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Don’t waive valid appellate issues without consulting an experienced attorney!

On 16 July 2013, the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals (CGCCA) ruled in favor of the appellant in U.S. v. Caulfield by deciding that court-martial findings of attempt and conspiracy to possess Oxycodone with intent to distribute were multiplicious.  In other words the CGCCA found that the appellant should not have been found guilty of both of these crimes at his court-martial for the same incident.  However, the CGCCA decided not to overturn the court-martial findings and sentence based on multiplicity because the appellant specifically waived this issue at his court-martial under advice of counsel.  Obviously, it was a mistake for the appellant to waive this issue at his court-martial, because he waived a valid appellate issue!  In other words, he got what he exactly what he and his defense counsel asked for.  You need experience by your side at a court-martial to know what issues to waive and what issues not to waive.  You need to feel confident that the person defending you at your court-martial really understands and has the experience to preserve important issues at trial so that you may have a valid appeal later if necessary.  To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.

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