Sometimes military prosecutors charge Soldiers with making a “false official statement” in violation of Article 107 of the U.C.M.J. anytime they feel like they want to bulk up the charge sheet. However, a lie does NOT amount to a false official statement, unless it is actually “official.” This is true even if the lie was to a cop! Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in United States v. Spicer held that in order to qualify as a false official statement, a Soldier’s lie has to be told pursuant to his specific military duties. For example, simply telling an investigator that you didn’t commit a crime, when you actually did does not necessarily qualify as a false official statement. To fall within the scope of Article 107, the statement has to clearly and directly relate to the Soldier’s military duties. If you have been convicted at a court martial or even received an official reprimand for making a “false official statement” in violation of Article 107, you may be entitled to some relief. Likewise, if you are currently being wrongly accused of making a “false official statement,” this recent ruling may be extremely important to your particular case. Please contact me for a free consultation immediately if you believe this applies to you. I am here to help.
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