CID Titling and CID Criminal Records Indexing

CID titling occurs when a Soldier is listed as a subject in an CID Report of Investigation (ROI) or in a law enforcement report (LER). CID Titling will remain listed in criminal records databases for up to 40 years, regardless whether the ROI/LER revealed that there was no probable cause the Soldier committed the offense, the case was dropped, the case was handled administratively, or the case went to trial and the Solider was acquitted. On this page, the Law Office of Will M. Helixon will outline the CID titling process, and discuss what can be done about it.

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CID Titling, Subject Titling, criminal records databases, DCII, U.S. Army CRC, CRC, NCIC, CID Law Enforcement Reports, LER, Reports of Investigation, ROI

Full Disclosure of Relationship with CID.

Before delving into the intricate details of CID titling and its far-reaching implications, I believe it is essential to provide some context about my extensive experience working with CID. Since 1996, I have specialized in military law, primarily focusing on criminal cases. Throughout my career, I have developed strong relationships with special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), forming lasting bonds that extend beyond professional realms. Given the transient nature of the Army, I have remained friends with many of these CID special agents through social media ever since. These past connections have afforded me the opportunity to actively engage with CID through various avenues, including attending their office functions, such as holiday parties and organizational days, as well as frequenting the shooting range alongside them. Over time, I have hosted individuals such as the Special Agents in Charge (SACs), now known as Supervisory Special Agents (SSA), at my home for dinners, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. Furthermore, as a senior defense counsel, I have diligently nurtured positive associations with CID special agents, seizing every chance to participate in their training initiatives and even providing defense-oriented training to these mostly exceptional individuals. Presently, I am fortunate enough to be married to a CID special agent, which affords me frequent social interactions with agents from her office, including the leadership within the office. Whether it involves enjoying a relaxing dinner outing, exploring a charming Christmas Market, or savoring a leisurely Sunday brunch, my time spent with CID special agents surpasses any other professional group with whom I currently socialize. However, it is important to note that despite the amiable and affable nature of these relationships, I maintain high expectations for CID special agents. When they fall short of meeting these expectations, I am unafraid to hold them accountable and ensure they adhere to the requisite standards. With that said, I am often critical of the way investigations are conducted, and in particular the rules, policies, and regulations governing the “CID titling” of a subject in a CID investigation and indexing of Law Enforcement Reports in criminal records databases.  Below is what a Service Member needs to know about CID investigations, the decision to “title” a subject, the “CID titling” consequences, and what can be done about seemingly unfair “titling” decisions and indexing in criminal records databases.

CID Titling, indexing in criminal records databases
Former Wiesbaden Supervisory Special Agent CW4 Adam Armstrong and Will Helixon

What are the Military Criminal Investigation Organizations (MCIOs) in the U.S. Armed Forces?

Military Criminal Investigation Organizations in the Armed Forces are usually the law enforcement bodies that investigate felony-level crimes.  The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) are considered the Military Criminal Investigation Organizations (MCIO) in the Armed Forces.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID).

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID)  is a distinguished federal law enforcement agency with a global presence. As stated on their official website, CID comprises a dedicated team of nearly 3,000 personnel stationed across 124 locations worldwide. Their primary responsibilities encompass a wide range of critical tasks, including felony criminal investigations, operations related to war crimes and terrorism, gathering and analyzing criminal intelligence, conducting cybercrime investigations, multi-dimensional forensic support, and providing protective services for high-ranking officials such as the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. CID’s diverse capabilities and unwavering commitment make it an essential component of the nation’s security framework.

Titling, CID, DCII, USACRC, NCIC, criminal records database, CID Titling,

U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

As described in their recruiting brochure, The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) is a highly esteemed federal law enforcement and counterintelligence agency. Operating across various missions at both home station and deployed locations, OSI employs cutting-edge technology and equips its dedicated force of over 1,700 special agents and 700 professional staff personnel with elite investigative training. The multifaceted responsibilities of OSI encompass conducting comprehensive investigations, addressing cyber-crimes, offering specialized services, safeguarding classified information, identifying and neutralizing threats, and actively countering foreign adversaries. Through their unwavering commitment to justice, OSI plays a crucial role in preserving the security and integrity of the United States Air Force.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

As highlighted in the NCIS recruiting materials, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) holds a distinctive role as the civilian Federal law enforcement agency within the Department of the Navy (DON). NCIS is entrusted with the critical missions of investigating felony crimes, countering terrorism, and safeguarding classified information for both the Navy and Marine Corps. In their pursuit of justice, NCIS effectively combats a wide range of threats spanning foreign intelligence, terrorism, and criminal activities. Through comprehensive operations and investigations conducted across ashore, afloat, and cyberspace domains, NCIS remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting and preserving the strength and supremacy of the DON warfighter.

What is a CID and MCIO Report of Investigation (ROI)?

They serve as comprehensive records of investigative activities and evidence compiled for a particular case. Prior to August 21, 2020, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) referred to these reports as “Reports of Investigation” (ROI), which were formally generated by special agents upon completion of a criminal investigation. The ROI functioned as an official written account encompassing all pertinent details, summaries of statements, and factual discoveries throughout the investigative process. It served the purpose of documenting the investigation’s findings and presenting them to the appropriate legal authorities and command for review and subsequent action. However, on August 21, 2020, Army Regulation 195-2 (Criminal Investigation Activities) brought about a change, replacing the term “CID Reports of Investigation” (ROI) with “Law Enforcement Reports” (LER). As per AR 195-2, LERs are now defined as “official written records encompassing all relevant information and facts obtained during a USACIDC and MP law enforcement report or criminal investigation.” CID Regulation 195-1 (Criminal Investigations) governs CID operations and investigations, including the then-called LERs. Again, in March 2023, CID again changed the name of these investigations back to Reports of Investigation (ROI).  Depending upon when the “CID titling” occurred will determine whether the underlying report is a ROI or LER.  Unfortunately, this CID regulation is not accessible outside law enforcement circles, prohibiting inspection or review by the general public, including military defense lawyers (unless ordered by a military court).

CID Titling, criminal records database, DCII, NCIC, USACRC, Law enforcement report, Report of Investigation

What is Typically included in a CID Law Enforcement Report (LER) or ROI?

The CID LER/ROI serves as a comprehensive documentation that encompasses various essential components of the investigation. It provides a meticulous account of the crime or activity under scrutiny, outlining the investigative methods and strategies employed. Furthermore, it offers a comprehensive summary of all evidence carefully collected and scrutinized throughout the course of the investigation. This includes physical evidence such as blood, clothing, weapons, and other items directly linked to the crime, as well as forensic evidence encompassing tire impressions, tool marks, DNA analysis, and forensic medical examinations. Additionally, the LER/ROI incorporates a compilation of photographs and videos capturing crucial aspects of the investigation, including physical evidence, crime scenes, and surveillance footage. Moreover, digital evidence extracted from devices like phones, computers, and smart devices is also documented. Witness statements and testimonies are gathered and included, along with any other pertinent information that contributes to either substantiating or refuting the allegations being investigated.

Once the LER/ROI is thoroughly compiled and the subject is “CID titled”, it is briefed to the appropriate legal authority, such as the trial counsel or brigade judge advocate (BJA), for an opinion on probable cause and additionally necessary actions. The LER/ROI plays a pivotal role in determining whether criminal charges will be levied against individuals implicated in the alleged criminal activity. Furthermore, it serves as a crucial factor in subsequent disciplinary or administrative measures that may be implemented by the Army.

What Findings Can Be Included in the CID LER or ROI?

In accordance with the CID Investigation Regulation, there have been recent modifications to the terminology employed by CID when assessing the outcomes of investigations. Previously, CID would utilize the terms “founded” to indicate the presence of sufficient evidence substantiating the commission of a criminal offense, “unfounded” to denote the absence of a criminal offense, and “insufficient evidence” to signify either the inability to ascertain the occurrence of an offense or the inability to establish probable cause regarding the subject’s involvement. However, under the revised CID Investigation Regulation, the focus now lies on determining whether there was or was not probable cause to believe that the subject committed the offense. This determination is made in collaboration with a judge advocate providing legal counsel and advice to CID special agents.

CID Titling: What Does it Mean to be “Titled” by CID and MCIOs?

The term “titling” or “CID titling” is defined as the decision made by an authorized official (usually a CID special agent), possessing credible information regarding criminal activity, to include the name of one or more individuals, corporations, or legal entities in the subject portion (subject block) of a CID Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI. As per the glossary of AR 195-2 (dated 21 August 2020), credible information refers to information that is disclosed to or obtained by an investigator, and when considering the source, nature, and totality of the circumstances, is deemed sufficiently believable to indicate the occurrence of criminal activity. This kind of information would prompt a reasonable investigator, under similar circumstances, to further pursue the facts of the case in order to determine if a criminal act has taken place or may have occurred. When an individual is “titled,” it signifies that their name has been placed in the subject block of a CID LER/ROI based on credible information. In essence, it means being identified as a subject of a CID investigation. It is important to note that “CID titling” is an operational decision made by CID, rather than a legal or judicial decision, and it is not intended to serve as an indication of the subject’s guilt or innocence regarding the offense for which they are titled.

Law Enforcement Report, crime records database, DCII, USACRC, NCIC, Report of Investigation

CID Titling: Can a Service Member be “Titled” if there is a Finding of No Probable Cause in the ROI/LER?

Certainly. Probable cause, as determined at the culmination of an investigation, signifies the belief that the subject mentioned in the title block of the CID LER/ROI is responsible for the offenses under investigation. In military courts, probable cause has been defined as a “reasonable belief” that an individual committed an offense. Even if the investigation concludes that there is no “reasonable belief” that the subject mentioned in the title block of the CID Law Enforcement Report or Report of Investigation committed any offense, they will still retain the “titled” status if, at the time of “CID titling,” the special agent possessed “credible information” suggesting the subject’s involvement in the offense (as outlined in CID Regulation 195-1, which stipulates that special agents have 3-days to complete their initial report after being notified of an offense).

It is important to note that the standard of alleged misconduct being “sufficiently believable” to warrant further investigation at the investigation’s commencement is significantly lower than the standard of a “reasonable belief” that the subject committed the offense upon investigation’s conclusion.

Consequently, absent additional information, a determination of “no probable cause” during an investigation will not result in the removal of the subject’s name from the “title” block of the Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI. Furthermore, a not guilty verdict in a court-martial will not lead to the removal of the subject’s “CID titling” from the LER/ROI.

CID Titling: What are the Consequences of being “Titled” in a LER/ROI by CID or MCIOs?

Once an individual receives a “CID titling” in a Law Enforcement Report by CID, their information is subsequently indexed in multiple criminal records databases. The initial indexing takes place in the Defense Clearance and Investigations Index (DCII), which occurs upon the subject’s CID titling and prior to the investigation’s completion. Additionally, individuals are also indexed in the U.S. Army Crimes Records Center (CRC), constituting the second criminal records database. Once indexed in the CRC database, the CID Law Enforcement Reports (LERs)/ROIs are shared with other law enforcement agencies upon request and are included in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). It is important to note that entries in both the DCII and the U.S. Army CRC remain active for a duration of forty (40) years. Other Military Criminal Investigative Organizations (MCIOs) have their respective databases for maintaining criminal records, which are addressed in their specific investigative regulations and instructions.

CID Titling: What is the Defense Clearance and Investigations Index (DCII)?

As per DOD Instruction 5505.07 dated February 28, 2018, the Defense Clearance and Investigations Index (DCII) serves as a centralized and searchable database. It contains specific unique identifying information and security clearance data used by both Department of Defense (DoD) and select federal agencies for assessing security clearance status and accessing criminal and personnel security investigative files. The physical maintenance of the DCII database falls under the purview of the Defense Manpower Data Center. However, the contributing agencies, specifically the DoD investigative agencies (MCIOs), bear the responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the data they provide.

Established in 1967, the DCII was designated by the Department of Defense as the singular automated central repository. Its purpose is to document investigations conducted by DoD investigative agencies and personnel security determinations made by DoD adjudicative authorities. The accuracy of the data inputted into the DCII is the joint responsibility of the DoD investigative agencies (MCIOs) and central adjudicative facilities.

By March 2000, the DCII contained around 24 million indexed individuals, accompanied by approximately 30 million investigative dossiers and security clearance eligibility tracings.

The DCII primarily functions as a DoD index for investigations and security clearance information. Regarding criminal investigations, the index includes the names and personal identifying data of subjects under investigation, along with file numbers, file retention periods, and organizational identifiers of the corresponding criminal investigative organizations. However, specific case dispositions and other intricate investigation details are not included in the DCII. To access this information, authorized requestors must directly obtain the case file details from the relevant investigative organization. In the case of the Army, this process is facilitated through the U.S. Army Crime Records Center (CRC).

U.S. Army Crime Records Center, DCII, USACRC, NCIC, crime records data base, law enforcement report, Report of Investigation, ROI, LER

CID Titling: What is the U.S. Army Crimes Records Center (CRC)?

According to CID information from 2019, the U.S. Army Crime Records Center’s (USACRC) Electronic Imaging Database contains an extensive collection of more than 1,951,152 text searchable cases. Approximately every six months, around 10,000 cases, comprising 500,000 pages, are added to the database. This process entails CID units and USACRC employees manually scanning each page of an investigation using a high-speed scanner and then cataloging the information within the database.

The USACRC serves as a multifunctional center, co-located with the CID headquarters, offering support not only to CID, the Army, and the Department of Defense (DoD), but also to foreign, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Established in 1971, the USACRC’s primary responsibility is to receive, safeguard, maintain, and disseminate information extracted from Army law enforcement records. Over the years, the center has amassed a vast collection of more than 2.7 million reports.

As of 2019, the USACRC accessioned over 20,000 Army law enforcement records annually. Each year, information from more than 85,000 Army law enforcement records, including case of CID titling, is provided to customers for various purposes, including law enforcement, intelligence, personnel security, and suitability. Furthermore, the USACRC conducts more than 415,000 criminal history checks on an annual basis. It also serves as the Army’s channeling agency for the electronic conversion and submission of Army law enforcement criminal history fingerprint cards to the National Crime Information Center, processing nearly 17,000 cards each year. Additionally, the USACRC acts as the authority for the Army law enforcement Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, responding to an average of 4,700 requests annually. It is responsible for amending Army law enforcement records when appropriate and requested by individuals, handling appeals for denied or withheld information, and providing litigation responses as necessary. The USACRC shares its information with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and other law enforcement agencies upon request. The comprehensive regulations governing the operation of the U.S. Army Crime Records Center can be found in CID Regulation 195-1, specifically Chapter 21 (2001) and subsequent revised editions.

CID Titling: What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)?

The NCIC database serves as a comprehensive computerized index of crucial criminal justice information, including criminal record history, fugitives, stolen property, and missing persons. It operates 24/7, providing access to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice entities. Referred to as the lifeline of law enforcement, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), as stated on their website, acts as an electronic clearinghouse for a wide range of crime data, including mug shots and crime records, making it accessible to virtually every criminal justice agency nationwide.

The NCIC plays a vital role in assisting criminal justice professionals in various tasks, such as locating fugitives, finding missing individuals, recovering stolen property, identifying potential threats from terrorists, and enhancing overall safety in their duties. The FBI launched the NCIC in 1967, initially starting with five files and 356,784 records. Since then, it has grown significantly and now encompasses 22 files, housing over 17 million active records. The NCIC handles millions of transactions daily, demonstrating its extensive usage and impact.

Criminal justice agencies like the U.S. Army Crime Records Center (CRC) contribute records to the NCIC, which are then made available to law enforcement agencies across the country. For instance, during a traffic stop, an officer can swiftly search the NCIC database, receiving instant feedback on whether the vehicle is stolen or if the driver is wanted. It is important to note that a positive response from the NCIC does not automatically establish probable cause for an officer to take action. It is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies to verify the accuracy and currency of the information in the NCIC database before proceeding with any actions.

The NCIC operates through a collaborative effort involving the FBI, federal agencies, state agencies, local agencies, and tribal criminal justice users. These users have the opportunity to provide input on NCIC policy through the Advisory Policy Board of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies are responsible for entering, modifying, and removing their own records from the NCIC database, while the CJIS Division acts as the custodian of the NCIC records, ensuring their integrity and security.

CID Titling: What are the Consequences of Being “Titled” and Indexed in Criminal Records Databases in the Military?

Being indexed in both the DCII and the U.S. Army CRC carries long-lasting implications as the “CID titling” of a Soldier can persist for up to forty (40) years. Throughout this duration, whenever criminal records checks, background checks, or name checks are conducted by law enforcement or relevant agencies, the fact that the Soldier was “titled” for an offense will be revealed. Subsequently, the agency may request a copy of the Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI stored in the U.S. Army CRC. This “CID titling” in a Law Enforcement Report/ROI can trigger a range of collateral consequences that have far-reaching effects.

These collateral consequences stemming from “CID titling” and subsequent indexing in criminal records databases can be significant. Negative collateral consequences may include the revocation of a security clearance, separation from the service, limitations in civilian job opportunities, adverse military personnel decisions, loss of military job opportunities, and various other adverse outcomes. It is crucial to recognize that the enduring presence of “titling” in these databases amplifies the potential impact on a Soldier’s career and personal life, leading to adverse repercussions across multiple domains.

crime records database, DCII, USACRC, NCIC, law enforcement report, report of investigation, security clearance, ROI, LER

Can “CID Titling” be Used to Revoke a Security Clearance?

Inclusion of “CID titling” for a subject can have detrimental consequences for Soldiers serving on active duty or in the Reserves, potentially leading to the revocation or denial of their security clearance. This denial or revocation of clearances not only impedes their ability to perform their duties effectively but also puts their continued service at risk. When a Soldier’s security clearance is revoked or denied, they are referred to the Department of Army’s Suitability Evaluation Board (DASEB). The DASEB holds the authority to determine whether any adverse information including CID titling should become part of the Soldier’s official personnel files.

If the unfavorable information finds its place within the Soldier’s performance section of the AMHRR, it can have far-reaching implications. It becomes an obstacle to promotions, assignments, and opportunities for further education, and could even trigger an elimination board. Hence, the repercussions of losing clearance extend beyond immediate consequences, affecting the Soldier’s career trajectory and professional development.

Can “CID Titling” be used to Involuntarily Separate a Soldier?

While it is unlikely that a “CID titling” action alone, without additional information, would be used to involuntarily separate a Soldier, the Department of the Army’s Suitability Evaluation Board (DASEB) will deliberate to determine whether unfavorable information requested by a commander or agency without filing authority should be filed in the AMHRR and, if so, whether to be placed in the performance or restricted portion.  Law enforcement agencies, including CID, will (in accordance with AR 190–45 (Law Enforcement Reporting), AR 195–2 (Criminal Investigation Activities), and chapter 5 of AR 600–37 (Unfavorable Information)) advise the DASEB upon request, when unfavorable information is provided for criminal justice action on an individual.  If that Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI or “CID titling” decision is filed in the AMHRR, it could generate either an Administrative Separation Board for enlisted Soldiers or a Board of Inquiry for officers, depending upon the other information contained in the LER/ROI.  According to AR 600-37, paragraph 2-2(c)(1), “the DASEB may also recommend potential separation or elimination actions to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) based on information submitted” to the Board for filing in the AMHRR.

Can a “CID Titling” Decision be used by Future Employers to Deny Employment?

Both the NCII and the U.S. Army CRC can be accessed when a Soldier apply for some types of jobs, especially federal jobs.  In this respect, CID titling it is like an arrest.  There might be enough evidence to arrest a person, but not enough to go to trial.  Even though the person does not have a conviction, a check of their criminal history might show an arrest that the person will need to explain to a future employer.  I personally know of a case where a Soldier was affected by “CID titling.” While on active duty, he was investigated for having an inappropriate relationship and possessing an unauthorized prescription before he retired.  After retirement, he was seeking an ordinary laborer type job at an on-post laundry facility for logistical support in Germany.  The “CID titling” was revealed on the background investigation and  criminal records check, and the Soldier was required to seek an exception to policy to be hired at that job.  He was also required to provide an explanation as to the circumstances of the underlying investigation and CID titling before he would be considered for employment at this on-post facility.  In addition to government employers, many civilian employers employ the use of background checks that seek information from the Army criminal records indexes (DCII and USACRC) for both pre-employment and post-employment uses, which documents “CID titling.”

USACRC, DCII, NCIC, crime records database, law enforcement report, report of investigation, LER, ROI

Can “CID Titling” Affect Military Personnel Decisions and Loss of Military Job Opportunities?

Moreover, a “CID titling” decision combined with an initial Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI stored in the US Army CRC database can lead to a commander initiating a flag on a Soldier. The imposition of a flag has far-reaching implications, preventing any favorable personnel actions for the affected Soldier. This includes impeding promotions, re-enlistment, reassignment, appearances before semi-centralized Department of the Army (DA) boards, eligibility for individual awards and decorations, attendance at military or civilian educational institutions, application for tuition assistance, voluntary resignations, retirements, approval of advance or excess leave, payment of bonuses, activation of Reservists for active-duty tours, and assumption of command.

It is noteworthy that in locations such as Germany and other overseas bases, retired military personnel may be denied access to military installations based on information present in the criminal records databases, including CID titling. In such cases, garrison commanders can impose “theater-wide bars to installations” for retired individuals. This underscores the long-lasting implications of information contained in these databases.

Allow me to share a personal account as an example. I am acquainted with an active-duty senior non-commissioned officer who is in the process of retiring. Due to an ongoing CID investigation concerning unsubstantiated allegations made by his soon-to-be ex-wife, this Soldier was flagged. Consequently, solely because of the imposition of the flag, the Soldier was denied 30 days of permissive Temporary Duty (PTDY) as the command awaited the investigation’s final findings.

The above illustrates how “CID titling” decisions and the subsequent consequences can significantly impact a Soldier’s military career, affecting their professional advancement, assignments, and even their personal lives.

Are There Other Consequences of “CID Titling” and Being Indexed in Criminal Records Databases?

“CID titling” and indexing in criminal records databases can have severe adverse effects on the future prospects of former Service Members, even if they have received an Honorable Discharge. These “roadblocks” can include not getting approved for professional licenses (admission to the bar, practice medicine, own and operated daycare facilities), gun ownership, concealed carry licenses, issuance of travel visas and international travel, applications for government assistance, serving as a youth sports coach, becoming foster parents, adopting children and even college and graduate school admission admissions. Virtually any application requiring a background check is likely to reveal the Service Member’s “CID titling” or indexed status in criminal records databases, leading to denial of services or opportunities unless a comprehensive explanation and justification are provided.

Considering the gravity of the consequences associated with being indexed in the criminal records databases, Soldiers who have endured “CID titling” and indexed in the National Crime Information Center Index (NCII) and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (USACID) Criminal Records Center (CRC) should take immediate steps to limit the dissemination of their records to the smallest audience possible. Unfortunately, reversing a LER)/ROI “CID titling” decision is extremely challenging, if not impossible. Once a special agent initiates a case, often referred to as “popping a number,” they are required by regulations to submit the LER/ROI for entry into their law enforcement records database within a specific timeframe (currently 3-days). Once the subject is named, “CID titling” occurs, removal is exceptionally rare and typically occurs only under extraordinary circumstances.

Can a Soldier Request Removal of “CID Titling” in a LER/ROI?

While it is technically possible for a Soldier to attempt to remove their name from the title block of a Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI through a process known as “reverse titling,” the chances of success are exceedingly slim. To achieve success in this endeavor, the Soldier must establish one of two things:

  1. Prove that the name associated with the LER/ROI is incorrect, demonstrating that it was another individual with the same name who was suspected of committing the offense.
  2. Demonstrate that there was no “credible information” available to suggest that the Soldier in question committed the offense. It is important to note that the inquiry into the absence of “credible information” focuses solely on what the special agent knew at the time of the “titling” decision, disregarding any information that may have been discovered later during the course of the investigation.

However, it is crucial to recognize that even when pursuing the process of reverse titling, the chances of achieving a successful outcome remain extremely low. The burden of proof rests heavily on the Soldier, requiring substantial evidence or compelling arguments to challenge the validity of the “CID titling” decision.

An Example of “CID Titling” Hypothetical.

Let’s examine a specific scenario to illustrate the challenges associated with removing a “CID titling” decision. A Specialist reports to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) that she was sexually assaulted by her First Sergeant in his office following the morning formation. During her comprehensive video-recorded interview with CID, she provides a detailed account of the incident. According to her statement, the First Sergeant summoned her for counseling, and upon entering his office, he proceeded to sexually assault her after closing the door. There are no internal inconsistencies or indications that she might be fabricating the story.

During the initial investigation, CID discovers that a Private First Class witnessed the Specialist entering the First Sergeant’s office and observed her exiting after approximately five minutes, with the door closed. However, the Private First Class did not witness the First Sergeant’s presence, only the Specialist entering and leaving the office. CID conducts further inquiries within the company but fails to find additional witnesses to corroborate the Specialist’s entry and exit from the First Sergeant’s office. When CID attempts to interview the First Sergeant three days later, they learn that he is currently on a mission TDY and will not return for another week.

To adhere to their internal timeline requirements, the CID special agent determines that there is “credible evidence” warranting further investigation into the First Sergeant’s alleged sexual assault and initiates the LER/ROI, naming the First Sergeant in the title block and initiating “CID titling.” Subsequently, it is revealed that the First Sergeant was indeed TDY during the reported sexual assault. Witnesses confirm his presence at a conference in another state on the morning of the alleged incident. When confronted with this new information, the Specialist admits that she fabricated the story to retaliate against the First Sergeant for recommending her for a company grade Article 15 due to repeated tardiness. She further reveals that she did enter the First Sergeant’s office and shut the door, but no one else was present. The First Sergeant denies the sexual assault, asserting that he was TDY during the alleged incident and provides the special agent with the names of three witnesses who can vouch for his presence at the conference.

After a thorough investigation and consultation with their servicing judge advocate, CID determines that there is no probable cause to believe that the First Sergeant committed the offense of sexual assault.

Although one might assume that this would be a clear-cut case to reverse the “CID titling” decision and remove the First Sergeant’s name from the LER/ROI, unfortunately, it is not that straightforward. The key factor in the appeal to remove the “CID titling” decision is what the special agent knew at the time of the decision, rather than the information discovered afterward during the investigation. Consequently, unless additional evidence demonstrates that the special agent was aware of the Specialist’s fabrication during the “CID titling” decision, it is unlikely that the First Sergeant will succeed in removing his name from the investigation. Meeting such a high standard of proof is extremely challenging.

In our hypothetical example, it would be advisable to seek legal counsel, potentially considering the assistance of a civilian attorney to submit the request for removal of the “CID titling.” However, it is essential to recognize that changing the “CID titling” decision remains an uphill battle. If you find yourself facing an unjust situation similar to our hypothetical First Sergeant, we encourage you to contact the military lawyers at the Law Office of Will M. Helixon. We possess extensive experience in assisting Soldiers dealing with seemingly unfair “CID titling” decisions and can provide guidance on your available options.

How Does a Soldier Appeal a “CID Titling” Decision in a LER/ROI?

The Soldier can initiate a request for an amendment to the Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI in accordance with AR 195-2, paragraph 4-4(b) with the purpose of deleting their name from the subject block of the LER/ROI. As per the regulations, such a request will be granted if it is determined that credible information did not exist at the initiation of the investigation to believe that the individual committed the offense for which they were titled as a subject, or if it is determined that the wrong person’s name was entered due to mistaken identity.

It is important to note that the decision to include a person’s name in the title block of a USACID LER/ROI (CID titling) is an independent investigative determination and is separate from any judicial, nonjudicial, or administrative actions taken against the individual or the subsequent outcomes of such actions. The authority to make changes to the Law Enforcement Report/ROI lies solely with the Commanding General (now the civilian Director) of USACIDC. The decision made by the Director constitutes the final action on behalf of the Secretary of the Army regarding requests for amendment under this regulation.

To request the removal of a Soldier’s name from the title block of a CID Law Enforcement Report/ROI, the request should be directed to the Director, U.S. Army Crime Records Center (CICR–FP), located at 27130 Telegraph Road, Quantico, VA 22134–2253.

What Should a Soldier Include in an Appeal of “CID Titling” Decisions?

Demonstrating that there was “no credible evidence” at the time of the investigation to support the CID titling decision is a formidable standard to meet. It necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the timing of the Soldier’s titling, the evidence considered during the decision-making process, and the individuals involved in making the decision. To effectively deconstruct the circumstances surrounding the titling, it is crucial to ascertain the exact date when the titling occurred.

If the decision to challenge the CID titling is made early in the investigation, there is a higher likelihood of uncovering the information known at that time. Engaging with the case agent and supervisory special agent (SSA) who are still involved in the CID office can prove beneficial. This also one of the benefits for having a good working relationship with CID. Presenting arguments that there was insufficient credible evidence to support the Soldier’s guilt during the investigation may prompt a reevaluation of the CID titling decision, particularly if a finding of “no probable cause” was reached in the case. However, it’s important to note that the case agent and SSA do not possess the authority to remove the Soldier’s name from the subject line of the LER/ROI. The request for a change in a CID titling decision must be directed to the CID Command, which offers the best chance of removal, albeit without guarantee.

If the Soldier is unsuccessful in persuading the case agent and SSA, the request should be escalated to the Commander (now civilian Director) of USACID. In most cases, the Director will defer to the initial assessments of the local agents and deny the requested change in the CID titling, maintaining that credible evidence existed to support the original decision.

If the Soldier attempts to challenge the CID titling decision years after the case was investigated, the chances of success diminish significantly. In such instances, the Soldier may need to utilize the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Army Regulation (AR) 25-55 to request a redacted copy of the LER/ROI. This limited access to the original investigators makes it more arduous to seek their support for changing the CID titling decision. The Soldier will then need to argue why the existing evidence did not meet the threshold of “credible evidence” at the commencement of the investigation and why the CID titling was unwarranted. This becomes an even more challenging task over time, especially since the FIOA request will have all the special agent’s names redacted. Consequently, appealing to the Director of USACID Command is likely to affirm the original special agent’s decision to title the Soldier.

Considering the slim chances of success, seeking legal assistance from the military lawyers at the Law Office of Will M. Helixon can be advantageous for Soldiers seeking to remove their name from the title block of the LER/ROI and challenge the CID titling decision. However, it is important to assess whether pursuing this course of action is worth the substantial attorney fees, as the likelihood of success is minimal. Unless the Soldier desires a “Memorandum of Titling Explanation” to address future inquiries regarding their CID titling in a LER/ROI, it may be a fruitless endeavor. Further discussion on the “Memorandum of CID Titling Explanation” will be provided below.

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Has CID Made Mistakes Regarding “CID Titling” Decisions in the Past?

Unfortunately, CID has made multiple errors in the past regarding the titling of Soldiers, and it is likely that such mistakes will continue in the future. Between 2005 and 2012, there was a National Guard and Reserve recruiting program that offered $2,000 bonuses for successful referrals resulting in enlistment. In 2012, the U.S. Army Audit Agency’s fraud-risk assessment revealed a lack of oversight in the program and instances of fraud and abuse at the recruiter level and below.

The United States Army has officially acknowledged the errors in the previous submission of names to the national criminal database during its investigation of the National Guard and Reserve recruiting program conducted from 2012 to 2016. The Army has initiated a corrective process to remove erroneously indexed individuals from the database and notify them about this action. In addition to the improper indexing in criminal records databases, CID also incorrectly titled hundreds of Soldiers.

CID’s review of investigations found that more than half of the individuals reviewed may have been improperly indexed. They anticipate that the number of affected individuals may increase as the review progresses. Furthermore, several individuals were wrongly titled as part of the investigation. The ongoing review of CID titling actions will determine whether the appropriate decisions were made in titling these individuals. If CID cannot establish, according to the appropriate standard, that CID titling is warranted, the individual’s titling record will be expunged from Department of Defense records.

When questioned about these improper indexing and titling practices, Gregory D. Ford, Director of the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, emphasized CID’s commitment to transparency and correcting any errors. He stated, “CID is committed to being transparent and correcting any errors made, not just for this set of investigations, but across the board as we conduct our investigative mission.” Therefore, when requesting a review of a titling decision, it is essential for the Soldier to frame it as part of the overall effort to ensure transparency throughout CID’s operations. In the event that the Soldier’s efforts to change the CID titling decision are unsuccessful, there may be better chances of amending or changing the finding of “probable cause” to “no probable cause” by appealing the actual LER/ROI contained in the U.S. Crime Records Center.

Can a Soldier Appeal the Submission of an LER/ROI to the U.S. Army Crime Records Center?

Yes, in accordance with AR 195-2, paragraph 4-4(b), a Soldier has the right to request an amendment to a Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI stored in the Army’s criminal records database. As outlined in the regulation, requests for amendment or unfounded offenses in USACID LERs/ROIs will only be granted if the individual presents new, relevant, and material facts that warrant a revision of the report. The responsibility to provide substantiating evidence rests with the individual making the request. It is important to note that the decision to make any changes to the report is solely at the discretion of the Commanding General (now Director) of USACID.

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What Should a Soldier Include in a Request to Change or Amend the Probable Cause Findings in an LER/ROI Submitted to the U.S. Army CRC?

Unlike the restrictive nature of the “CID titling” decision, the request to remove or amend the Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI based on the absence of probable cause is not limited to the “credible information” available to the special agent at the initiation of the investigation. The Soldier has the opportunity to submit any relevant supporting documents that could influence the determination of probable cause reached at the conclusion of the investigation. These documents can be instrumental in supporting the Soldier’s request to remove or modify the LER/ROI, provided they have a direct bearing on the determination of probable cause.

Obtain a Copy of the Original Law Enforcement Investigation.

To initiate the process of requesting an amendment to the “probable cause” finding in a Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI conducted by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), there are certain steps and factors that a Soldier should carefully consider. These include the following steps.

Acquiring a copy of the LER/ROI.

The Soldier should obtain a copy of the LER/ROI on file with the U.S. Army Crime Records Center (CRC) by utilizing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as mentioned previously. Having access to the LER is crucial for a comprehensive analysis of the evidence and reasoning behind the “probable cause” determination.

Analyzing the evidence.

Once in possession of the LER/ROI, the Soldier should thoroughly examine the evidence presented within it. It is essential to identify any inconsistencies, gaps, or logical flaws that undermine the basis for establishing “probable cause.” The Soldier should focus on demonstrating that there is no reasonable belief that they committed the alleged offense based on a careful evaluation of the evidence.

Gathering supporting information and Evidence.

In order to support the request for amending the LER/ROI, the Soldier should compile relevant information and evidence that challenges the “probable cause” finding. This may include witness statements, alibi evidence, corroborating documentation, or any other material that can directly refute the allegations or raise doubts about the conclusion of “probable cause.”

Presenting a strong argument.

When submitting the request for amendment, the Soldier should construct a well-organized and persuasive argument. Clearly articulate how the identified flaws in the evidence and logical reasoning undermine the establishment of “probable cause.” It is crucial to provide a compelling narrative that supports the Soldier’s contention that there is no reasonable belief they committed the offense.

Seeking legal guidance.

Given the complexity and importance of the process, it is highly recommended that the Soldier consult with a military attorney or seek legal guidance from professionals experienced in dealing with military law and CID procedures. They can provide valuable insights, review the request, and assist in developing a strong case for amending the LER/ROI.

By carefully considering and incorporating these points, a Soldier can enhance their chances of presenting a compelling case for amending the “probable cause” finding in the LER/ROI.

Provide a Detailed Explanation Justifying a Finding of “No Probable Cause.”

To effectively request a change in the findings of a Law Enforcement Report (LER)/ROI from “probable cause” to “no probable cause,” it is essential to provide a clear and concise explanation for why the original findings should be amended. When outlining the reasons, focus exclusively on the evidence contained within the original CID LER/ROI. Here are key points to consider:

Insufficiency of evidence.

Identify any gaps or shortcomings in the evidence presented in the LER/ROI that cast doubt on the establishment of “probable cause.” Highlight specific instances where crucial evidence is lacking, incomplete, or inconclusive.

Bias or motive to fabricate.

If there are indications of bias or potential motives to fabricate on the part of the complainant or other involved individuals, clearly point them out. Show how these factors may have influenced the original findings and compromised their accuracy.

Inconsistencies and contradictions.

Carefully analyze the existing evidence within the LER/ROI for any inconsistencies, contradictions, or conflicting statements. Demonstrate how these discrepancies undermine the reliability and credibility of the evidence, raising doubts about the conclusion of “probable cause.”

Flaws in the investigative plan.

Evaluate the original investigative plan outlined in the LER/ROI and identify any inadequacies or deficiencies. If there are clear shortcomings in the methods employed, demonstrate how they may have impacted the quality and integrity of the investigation, thereby rendering the “probable cause” finding questionable.

Errors in logic.

Identify and highlight any errors in logic or reasoning within the LER/ROI. Point out instances where the conclusions drawn from the evidence are not supported by a rational and coherent line of thinking. Emphasize how these errors undermine the validity of the “probable cause” finding.

By adhering to these guidelines, the Soldier can provide a concise and well-structured explanation for why the findings in the LER/ROI should be changed. Limit the analysis to the evidence contained within the original CID LER/ROI, focusing solely on its deficiencies, inconsistencies, and errors that call into question the establishment of “probable cause.”

Provide Contradictory Evidence Demonstrating “No Probable Cause.”

In addition to providing a clear explanation for the requested change in the findings, it is crucial to present any contradictory evidence that was not considered during the original investigation or may have been overlooked. This evidence should directly challenge the finding of “probable cause” and expose inconsistencies, errors, or gaps in the investigation. Here are some ways to enhance the presentation of such evidence:

Identify new evidence.

Clearly identify and describe any new evidence that has come to light since the original investigation. This can include witness statements, documents, audio or video recordings, or any other relevant material that was not available or considered during the initial assessment.

Highlight inconsistencies.

Compare the new evidence with the findings in the LER/ROI and emphasize any inconsistencies or contradictions. Demonstrate how the newly discovered evidence directly challenges or undermines the basis for establishing “probable cause.” Point out any discrepancies between witness testimonies, conflicting timelines, or conflicting accounts of events.

Point out errors or omissions.

If there are specific errors, omissions, or oversights in the original investigation that become apparent with the introduction of new evidence, clearly outline them. Show how these mistakes may have influenced the determination of “probable cause” and demonstrate the impact they have on the reliability and accuracy of the findings.

Provide context.

Present the new evidence in a comprehensive and contextual manner. Explain how it relates to the original investigation and why it should be considered significant in reevaluating the “probable cause” finding. Connect the dots between the newly discovered evidence and its implications for the overall investigation.

Support with expert opinions.

If available, include expert opinions or professional analysis that corroborate the significance of the new evidence and its potential impact on the “probable cause” determination. Expert insights can strengthen the argument and provide additional credibility to the presented evidence.

By incorporating these suggestions, the Soldier can effectively present contradictory evidence that challenges the original findings. This approach will help highlight inconsistencies, errors, or gaps in the investigation and establish a compelling case for reconsidering the “probable cause” determination.

Provide Additional Witness Statements Demonstrating “No Probable Cause.”

In addition to presenting contradictory evidence, it is important to consider the inclusion of new witnesses who can provide information or testimony supporting the position of “no probable cause.” When providing new witnesses, consider the following:

Identify relevant witnesses.

Clearly identify the new witnesses who can provide firsthand knowledge or observations that contradict the original findings. Provide their names, contact information, and a brief overview of their relevance to the case. Emphasize their credibility and any expertise or direct involvement they have in the events under investigation.

Summarized witness statements.

Provide a summary of the statements provided by the new witnesses. Highlight the key points that challenge the “probable cause” finding and demonstrate inconsistencies or errors in the original investigation. Include specific details, quotes, or incidents that support your argument. Ensure that the witness statements are clear, concise, and focused on addressing the issues at hand.

Re-interview original witnesses.

Consider re-interviewing witnesses who were included in the original CID LER/ROI. Evaluate whether their recollection of events remains consistent or if the passage of time has caused any changes in their original position. Document any discrepancies or modifications in their statements and explain how these changes impact the validity of the “probable cause” determination.

Assess witness bias and motives.

Analyze the potential biases or motives of adverse witnesses who may have a vested interest in not telling the truth or providing misleading information. Investigate any conflicts of interest, personal relationships, or external factors that could influence their statements. Clearly outline these biases or motives to strengthen your argument for reconsidering the “probable cause” finding.

Provide supporting evidence.

Whenever possible, provide additional evidence or documentation that corroborates the statements or testimonies of the new witnesses. This can include photographs, videos, correspondence, or any other relevant material that supports their version of events or contradicts the original findings.

By incorporating these suggestions, you can effectively include witness statements and address their credibility, potential biases, or motives. Re-interviewing original witnesses and presenting their updated perspectives, along with supporting evidence, will strengthen your request for an amendment and support the case for “no probable cause.”

Provide Additional Documentation Demonstrating “No Probable Cause.”

Provide any relevant documents, records, or materials that support the claim of “no probable cause” findings. This may include medical records, photographs, video footage, or any other pertinent documentation that sheds light on the situation and supports the “no probable cause” position.

Provide Statement by the Soldier Especially if One has not Been Previously Provided.

The Soldier should provide a statement outlining the facts of the case that support a finding of “no probable cause” and refuting the allegations made by the complaining witnesses regarding the allegation.  This is especially true if the Soldier has never provided a statement regarding the facts of the case before.  The caveat to this type of evidence is that the Soldier making the statement must be truthful.  If the truthful statement of the Soldier would not be beneficial to the argument of finding “no probable cause” then do not include a misleading or questionable statement to influence the outcome.  This is both illegal and dangerous.  On the other hand, if a truthful statement from the Soldier is additional evidence of why there should be a finding of “no probable cause,” it should be included in the documents supporting the requested amended LER/ROI.

Include Truthfulness Statements and Affidavits.

When providing a statement to CID during the initial investigation or submitting a statement for the first time to seek an amendment to find “no probable cause” in the CID LER/ROI, it is crucial to include statements or affidavits that specifically attest to the Soldier’s truthfulness. When seeking truthfulness statements and affidavits ensure to consider the following:

Emphasize the relevance of truthfulness statements.

Clearly highlight the importance of including statements or affidavits that specifically address the Soldier’s truthfulness. Explain the importance that these statements play in evaluating the credibility of the Soldier’s account and therefore ultimately supporting the request for an amendment to the CID LER/ROI.

Specify the nature of relevant statements.

Clearly include statements that focus on attesting to the Soldier’s truthfulness regarding the events, circumstances, and facts of the case under investigation. Encourage the character witnesses to provide specific details, observations, or personal experiences that demonstrate the honesty and truthfulness of the Soldier.

Exclude irrelevant statements.

Remember that general good character letters, statements regarding the Soldier’s current performance, or statements related to extenuation and mitigation are not directly relevant to the decision regarding the amendment of the CID LER/ROI. The Soldier should not to include such general good character statements in their submission requesting the amendment of the LER/ROI to a finding of “no probable cause.”

Provide guidance for statement contents.

Offer guidance on what should be included in the truthfulness statements. For example, suggest that individuals providing statements should focus on their firsthand knowledge of the Soldier’s integrity, truthfulness, and credibility based on their interactions, observations, or professional relationship with the Soldier. Develop a character affidavit worksheet soliciting the information from prospective witnesses needed to effectively craft, develop and write a persuasive character or affidavit of truthfulness.

Highlight the importance of accuracy and honesty.

Reinforce the importance of maintaining accuracy and honesty in the truthfulness statements and affidavits. Advise the Soldier to ensure that the individuals providing statements are reliable, credible, and have firsthand knowledge of the Soldier’s truthfulness, including specific examples of the Soldier exercising truthfulness.

By implementing these suggestions, the Soldier can effectively communicate about the significance of truthfulness statements, clarify the types of statements that are relevant, and provide guidance on their content to prospective witnesses. This will help streamline the submission process and ensure that the statements support the request for an amendment to find “no probable cause” in the CID LER/ROI.

Highlight Legal or Procedural Issues in the Investigation Affecting the Finding of “Probable Cause.”

If there were any legal or procedural irregularities in the investigation that may have impacted the findings, it is essential to address them and explain how they could have influenced the original finding of “probable cause.” When addressing the legal or procedural issues affecting the case and finding of “probable cause,” make sure to address the following issues:

Clearly state the irregularities.

Provide a concise and clear explanation of any legal or procedural irregularities that occurred during the investigation. This could include violations of rights, failure to follow proper procedures, or any other procedural errors that may have compromised the integrity of the findings.

Request legal opinion re-evaulation.

Suggest reaching out to the lawyer who provided the original “probable cause” finding. Re-submit all the evidence and ask them to reconsider their legal opinion in light of the new evidence or irregularities. Emphasize the importance of obtaining their perspective on how these factors could potentially impact the original finding.

Acknowledge the lawyer’s professional growth.

Recognize that if there has been a substantial passage of time since the original finding of “probable cause,” the judge advocate involved may have gained valuable insight and experience through additional assignments and practice. Highlight the potential benefit of their expanded knowledge and expertise in re-evaluating the case when re-approaching them for a reconsideration of their prior “probable cause” finding.

Focus on the lawyer’s expertise.

Emphasize that engaging the lawyer who provided the original finding allows for a thorough assessment of the evidence and an evaluation of any legal implications or errors has developed since issuing the original PC finding. This approach underscores the importance of their legal expertise and provides an opportunity for them to provide a fresh perspective on the case.

By incorporating these considerations, the possibility of “flipping” the lawyer who provided the original PC findings is greatly improved. Don’t underestimate the need for such potential action.  it is important when questioning the original PC finding that a Soldier must address legal or procedural irregularities, emphasizes seeking the re-evaluation of the original legal opinion, acknowledges professional growth of the lawyer, and underscores the value of engaging the original lawyer involved in the initial finding of “probable cause.”

Specifically Request Amendment to “No Probable Cause” and Case Reevaluation.

The Soldier’s request for a reevaluation of the CID LER/ROI findings should be clearly and succinctly expressed, along with a justification for the requested change from a finding of “probable cause” to a finding of “no probable cause.” An example of such a request could include:

“I respectfully request a thorough reevaluation of the CID LER/ROI findings, specifically seeking a change from the current finding of ‘probable cause’ to a finding of ‘no probable cause.’ Based on the compelling evidence and information provided, I firmly believe that the original finding is unwarranted and does not align with the facts of the case.”  At this point, refer to the conclusions of all the sections justifying the amendment as discussed above.

Conclude with a statement expressing the desired outcome of the matter.  For example, “Considering the aforementioned justifications and the weight of the evidence presented, I firmly assert that a reevaluation of the CID LER/ROI findings is both necessary and warranted. It is my sincere hope that a fair and objective assessment will result in a revised finding of ‘no probable cause,’ aligning the LER/ROI with the facts of the case and ensuring justice is served. Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter.”

If a Finding of “No Probable Cause” is Entered, Request Amendment to and Removal of the Record from the LER/ROI.

Federal law provides a legal framework for the amendment of CID Law Enforcement Reports (LERs)/ROI within the U.S. Army. Specifically, in accordance with 32 CFR Chapter V § 635.12 (Amendment of Records) (July 1, 2020), LERs/ROIs can be amended or removed if they are established as inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely, or incomplete. It is important to note that amendment procedures are not intended to challenge events that have actually occurred. In order for a request to amend a report to be granted, the individual must submit new, relevant, and material facts that justify their inclusion or revision in the LER/ROI. The burden of proof lies with the individual to substantiate their request. Furthermore, requests to remove a person’s name from the title block will only be granted if it is determined that there is no probable cause to believe that the individual committed the offense for which they are listed as a subject. It is crucial to differentiate this standard from the removal of a subject from the Defense Clearance Investigations Index (DCII), where the standard is “no credible evidence” at the time of the investigation’s commencement. It is important to understand that the decision to include a person’s name in the title block of a LER/ROI is an independent investigative determination, separate from subsequent judicial, non-judicial, or administrative actions taken against the individual. Compliance with Department of Defense (DoD) policy dictates that individuals will remain entered in the DCII to track all reports of investigation.

To navigate the process of requesting an amendment to the LER/ROI findings conducted by CID or other Military Criminal Investigative Organizations (MCIOs), it is highly advisable to seek counsel from a knowledgeable military defense lawyer experienced in criminal law and the specific procedures of the Service Member’s branch of service. The legal professionals at the Law Office of Will M. Helixon are well-equipped to provide guidance on the specific requirements and documentation necessary for requesting an amendment to the original LER/ROI in the criminal records database and index. While changing the “titling” decision may be a extremely challenging endeavor, the same does not hold true for requests to amend the findings of the LER/ROI in all criminal records databases, and the chance of success in amending the PC findings are much greater.

Can a Soldier Appeal the Decision Not to Change the “CID Titling” Decision or the Probable Cause Findings in an LER/ROI Submitted to the U.S. Army CRC to the BCMR?

Yes.  However, if a Soldier is appealing the “CID titling” decision in the LER/ROI, then it is almost certain that the appeal will be denied.  While Solders experienced some success after the 1992 change from requiring “probable cause” to be “titled” to the “credible information” standard, those early success have been replaced by the much more common denial of relief by the BCMR.  Even in instance where the case was “unfounded,” the BCMR has been very reluctant to grant relief on “CID titling” cases.

However, appealing a denial of a request to amend the CID LER/ROI to reflect a finding of “no probable cause,” the BCMR will not be so limited in its review and will look beyond the evidence known to the CID special agent at the time the investigation started.  It will include examining all the evidence and determining whether the finding of “probable cause” was just under the circumstances.  According to Army Regulation (AR) 15-185 (Army Board of Correction for Military Records), paragraph 2-9, “the ABCMR begins its consideration of each case with the presumption of administrative regularity. The applicant has the burden of proving ‘an error or injustice’ by a preponderance of the evidence.”

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Are There Any Other Actions a Soldier can take to Minimize the Effect of an Unfair but Lawful “CID Titling” Decision?

Certainly. It is important to recognize that the Soldier’s “CID titling” will remain in the Defense Clearance Investigations Index (DCII) and U.S. Army Criminal Records Center (CRC) database for a significant period of 40 years. Consequently, it is likely that future criminal background checks will reveal the Soldier’s “CID titling” for a criminal offense. In such instances, the Soldier will be requested to provide an explanation and justification regarding the circumstances surrounding the “CID titling.” To streamline this process, it is advisable for the Soldier to prepare a pre-drafted “Memorandum of CID Titling Explanation” that can be readily shared with individuals, agencies, or potential employers seeking additional information. This memorandum should include the following key elements:

  • An explanation of the “CID titling” process for CID LERs/ROIs.
  • Clarification on the relatively low standard required for “CID titling” in the subject block of the CID LER/ROI.
  • Specification of the findings indicated in the CID LER/ROI (“probable cause” vs. “no probable cause”).
  • An account of the efforts made by the Soldier to challenge the “CID titling” and the finding of “probable cause.”
  • Disclosure of the direct consequences resulting from the CID LER/ROI and investigation, such as no action, non-judicial punishment (NJP), separation from the service, or court-martial.
  • A comprehensive overview of the Soldier’s professional and personal accomplishments since the CID LER/ROI and investigation.
  • Consideration of the amount of time that has passed since the investigation, including its potential impact on the Soldier’s circumstances.
  • A legal analysis of the offense and the evidence, highlighting any pertinent aspects.
  • A concise statement or concluding remarks from the Soldier.

This comprehensive “Memorandum of CID Titling Explanation” serves as a comprehensive resource that can be utilized each time a background check is conducted on the Soldier or when disclosure of the “titling” is required on an application. It ensures a consistent and thorough explanation, providing the necessary information and context to interested parties.

What can the Law Office of Will M. Helixon do to Assist a Soldier in Changing a “CID Titling” Decision and Changing or Amending a Finding of Probable Cause in a LER/ROI Submitted to the U.S. Army CRC?

In most cases, changing a LER/ROI “CID titling” decision can be quite challenging, barring exceptional circumstances. It is crucial for the Soldier to carefully consider the substantial attorney’s fees associated with contesting the “CID titling” decision, alongside the relatively low likelihood of obtaining relief. However, it is worth weighing these factors against the benefits of being able to proactively communicate the steps taken to challenge the unjust “CID titling” decision to individuals, agencies, and employers.

In many instances, it is a more practical and cost-effective approach to focus efforts on seeking an amendment to the finding of “probable cause” in the CID LER/ROI, rather than attempting to change the “CID titling” decision itself. While success is not guaranteed, the probability of achieving a favorable outcome is generally higher when aiming to amend the finding of “probable cause.”

Regardless of the final outcome of the CID LER/ROI findings and their subsequent consequences, a Soldier should be prepared to address inquiries concerning the “CID titling” and the CID LER/ROI stored in criminal records databases. To mitigate the impact and potential consequences of a LER/ROI “CID titling” decision and indexing in such databases, it is advisable to prepare a well-reasoned and persuasive “Memorandum of CID Titling Explanation.” This document can play a significant role in minimizing the negative effects and providing a comprehensive explanation of the situation.

Regardless of the approach that you may desire to take regarding combating a “CID titling” decision and indexing is a criminal records database, it is essential that you seek the advice of experienced military lawyers that understand the process.  At the Law Office of Will M. Helixon we fully realized what is at stake with “CID titling” and listing in a criminal record’s database.  Call one of our military lawyers today for a free consultation, and a frank discussion on how to best approach this situation applying the unique facts and circumstances of your case.  We are looking forward to your call.

More about the Law Office of Will M. Helixon.

Will M. Helixon established the Law Office of Will M. Helixon in February of 2016.  Originally headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, the firm’s original mission was to defend members of the military in courts-martialadverse administrative proceedings and other criminal proceedings. Today, the firm has worked as military lawyers in multiple complex and high-profile military cases.  The firm now handles most military matters, including medical issues involving the MEB/PEB processadverse administrative matters, military justice matters including Nonjudicial PunishmentAdministrative Separation Boards, and Boards of Inquiry, and legal assistance matters, including rebutting GOMORs and the correction of military records.  No longer in Kansas City, the firm now has a European office physically located in Vilseck, Germany and in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Call us today to assist with your legal issue in Germany or the United States.  All military lawyers at the Law Office of Will M. Helixon maintain licenses to practice before all military trial courts.

Your Warrior Law TeamTM – The Law Office of Will M. Helixon – Your Warrior AdvocatesTM

The Law Office of Will M. Helixon, your Warrior Law TeamTM, with over a century of combined legal experience, has served as Warrior AdvocatesTM in multiple complex and high-profile military cases.  Founded in 2015, and rebranded and relaunched on October 14, 2023, the Warrior AdvocatesTM of the firm represent Warrior ClientsTM in most military law cases, including military justice matters, adverse administrative actions, complex legal assistance issues, affirmative administrative actions, and fundamental military employment problems.

Our Warrior AdvocatesTM defend Warrior ClientsTM in military justice matters including courts-martial ranging from premeditated murder to rape and sexual assault, from BAH fraud to DUI and drug offense, and military offenses from maltreatment of subordinates and sexual harassment to violating lawful orders and insubordination. Our Warrior AdvocatesTM also represent Warrior ClientsTM pending law enforcement investigations, at administrative boards and non-judicial punishment hearings, and in involuntary separations and “chapter” actions alleging misconduct.

Experts in rebutting adverse administrative actions, our Warrior AdvocatesTM represent Warrior ClientsTM facing command-directed investigations and AR 15-6 investigations, responding to adverse findings of investigations and AAIP filings, and answering notices seeking to revoke security clearances and professional de-credentialing.

Pending the need for legal advice for complex legal assistance questions, Warrior ClientsTM routinely rely on our Warrior AdvocatesTM in responding to GOMORs, letters of reprimand, and referred, relief for cause, and negative performance evaluations (NCOERs and OERs), assisting with medical issues such as MEBs and PEBs, navigating centralized board actions such as applications to the service component Board of Correction of Military Records (BCMRs) and Discharge Review Boards, and answering QMP Boards, the DASEB, the AGDRB, SSRBs, and other service-specific boards.

When our Warrior ClientsTM suffer wrongs by their command or fellow service members, our Warrior AdvocatesTM advise and assist submitting Inspector General (IG) complaints, Equal Opportunity (EO) complaints, and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) grievances and filing complaints and claims under Article 138 UCMJ (remedying command wrongs) and Article 139 UCMJ (compensation for wrongful taking/damage to personal property).

Our Warrior AdvocatesTM also assist Warrior ClientsTM with basic military employment issues including responding to notices of suspensions and terminations and submitting initial applications with the EEOC and MSPB.

Call our Warrior AdvocatesTM at the Law Office of Will M. Helixon, your Warrior Law TeamTM, today to help with your legal issues in Germany, Poland, and the United States.  All our Warrior AdvocatesTM maintain licenses to practice before all military trial courts.Our Warrior AdvocatesTM also assist Warrior ClientsTM with basic military employment issues including responding to notices of suspensions and terminations and submitting initial applications with the EEOC and MSPB.


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