The mishandling of classified information by a servicemember is a very serious charge with potentially disastrous consequences. However, there are many elements and factors that make up the charge. It is important to understand what exactly the charge entails and how a military defense lawyer can help.
Graymail in National Security Prosecutions
When a defendant threatens to disclose national security information in a trial, it is called “graymail.” Graymail is often used in the hope that the government will choose to forgo trial rather than have classified information revealed.
In every prosecution trial involving national security information, there are two competing values at play:
- The accused’s right to a fair trial
- The U.S. government’s need to protect from disclosure national security information that might be required for trial
Circumstances Under Which Classified Information is Released
Sometimes, it is relevant for someone to use classified information during a trial. Here are three primary circumstances in which graymail might be used:
- The charges are related to the improper handling of classified information. For example during charges related to espionage, spying, and aiding the enemy.
- The classified information is essential in establishing an element of or defense to a charge or specification.
- Classified evidence is somehow relevant to the discovery process.
How We Can Help
Whether you have been accused of using graymail, or are dealing with a trial in which national security information may be released, you will need an experienced military defense lawyer on your side.
Attorney Garrison Wood has a TS-SCI (Top Secret- Sensitive Compartmented Information) security clearance, which allows him to assist clients accused of mishandling the most sensitive and highly classified information. Call us today or schedule a free consultation online to discuss your options.
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