What to Look For |
What to Do |
What to Avoid
What to Expect |
Facing criminal charges can be a significant stressor for Marines. Not all individuals handle this type of stress the same way. Commanders need to be aware that any decision regarding initiation of a criminal investigation or disciplinary action for alleged misconduct will cause significant stress for the Marine in trouble. Although it is the command that ultimately pursues criminal charges against Marines, commanders should continue to monitor the welfare and well-being of their Marines facing a criminal investigation or disciplinary action.
Facing criminal charges requires significant expenditures of time and energy. Consequently, Marines facing criminal charges need flexibility in work and other duty schedules.
Facing criminal charges may result in confinement. Leaders should ensure that procedures are in place for identification, notification, and continued monitoring of Marines in confinement. Commanders are in the unique position to communicate specific concerns to brig or civilian facility personnel when notified of an active duty member's incarceration.
Outcome of criminal proceedings may seriously impact the Marine's family. Commanders should keep the family members in mind when deciding on disposition options. The criminal charges against a Marine may also involve victims or witnesses from the accused Marine's unit. Commanders must recognize that victims and witnesses may also experience stressors that need to be addressed; particularly victims of sexual assault or abuse . In some cases the accused Marine may need to be physically separated from victims and witnesses. See A Commander's Quick Reference Manual for Legal Issues for information on handling victims of crimes in general.
- Consult with Staff Judge Advocate for instructions.
- Ensure the Marine has adequate legal representation.
- Allow the Marine appropriate job flexibility to exercise their rights in due process.
- Monitor the Marine for stress and ensure they are aware of helping agencies available to them.
- Ensure appropriate action in cases where there is suicide risk.
- Assist the Marine's family as appropriate.
- Address the needs of victims or witnesses within the unit, particularly victims of sexual assault or abuse.
- Leaders should ensure that all new joins are educated about the following:
- Applicable local Orders and Regulations (e.g.. off-limit establishments, liberty policies).
- Article 31(b), UCMJ / Miranda rights.
- Location of Installation's Legal, Medical, and Chaplain's offices.
Avoid interfering with an ongoing criminal investigation. The best intentions can frustrate a criminal investigation.
Allow law enforcement officials to interview or question the Marine accused and all witnesses.
- Avoid delaying Marine's access to legal representation.
- Once criminal proceedings have been initiated, the Command can expect to lose the Marine, either temporarily, or in some instances permanently.
- If the Marine remains in the Command, the Command should also expect the Marine to experience competing time priorities, often monopolizing time during the scheduled workday.
- Commanders should also expect the Marine to exercise all of the right afforded to them.
- The Command should expect these decisions could impact the processing time of the case.
- The Command should expect inquiries from the various support outlets available to the Marine, to include the Marine's family.