U.S. Military Lawyer - The Law Office of Stephen P. Karns

Military Attorney - South Korea

Being stationed overseas can be stressful on military personnel for a variety of reasons: performing your job, training, going on exercises, being without your family, or adjusting with your family to a new country with a variety of unknown customs. Being subject to UCMJ or adverse action can only make matters worse.

If you find yourself in this situation, Mr. Karns is available and ready to help you. As a military attorney, Mr. Karns can represent you anywhere in South Korea regarding command imposed administrative adverse action or a court-martial. Mr. Karns serves U.S. Air Force service members stationed at Osan Air Base and Kunsan Air Base; U.S. Army personnel stationed at Camp Casey, Camp Giant, Camp Humphreys, Camp Henry, Camp Stanley, Camp Red Cloud, Camp Walker, Camp Carroll, USAG Daegu, USAG Yongsan, and K-16 Air Base; and U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel stationed in South Korea. Mr. Karns can simply advise and counsel you regarding your options and strategies for dealing with your command; negotiate a resolution to your problem with your command from the U.S.: or travel to your location to represent you at your administrative board or article 32 hearing or court-martial.


Recent Cases

PFC stationed in Korea charged with possession of child pornography on his personal laptop computer and false official statement. Prior to the Art. 32 hearing, the Government offered Client a 30 month deal which would require sex offender registration and likely include a Bad Conduct Discharge. On Attorney Karns' advice, Client turned down the offer. Attorney Karns traveled to Korea for the Article 32 hearing. After the hearing, the Government trial counsel asked Attorney Karns to "state his terms" for an offer. Attorney Karns said Client would take a Ch. 10 administrative discharge which would avoid a federal conviction, jail time, and sex offender registration for Client. Government trial counsel scoffed and said, "The bottom-line is that he has child porn on his machine... He was charged with possession. He will be convicted on these facts. His status as a sex offender is guaranteed. The only question is whether he wants to negotiate a cap on his sentence." Six weeks later after we still do not give in and win a request for a computer forensics expert, the Government agrees to support a Ch. 10, and it gets approved. Client does not receive a federal conviction, does not have to serve jail time, and is not required to register as a sex offender.

Air Force Captain was reassigned on a remote tour to Korea. Upon his arrival, he completed a Basic Allowance for Quarters authorization form indicating that his wife and kids lived in California at his father’s home when they actually lived in Arizona. As his one-year tour came to an end, and after collecting approximately $20,000 more in BAH allowances than he was entitled to, Client completed a PCS notification form stating that his family was in California and would need to relocate to Arizona. During an audit, OSI found that Client’s family never lived in California. Subsequently, Client was charged with larceny of government property and two specifications of false official statement (BAH form and PCS form). Client hired Mr. Karns to represent him at his court-martial in Korea, and he was found “Not Guilty” of the larceny and of one specification of false official statement (BAH form), but “Guilty” on the remaining specification of false official statement (PCS form). Client was reprimanded, sentenced to fourteen days of confinement and a dismissal. Client successfully appealed to the USAF Court of Criminal Appeals, which set aside the finding of guilt and sentence on the lone specification of false official statement (PCS form) and granted a rehearing. Client pled not guilty at the rehearing where Mr. Karns represented him at Luke AFB, and he was found “Not Guilty.” Because Client was ultimately found “Not Guilty” of all charges, he will receive back pay for the time he was on appellate leave, and his promotion to Major will be backdated since he was already selected for Major when he was first charged.

Client was an Army Sergeant and Calvary Scout stationed at Camp Casey in South Korea. While there, he married and had a child with a Filipina woman in Seoul. Client had significant and prolonged problems with the Army and his command in reference to getting his wife the medical care she needed during her pregnancy. Client went AWOL to the Philippines for over a year. Client hired Mr. Karns who facilitated his return to South Korea without being arrested by the South Korean authorities. Mr. Karns represented Client in negotiations with Client’s command who agreed to impose an Article 15 on Client rather than a court-martial trial. Client was administratively separated with no jail time or criminal conviction and allowed to return to his family.

Client was an Army Specialist who went AWOL from Camp Hovey, South Korea, because his command would not grant him leave to fight a battle for legal custody of his son located in the U.S. Client was AWOL for a year but gained full legal custody of his son. Client was afraid to return to South Korea since he now had custody of his son. Client hired Mr. Karns and was administratively separated with no jail time or criminal conviction at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.



* Past results achieved are not a guarantee of future results. Each case is unique and reference must be made to the specific legal and factual circumstances presented.


Worldwide Availability:

  • Every base, post, camp, or station.
  • All Army installations.
  • All Air Force installations.
  • All Naval installations.
  • All Marine Corps installations.
  • All Coast Guard installations.