SHAKEN BABY DEATH OR INJURY DEFENSE

Your Anguish Can be Compounded by Military Prosecutors

Every parent’s worst nightmare is the serious injury or the death of their child. Dealing with the trauma can be suffocating for the entire family. Making matters exponentially worse, military medical personnel and law enforcement are now pointing the finger at you or a loved and saying, “We think you hurt your baby.”

Suddenly, your home turns from a place of grieving into a crime scene. Military law enforcement like NCIS, CID, OSI, or CGIS begin seizing your computers and other electronic devices. Your home and other intimate areas of your personal life are photographed and catalogued as evidence. You, your family, and your friends are interrogated by law enforcement agents who seem incapable of believing that you didn’t hurt your child.

You are in what feels like an impossible position. Your emotional pain urges you to tell military investigators everything you can about how this horrific event could have happened. But your common sense tells you that, because law enforcement and medical personnel already think you are guilty of a terrible crime under the UCMJ, anything you say will be twisted and distorted against you.

Anything you say can and will be used against you. You are right to fear speaking to military investigators. They are not on your side. They think you harmed your child and will use their power and resources to prove it.

  • Military service members can be convicted of killing or harming their child without a single eyewitness.
  • Medical experts for the prosecution can testify about the injuries to a child in a way that all but guarantees a service member’s conviction.
  • Your military career and long-term future are at serious risk of being ruined. If convicted, a service member could be facing a dishonorable discharge and decades of prison time, depending on the offense.
  • The death of your military career may be followed by a social death. Your friends and family may be convinced that you are a monster.
  • If you have other children, they may be taken away by the courts and Child Protective Services (CPS).
  • Employment opportunities in the civilian world may all but dry up.

While your pain is unimaginable, if you give up and simply allow military law enforcement, medical personnel, and prosecutors to steam roll you and your family, it might get even worse. As hard as it may be, you need to fight back against charges involving harm to a child, including those involving shaken baby death or injuries.

Our firm of experienced court martial lawyers will support and defend you in your darkest hour. Contact our office today to find out how we would investigate, prepare, and defend your case.

Shaken Baby Injuries and Deaths – Understanding the War that Is Coming

Shaken baby death and injury cases, like most offenses involving injury or harm to a child, almost always revolve around expert testimony.
Government prosecutors will have their own expert, probably the most impressive medical expert the military has to offer. This expert will be presented to the jury as someone steeped in science, educated at the best schools, and with a lifetime of experience researching, analyzing, diagnosing, and studying the types of child injuries found in your case.

This expert will often then testify along the lines of “to a medical and scientific certainty” the child’s injuries were caused by a “shaking mechanism,” which led to their injuries and/or death.

Such testimony can be attacked though.

Some experts say that you can’t look at an x-ray or scan and conclude that a baby has been shaken. Some experts say that certain injuries can’t even be caused by shaking a baby—that the injuries must have been caused by something else, like the child banging his head on something or an underlying disease that is being overlooked.

Many skeptics of shaken baby cases also believe that government prosecutors are less concerned about justice and more concerned about court martial victories, which can range in convictions for manslaughter, child abuse, child neglect, murder, and so on.

This is what you’re up against. The military wants to pile another tragedy onto your loss in the form of a conviction. If you or a loved one is in this position, contact our office today to discover how we can help.

The government won’t just stop with its medical expert. It is almost guaranteed to play on the highly-charged emotional aspect of the case. A baby has been killed or seriously injured and everyone, including the jury, wants to hold SOMEONE accountable. The government is going to serve YOU up on a silver platter. They will want to show the members photos of your child and then talk about the horrors the child endured at YOUR hands. You will be painted as a monster.

Government prosecutors and investigators will scour through your background looking for evidence they can twist to show you’re a bad person. Your character and reputation will almost certainly be viciously attacked. They will say you are a lousy parent.

Under these circumstances, you need an experienced team of court martial lawyers that can move to obtain an equally qualified expert on your behalf and expose the prosecution’s emotional arguments as something different—opinions offered because their evidence is so weak.

A Plan to Defend Military Members against Shaken Baby Injury or Death

Service members often ask if they actually have a shot at winning. The answer is yes, but not if you plead guilty. Winning a shaken baby case, be it murder, manslaughter, child abuse or neglect, and so on, requires careful planning, tireless preparation, and world class trial execution. Below are some of the ways our attorneys would plan to defend you:

  • Highlight your good military character. Service members with the discipline to succeed in the military, generally have the discipline not to harm their children.
  • Highlight what a great parent you are. Your friends have undoubtedly seen you interact with your child in a loving and caring way.
  • Highlight where possible that other children you have been in contact with, if any, are healthy and happy and have no signs of abuse at your hands.
  • We’ll move to get our own expert that can consult with us on the case and testify on your behalf about defects in the testimony of the prosecution’s expert.
  • Through our own independent investigation, we would look to highlight the possibility that someone other than the service member could have caused the injuries. Never rely on the government investigation—winning defense attorneys almost always do their own investigation from scratch.

Regardless of the status of your case, whether you are only a suspect, under investigation, or have already received UCMJ charges, the best time to get a court martial lawyer is NOW.

The government is continuing to build a case against you and they already have a big head start. If you wait, military investigators may miss, destroy, or contaminate evidence that could prove your innocence or create doubt in a jury’s mind. NCIS, CID, OSI, or CGIS agents are also locking witnesses into statements, which they may not go back on later even if inaccurate because they fear government reprisal.

The government’s goal is to convict you and then get a sentence that could destroy your life completely. Depending on the exact charges, decades of prison and a dishonorable discharge are an absolute possibility.

Building a case to defeat the prosecution doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time to examine the alleged crime scene, talk to witnesses, review evidence, and completely investigate a case properly.

That’s why you need an experienced team of court martial lawyers to protect your interests, and you need one NOW. Don’t let the government pile more pain onto your grief without standing up for yourself. Contact our firm today to find out how we can support and help you.

Violent Crime Practice Areas

  • Violent Crime Defense
  • Murder/Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Robbery/Burglary
  • Self Defense