(808) 275-4620

The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC

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The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC Contact Information

Honolulu Hawaii Criminal Defense Lawyer

Name: Timothy Bilecki

Address: 737 Bishop Street, Mauka Tower, Suite 1530  [Click For Map]

Phone: (808) 275-4620

E-mail: timbilecki@me.com

Website: http://www.bileckilawgroup.com

Firm Focus

The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC founded by Timothy J. Bilecki, is steadfastly dedicated to providing US Servicemembers with top-notch, heavy-hitting criminal defenserepresentation. Plain and simple, we aggressively defend military members charged with serious offenses under the UCMJ. We are a trial law firm which represent Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines facing serious charges, including rape, sexual assault, Article 120 offenses, drug trafficking, drug distributionSpicecases, violent crimes, including murder and negligent homicide, larceny and financial fraud, BAH and OHA fraud, desertion and AWOL cases. In compelling circumstances, we will represent military personnel facing an Article 15, Non Judicial Punishment (NJP), Captain's Mast and Office Hours. We represent and defend clients that are suspected of crimes or under investigation BEFORE they are charged with the intent of avoiding charges. This representation includes Enlisted and Officers facing AR 15-6 Investigations, Command Directed Investigations or who are the suspect in a criminal investigation. 

Military justice and courts-martial are our only area of practice; we do not (and will not) accept any other type of case. Mr. Bilecki fundamentally believes in the quality of representation over the quantity of clients and is prepared to take any case to trial in necessary, no matter the evidence. 

Our office is strategically located in Honolulu, Hawaii, and we accept court martial and military law clients world wide, including all military bases in Hawaii, Okinawa, Mainland Japan, Korea, Guam and the Philippines. 

The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC has strived to assemble the biggest heavy hitters in the court martial defense business to fight the charges levied against you. In addition to Mr. Bilecki, or of counsel attorneys and law clerks, we have formed a strategic alliance with the law firm of Gonzalez and Waddington and are able to build a hand tailored defense team for your cases depending on your specific charges and location. 

Servicemen and women facing court-martial or other disciplinary actions need a military defense team that understands the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military, and how to win cases. The prosecuting attorney's main goal will be to put you away for as long as possible. You need aggressive and knowledgeable defense counsel to counteract these efforts—particularly when you consider the resources the government has at its disposal. The Bilecki Law Group has the court-martial lawyers with the experience, talent, and tenacity to handle the toughest court-martial cases in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. 

In handling any case, we bring the experience and firepower necessary to level the playing field between you and the government. We don't simply surrender and allow our client to face imprisonment, dishonorable discharge, or worse. We develop a strategic plan of action based upon the particular factors involved in your case in order to seek the best possible outcome. 

For the best court martial representation available, anywhere in the world, contact The Bilecki Law Group. We'll be happy to discuss all of your options, not just a guilty plea.


Firm History

After graduating from Boston College with honors, Mr. Bilecki attended the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida.  There, Mr. Bilecki obtained a position clerking at prestigious Miami criminal defense firm, Hirschhorn & Bieber, P.A.  It was during this period that Mr. Bilecki was mentored by legendary criminal trial lawyer Joel Hirschhorn, who taught him the fundamentals of taking big cases to trial and winning.  After his clerkship, Mr. Bilecki accepted a follow-on clerkship with Miami criminal trial lawyer Michael Mirer.  By spending all three years of law school learning from two of the premier criminal defense firms in Miami, Timothy Bilecki had personally worked on nearly one hundred criminal matters and was head and shoulders above his peers regarding the depth and breadth of his criminal trial expertise.

After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law with honors, Mr. Bilecki joined the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he immediately made known his desire to be assigned as a criminal defense attorney.  Mr. Bilecki was one of only three Judge Advocates hand selected from his Officer Basic Course to be assigned as a Trial Defense Attorney and was assigned to the busiest jurisdiction in the US Army: Fort Hood, Texas.

When he arrived at Fort Hood, Mr. Bilecki and his fellow defense attorneys were outnumbered by government prosecutors nearly seven to one.  Undaunted, Mr. Bilecki began utilizing the skills he honed in Miami to take cases to trial…and win.  Early in his career, Timothy Bilecki gained a reputation as a heavy hitting defense attorney who would take any case to trial.  This reputation also allowed him to obtain some of the best deals possible for his clients who did not wish to take their cases to trial.  The tradition of pleading guilty only as a last resort was born, and still forms a bedrock aspect of Mr. Bilecki's practice philosophy today.

After Fort Hood, Mr. Bilecki requested and was transferred to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA).  After his service as a SAUSA, he was chosen to fill a field grade position and became the Chief of International & Operational Law for the United States Army, Pacific.  In this assignment, Mr. Bilecki spent considerable time traveling throughout Asia and advising on international and host-nation law; he also practiced throughout the Pacific Rim and Asia, providing legal advice to joint commands on foreign contracting, international agreements, foreign criminal jurisdiction, foreign tort claims and host-nation law.

Seeking a return to his passion as a criminal defense trial lawyer, and with strong desire to remain in the Pacific, Timothy Bilecki was hand selected to become the Senior Defense Counsel for the US Army Trial Defense Service, Pacific Rim Region.  Mr. Bilecki was charged with the responsibility of establishing and overseeing the first ever US Army legal defense services office in Japan.  Immediately upon arrival in Korea, Mr. Bilecki began defending Soldiers throughout the Pacific, trying cases, and winning.  He gained great notoriety when he took on and won a politically charged rape case involving a local Filipino victim.  This case brought the Secretary of State to Okinawa and caused massive rallies against the US Government and Mr. Bilecki's client both in Japan and the Philippines.  Despite this intense media pressure, Mr. Bilecki fought for his client at every stage of the proceedings, including personally traveling to the Philippines and working with the US State Department to track down and depose lost exculpatory witnesses and senior politicians who were pushing the prosecution of the case.  After exposing that the case was politically motivated by high-level anti-US military groups in the Philippines, the government agreed to dismiss all charges involving the alleged rape.  Shortly after this victory, Timothy Bilecki had a string of consecutive full acquittals, including a military policeman accused of possession of child pornography and child sexual assault, a NCO who confessed to over $30,000 of housing fraud and, in another high profile case, a Soldier charged with a gang-related attempted murder outside of a bar in Itaewon, Korea.

He continued his winning streak, obtaining outstanding results for his clients, and became known as one of the best trial attorneys in the military.  Facing a mandatory transition out of criminal defense practice due to his selection for promotion to Major, Mr. Bilecki decided to continue doing what he loved: defending US Service Members.  Mr. Bilecki left the military and opened The Bilecki Law Group with the mission of providing top-rated criminal defense representation to US Service Members stationed anywhere in the world.

States Licensed In
Florida, All Military Courts, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Previous Employment Summary

After graduating from Boston College with honors, Mr. Bilecki attended the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida.  There, Mr. Bilecki obtained a position clerking at prestigious Miami criminal defense firm, Hirschhorn & Bieber, P.A.  It was during this period that Mr. Bilecki was mentored by legendary criminal trial lawyer Joel Hirschhorn, who taught him the fundamentals of taking big cases to trial and winning.  After his clerkship, Mr. Bilecki accepted a follow-on clerkship with Miami criminal trial lawyer Michael Mirer.  By spending all three years of law school learning from two of the premier criminal defense firms in Miami, Timothy Bilecki had personally worked on nearly one hundred criminal matters and was head and shoulders above his peers regarding the depth and breadth of his criminal trial expertise.

After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law with honors, Mr. Bilecki joined the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he immediately made known his desire to be assigned as a criminal defense attorney.  Mr. Bilecki was one of only three Judge Advocates hand selected from his Officer Basic Course to be assigned as a Trial Defense Attorney and was assigned to the busiest jurisdiction in the US Army: Fort Hood, Texas.

When he arrived at Fort Hood, Mr. Bilecki and his fellow defense attorneys were outnumbered by government prosecutors nearly seven to one.  Undaunted, Mr. Bilecki began utilizing the skills he honed in Miami to take cases to trial…and win.  Early in his career, Timothy Bilecki gained a reputation as a heavy hitting defense attorney who would take any case to trial.  This reputation also allowed him to obtain some of the best deals possible for his clients who did not wish to take their cases to trial.  The tradition of pleading guilty only as a last resort was born, and still forms a bedrock aspect of Mr. Bilecki's practice philosophy today.

After Fort Hood, Mr. Bilecki requested and was transferred to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA).  After his service as a SAUSA, he was chosen to fill a field grade position and became the Chief of International & Operational Law for the United States Army, Pacific.  In this assignment, Mr. Bilecki spent considerable time traveling throughout Asia and advising on international and host-nation law; he also practiced throughout the Pacific Rim and Asia, providing legal advice to joint commands on foreign contracting, international agreements, foreign criminal jurisdiction, foreign tort claims and host-nation law.

Seeking a return to his passion as a criminal defense trial lawyer, and with strong desire to remain in the Pacific, Timothy Bilecki was hand selected to become the Senior Defense Counsel for the US Army Trial Defense Service, Pacific Rim Region.  Mr. Bilecki was charged with the responsibility of establishing and overseeing the first ever US Army legal defense services office in Japan.  Immediately upon arrival in Korea, Mr. Bilecki began defending Soldiers throughout the Pacific, trying cases, and winning.  He gained great notoriety when he took on and won a politically charged rape case involving a local Filipino victim.  This case brought the Secretary of State to Okinawa and caused massive rallies against the US Government and Mr. Bilecki's client both in Japan and the Philippines.  Despite this intense media pressure, Mr. Bilecki fought for his client at every stage of the proceedings, including personally traveling to the Philippines and working with the US State Department to track down and depose lost exculpatory witnesses and senior politicians who were pushing the prosecution of the case.  After exposing that the case was politically motivated by high-level anti-US military groups in the Philippines, the government agreed to dismiss all charges involving the alleged rape.  Shortly after this victory, Timothy Bilecki had a string of consecutive full acquittals, including a military policeman accused of possession of child pornography and child sexual assault, a NCO who confessed to over $30,000 of housing fraud and, in another high profile case, a Soldier charged with a gang-related attempted murder outside of a bar in Itaewon, Korea.

He continued his winning streak, obtaining outstanding results for his clients, and became known as one of the best trial attorneys in the military.  Facing a mandatory transition out of criminal defense practice due to his selection for promotion to Major, Mr. Bilecki decided to continue doing what he loved: defending US Service Members.  Mr. Bilecki left the military and opened The Bilecki Law Group with the mission of providing top-rated criminal defense representation to US Service Members stationed anywhere in the world.

Activities and Awards

Meritorious Service Medal US Army Trial Defense Service 2010
Meritorious Service Medal US Army Pacific 2008
Joint Service Achievement Medal Joint Task Force - Balikatan, Philippines 2008
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal US Army 2008
Overseas Service Ribbon US Army 2008
Army Commendation Medal US Army Trial Defense Service 2005
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal US Army 2005
Army Superior Unit Award US Army Trial Defense Service 2005
Army Service Ribbon US Army 2003

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Q & A

Timothy J. Bilecki, Owner/Managing Partner

Michael Waddington, Of Counsel

Kiley Hyatt, Of Counsel

Joseph Jordan, Of Counsel



Number of Attorneys:
4

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?:

We always prefer to work with educated clients.



Are your attorneys willing to review documents prepared by clients?:

Only if retained



Are your attorneys willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?:

No



Are your attorneys willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?:

Yes



What are your policies about dividing work among the firm's partners, associates, and paralegals to make the process most cost-effective for the client?:

The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC utilized a team approach so that the clent is provided with the best representation possible.



How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?:

Rarely



Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?:

Yes



What distinguishes your law firm from others?:

The Bilecki Law Group Military Defense Strategy

Aggressive Court Martial Lawyers - How We Level the Playing Field

When The Bilecki Law Group is retained, we immediately assemble a defense team, lead by one of our experienced court martial lawyers, to begin working immediately to gain a complete understanding of your side of the story and facts relevant to your case. Your military defense attorney begins a thorough investigation that includes interviewing all possible witnesses, scouring the law enforcement file, and talking with the prosecution to gain insight and let them knowwe mean business.  We believe this initial investigation are often overlooked by other firms, yet comprise a critical step in building a successful defense.  Timothy Bilecki believes that pleading cases is typically a last resort; a "not guilty" verdict or dismissal of charges is usually the ultimate goal.  The Bilecki Law Group constantly operates under the auspices that those who don't commence immediate preparations to win at trial will lose at trial.

Many law firms and civilian military defense lawyers do not independently investigate cases, two critical errors that perpetually jeopardize winning cases.  We are not just one lawyer, who may be overwhelmed or without the time or staff to properly conduct an investigation.  At The Bilecki Law Group, in addition to our court martial lawyers Timothy Bilecki, Kiley Hyatt and special counsel Michael Waddington, we have our own paralegal investigator (who has over 23 years of experience) who works as a member of the defense team to conduct the critical independent investigations.  This independent defense investigation is necessary in order to protect our clients from poorly conducted or erroneous investigative practices of military law enforcement and to truly understand our client's case.  At Bilecki, we question the contents of sworn statements taken by law enforcement, and routinely discover false, misleading, or totally fabricated "sworn statements."  The Bilecki Law group utilizes personally-conducted witness interviews and investigations to formulate a solid trial strategy from the case outset.  Unlike many military defense attorneys, who question witnesses at Article 32 hearings without a comprehensive strategy, we formulate and implement a defense strategies in the early stages of a case by drafting requests for witnesses and discovery strategically - not blindly - with an eye toward winning at trial. The initial, independent investigation typically forms the foundation for a successful trial.

The Investigation

At trial, savvy law enforcement agents and prosecutors will expect a good defense attorney to have familiarized himself with their reports; however, few will expect a court martial lawyer to have visited or documented the scene of the crime, the places where evidence was collected or the room in which the client was interrogated.  Without an independent examination of critical sites like these, it is impossible to cross-examine a CIDNCIS or OSI agent thoroughly.  Unless your military lawyer has investigated your case independently, he or she is left to imagine the area or attempt to reconstruct it from photographs or diagrams.  Without doing so, when the CIDNCIS or OSI agent takes the stand and lies to the panel, your military lawyer will either miss the lie or second-guess himself. 

When court martial lawyer Timothy Bilecki or Kiley Hyatt goes to a scene - be it a barracks room where an alleged rape took place, a street where an Airman was involved in a brawl, or an NCIS interrogation room where a Marine allegedly "confessed" to possession of child pornography - we leave no stone uncovered and follow up on the important leads.  A hard hitting military defense lawyer simply cannot depend on law enforcement to properly document evidence, especially evidence that may undercut their theory of the case.  If your assigned defense counsel has not conducted an investigation or documented crime scene evidence, critical evidence may be lost forever.  It may be time for a civilian military lawyer.

One of Mr. Bilecki's early mentors was legendary Miami criminal trial lawyer, JoelHirschhorn, who said: "To win, you must focus on the quality of your representation, not the quantity of cases.  You must investigate, organize, prepare and present your case the old fashioned way: hard work, long hours, meticulous attention to even the smallest detail, a lot of perspiration and a little inspiration."  This valuable teaching has guided Timothy Bilecki for over a decade and is reflected in every aspect of his work and the work of the court martial lawyers and staff at his firm

That "little inspiration" often comes while exploring the scene of the crime.  Many of Mr. Bilecki's and Mrs. Hyatt's best ideas for cross-examination come during this initial investigation, when they documents critical evidence often missed or undocumented by law enforcement.  When witnesses see photographs taken by our court martial lawyers, they know a thorough investigation has been conducted; at the Article 32 hearing or trial, these witnesses know that any efforts to lie or bend the truth will be unsuccessful.  Armed with knowledge and evidence gained from a first-hand investigation, an experienced court-martial defense lawyer like Timothy Bilecki or Kiley Hyatt are able to relentlessly cross-examine witnesses and lying law enforcement agents with confidence.  By demonstrating mastery over even the smallest details of the crime scene, witness statements, and law enforcement reports, we can dominate witnesses during cross-examination.  Be wary of any court martial lawyer or criminal defense attorney - military or civilian - who does not (or can not) conduct a thorough, independent investigation early in the proceedings.

The Article 32 Hearing

The stated purpose of an Article 32 hearing is "to inquire into the truth of the matter set forth in the charges under the UCMJ, to consider the form of the charges, and to secure information to determine what disposition should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline."  Often, prosecutors (and sometimes defense attorneys) treat the Article 32 hearing as a mere "speed bump" on the road to trial.  At The Bilecki Law Group, however, the Article 32 hearing can be an integral component in our strategic pursuit of a "not guilty" verdict or case dismissal.

While often compared to a Federal Grand Jury proceeding, an Article 32 hearing is different in several significant ways.  Notably, the defense has additional rights at the Article 32 that can be utilized as part of a strategic plan, including the right to call witnesses, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses called by the prosecution.

In reality, the Article 32 hearing forces the prosecution to prove to an independent Investigating Officer that sufficient evidence exists to proceed to trial.  The Article 32 Investigating Officer will listen to all the evidence presented and make a recommendation as to whether the charges should go forward and if so, at what level (Summary Courts-Martial, Special Courts-Martial, General Courts-Martial).  This recommendation is provided directly to the General Courts-Martial Convening Authority, usually the Commanding General, along with recommendations from the prosecutor's office and the chain of command.  It is important to remember that the Convening Authority decides if charges go forward, not the Investigating Officer.  Forgetting this important detail, many court martial lawyers attempt to "try the case" blindly at the Article 32 hearing, thinking that a great show for the Investigating Officer will prevent the progression to trial.  While this can happen in rare situations, it is certainly not the norm across the military.  Military lawyers who commit this grave error hazard a cache of possible effects:

Savvy prosecutors and Special Victim Prosecutors (SVPs) will subsequently take audio recordings of the cross-examinations conducted during the Article 32 hearing and replay them for witnesses scheduled to appear at trial; what seemed like a blistering cross at the hearing becomes ineffectual and mediocre when it matters most, since witnesses will be prepared to field difficult questions.  The end result is often a full conviction. 

Just as damaging or possibly more damaging, your inexperienced defense attorney has just provided prosecutors with an all-access pass to his playbook.  Prosecutors will know your attorney's defense strategy well before trial, allowing them to devote considerable time and effort to "prosecuting around the defense" or worse, developing a rebuttal case to present to the panel after the defense rests.  This usually results in a full conviction. 

Without a proper initial investigation to develop a trial strategy early on, a careless court martial lawyer can do significant damage at an Article 32 hearing that may in fact contribute to your conviction.  Retaining an experienced court-martial lawyer is often your only chance to level the playing field against experienced, determined prosecutors. 

Trial  

The key to leveling the playing field

For a military court martial lawyer to win trials, there may be no more important task than mastering successful cross-examination techniques and properly utilizing those techniques in the heat of trial.  Many experienced criminal defense lawyers would agree the majority of a court martial is devoted to the prosecution's case.  Inherent to a defense trial strategy is dissecting, exposing, and crippling the government's case, and cross-examination is a key factor in this process.  

A military court martial is a chess match, not a game of checkers.  Heavy-hitting, winning cross-examinations do not happen by chance or luck.  Building a powerful cross-examination requires meticulous preparation, a thorough pre-trial investigation and military trial experience.  Is your assigned military lawyer playing checkers or chess?

At The Bilecki Law Group, experience tells us that the pre-trial investigation alone does not win trials, and few cases get "dropped" after the Article 32 hearing.  Pre-trial motions or wordy "ivy league" legal arguments do not win trials.  Opening statements are required to give the panel a road map of your case, but they do not win trials.  Even a soap box-pounding, impassioned closing argument does not, by itself, win a trial.  Effective cross-examination, based off an investigation that uncovered every detail and a solid trial strategy, is the key to winning a trial.  Done properly, cross-examination can expose the sloppy law enforcement investigation, the coerced "confession," the command's unlawful influence and the witnesses self-serving lies.  Cross-examination is an indispensable skill to the experienced court martial trial lawyer.  Without heavy-hitting, thorough cross-examination, your conviction is all but inevitable.  Most military lawyers are shamefully inept at the art of cross-examination, evidenced by the military's 90%+ conviction rate.  If you are facing court martial charges, ask yourself if your free military lawyer is up to the task of truly defending your freedom.  

Overcoming The Credibility Deficit

If the panel (jury) members sense your military defense lawyer's weakness,inexperience or lack of confidence, they simply may not trust the information he presents - regardless of its factuality.  It may not matter what story an inexperienced defense lawyer puts forward during opening statement, what points he scores during cross-examination, or what arguments he makes during his closing - if the panel does not believe him or her, you may be convicted. 

Trial counsel (military prosecutors) have the luxury of "riding into the courtroom on a white horse," doing justice, ensuing good order and discipline and putting the "dirt bags" in jail.  Most panel members automatically assume the credibility of the trial counsel, who happens to work for the Staff Judge Advocate ( SJA) whohappens to advise the Commanding General, who happens to appoint panel members.  You can see the problem. 

The military defense lawyer, on the other hand, is initially perceived as a pain in the command's side and as the guy who stands in the way of "doing justice."  An inexperienced military defense attorney stands before the panel with what we call a "credibility deficit," a pre-existing prejudice against the defense.  Despite the theory that you are "innocent until proven guilty," the reality of a military court martial is that a Solider, Sailor, Airmen or Marine is often guilty until proven innocent.  Only a fearless, heavy-hitting, experienced defense attorney can overcome the credibility deficit and gain the panel's trust and win the case.  If you are being represented by an inexperienced defense attorney who will be distrusted by panel members, your own representation may help secure your conviction. 

What many military defense attorneys do wrong

After nearly a decade in the criminal defense realm, attorneys at The Bilecki Law Group have seen some outstanding cross-examinations (the ones that can win cases) and some horrific cross-examinations.  Unfortunately, most military defense attorneys are not good cross-examiners.  We believe that most military criminal defense attorney simply lack the trial experience necessary to become great at the art of cross-examination.  In the military, most Judge Advocates who practice criminal defense are only assigned to the Trial Defense Service for 18 - 24 months, simply not enough time to develop outstanding cross-examination skills.  Further exacerbating the problem, many military defense attorneys were trained as military prosecutors and never received proper training in the fundamentals of cross-examination.  Timothy Bilecki, Kiley Hyatt and Special Counsel MichaelWaddington have each represented hundreds of clients, have significant criminal defense experience, and have been heralded as some of the best cross-examiners in the business.

Leveling the Playing Field

Military criminal trials are immensely complicated by a variety of factors, and having an inexperienced defense attorney who doesn't have the experience or drive to navigate such a legal minefield makes your conviction all but inevitable.  The Bilecki Law Group is devoted to defending military personnel and has the experience to traverse the legal battleground successfully.  With the deck stacked against you, don't gamble on a losing hand. 

Call The Bilecki Law Group to discuss all of your options and level the playing field.



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Disclaimer

Law Office of The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal Defense Law Firm
Honolulu
Hawaii
HI


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Types of Cases
Main Area of Practice: Criminal Defense

Preferred Cases:

  • Serious Court Martial Charges
  • Sexual Assault Defense
  • Drug Trafficking and Distribution Defense
  • Financial Fraud Defense
  • Housing Fraud Defense


Other Cases:

  • Criminal Defense
  • Court Martial Defense
  • Trial Consultation
Credentials & Cases
Court Admissions

Florida Bar

All Military Courts

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals



Association/Professional Organization Memberships:

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

National Association of Court Martial Lawyers (NACML)

National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) 

Former Army Judge Advocate General (MAJ)

Top Settlements
Full Acquittal

Yongsan, Korea, E-7, 

Charges: Larceny of military property, false official statement, dereliction of duty

Maximum Sentence: DD, 11 years 6 months confinement, total forfeiture, reduction to E-1, Federal felony conviction

NOT GUILTY of stealing over a quarter million in cash from a bank vault. The client was found NOT GUILTY after being charged with larceny, false official statement and dereliction of duty for allegedly stealing over a quarter million dollars in cash out of a military disbursing section cash vault and allegedly losing all funds playing high stakes Baccarat at a local casino. Initially, the evidence seemed almost insurmountable; our client was the cash-disbursing officer for the finance office and the only individual with access to an extremely secure vault. When the client took over responsibility for the vault, it contained over $250,000 cash; a few days later, the client called his command and confessed to taking the money out of the vault and gambling it away at a local casino. A subsequent cash count revealed that the vault was nearly empty and over a quarter-million dollars was missing. Potentially more damning were gambling records obtained by the government that revealed that, during the time the money went missing, the client was playing $10,000+ hands of Baccarat and lost over $250,000 at the casino. The government thought this was a done deal and nearly everyone questioned why we plead not guilty and took this case to trial.

We believed the client, a Cambodian national and Khmer Rouge survivor, had an outstanding extenuation and mitigation case based on his family background. In search of alternate defenses and to solidify the extenuation and mitigation case, both Mr. Bilecki and military counsel CPT Sam Kim traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to meet the client’s family and ferret out a possible duress defense. Bilecki and Kim steered the prosecution toward the Cambodia/duress defense but utilized a completely different tactic at trial.

The defense never backed down or gave in to numerous “deals” offered by the prosecution, and subsequently won a motion suppressing a good portion of the client’s confession. We were also successful in keeping all casino records out of trial. With the government so concerned with what we may or may not have discovered in Cambodia, and without the confession or casino records, Bilecki put the command on trial, exposed the sloppy security procedures of the cash vault and implicated the Korean national who was in control of the vault immediately before the client took over. Defense made a case that the Korean national continued to have access to the vault after she turned it over to the client and further, were cleverly able to put her near the scene of the crime during the time in question. After nearly six days of trial, the panel found our client NOT GUILTY of all the larceny charges and NOT GUILTY of all false official statement charges in less then one hour. Our client is still happily serving in the US Army.

RESULT: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES





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