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PSA: Be Careful With Base Social Workers

Messy military lawyer. Today’s public service announcement involves family advocacy program.

The base social workers that are there to assist military members and their families and various things. Understand that anything that you say to them can and will be used against you. They’re not required to advise you of your rights, and they feed their information to military law enforcement. This is especially the case whenever you’ve invoked with military law enforcement and your command’s just going to send to the social workers. This usually involve cases where there’s any allegations of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, child abuse, child sex abuse, anything involving something that could involve a social worker. Be careful. Again, anything that you say to them can be used against you. I’ve litigated these issues, in these motions in military courts. Some with success, some not with success. The other thing that you need to keep in mind is that they’re going to send you and they’re going to require you to fill out intake paperwork, specifically asking you about what it is that you’re brought there for.

What is your version of events? Don’t fill those forms out without talking to an attorney. Be very polite, be very kind, because these are not people that you want to have against you. Understand that I’m not telling you not to participate at all. Your command will turn on you 100% if you’re not cooperating. But there’s a way to cooperate and there’s a way not to cooperate. Make sure you talk to an attorney who understands these ins and outs, how to manage them, how to manage the command, and how to keep the social workers on your side without giving yourself admissions. Messy military lawyer.

Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.

 

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