign to conduct the hearing however they wish. But we have no intention
of allowing the prosecution to get the upper hand, and we still consistently
retain the momentum coming into trial.
Article 32 Preliminary Hearings: What Changed?
The Article 32 was gutted in 2015, making it extraordinarily difficult
for the defense to gather critical facts about the prosecution’s
case. Today, the solitary goal of an Article 32 is to identify whether
or not there is probable cause to determine if the accused service member
committed the alleged crime(s). Any attempts to go beyond this one question
can by thwarted by the prosecution, which now has greater control over
their witness testimony, evidence, and other essential facts about the case.
This does nothing to help your cause, and everything to improve the military’s
already-stunning 90% conviction rate. And while we can’t overturn
these changes, we’re still able to build a strong case through alternative
means, which often includes preparing our own investigation, hiring our
own experts, and keeping the prosecution guessing regarding our own intentions
by staying one step ahead of them in court.
One of the critical questions and decisions that must be made is to attend
the Article 32 hearing or to waive it. Depending on the circumstances,
putting on evidence at the Article 32, when the alleged victim refuses
to testify and will be listening in with her military appointed lawyer,
can essentially give away the defense’s case and do more harm than
good. A strategic decision must be made that clearly contemplates the
ultimate defense strategy in your case.
Other Defense Attorneys Will Disregard the Strategy Behind Preliminary
Hearing. Is That the Kind of Lawyer You Want by Your Side Come Trial Time?
Don’t let some unprepared defense counsel manage your case into the
ground. Your very future rests on the outcome of this case. Doesn’t
that call for a defense team that you’re 100% confident in? Doesn’t
it demand an aggressive team of attorneys that you’re
certain will defend you from the start of your preliminary hearing to the end
of closing arguments in court?
The law firm of Bilecki & Tipon has defended hundreds of clients in
court martial cases and successfully navigated just as many preliminary
hearings. If you’ve been accused of a crime in the military and
winning in court is your
only option, then you NEED to
contact the law offices of Bilecki & Tipon at your earliest convenience to set up an initial consultation. (800) 996-9747.