Military Law Cases in Southern California



A Happy Military Client

About 20 years ago I enlisted in the United States Military; during an early phase of training I was injured to the degree I could no longer serve. As such, I was removed from training and placed into a platoon of similarly situated persons who were pending discharge.
I grew extremely frustrated with the medical care I was receiving and the delays in the process as time went on. At that point I decided to leave prior to actually being discharged. To that end I left my gear behind and just walked away without permission from the military authorities.
Twenty years later I had married, I have several children and a business. While I should have known that there would be consequences for what I did, I pushed it out of mind and went about my life. However, while obtaining a license for my business I learned I had a federal warrant out for my arrest for leaving the military without permission twenty years previous.
While perhaps I should have expected a warrant to be issued it still came as quite a shock. I was concerned about what would happen if I was arrested suddenly and the effect on my wife and children who rely on me to run the business.
I contacted Attorney Will Bruzzo. Mr. Bruzzo is a former Major and Marine Judge Advocate who has been practicing military criminal law for over 20 years. Mr. Bruzzo agreed to take my case and he told me what I could expect. He told me that I would need to surrender myself to the military authorities (with him present) and that he would then work with the Military to effectuate my discharge as soon as possible.
Mr. Bruzzo made arrangements with the Command to surrender me then helped orchestrate the paperwork necessary to get me out.  I was concerned with being punished for going AWOL but Mr. Bruzzo told me from the beginning that in my situation the military was not interested in punishing me and would just move to get me out as quickly as the bureaucratic process allowed.
Sure enough, the only delay to my being discharged was the process of circulating the paperwork through the appropriate channels. After a few weeks I was DISCHARGED and allowed to leave the military, this time without having to worry about a warrant.
I am very happy with this result and I would enthusiastically recommend Mr. Bruzzo for any military criminal matter, Long Term AWOL or AWOL case.

Dated:10/04/16                                                                                                                                    RH             

Case Dismissed, Client Retained in the Military

I am an active duty member of the US Military. I took a random urinalysis test and it came up positive for cocaine. This was a shock to me because I had not ingested cocaine. Regardless, my Command sent me directly to a court-martial for violation of Article 112a of the UCMJ for wrongful use of a controlled substance. I did some investigation of my own and determined that my drinking a tea from South America which contained cocaine leaf was the likely culprit. I did not know that cocaine was in the tea before I ingested it.
Fortunately I still had the tea bags and the tea box as evidence. I hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to represent me because of his experience as a military lawyer and his past successes with positive urinalysis cases.
Mr. Bruzzo took my evidence and appeared in court on my case. He discussed the matter with the Prosecutor (Trial Counsel) and after a few months the court-martial case against me was DISMISSED. I was happy about that but of course the military can still separate me from the service with an Administrative Separation Board (ADSEP Board) even after the charges are dismissed at court-martial.
My Command soon advised me that despite all the evidence to the contrary, they were going to try and separate me from the military through an ADSEP Board.
Mr. Bruzzo also represented me at the ADSEP Board. Mr. Bruzzo used an expert witness from the Navy Drug lab and his years of experience to explain to the board members that cocaine tea can cause you to come up positive. He also explained that the Government has to prove that I KNOWINGLY ingested the drug. He argued there was no evidence to show that I knowingly ingested the drug. Despite that the Government still wanted to separate me with a less then honorable discharge which would have caused me to lose all my benefits.
In the end, Mr. Bruzzo convinced the Board that I had not knowingly ingested the drug and they found NO MISCONDUCT and I was RETAINED in the military.
I would enthusiastically recommend Mr. Bruzzo for any similar military law matter.

Dated:12/18/15                                                                                                                                    MR                                                                                                                                   

Article 120 : Not Guilty on All Charges and Specifications

I am an active duty service member in the United States Military. I was charged with several different specifications of sexual assault pursuant to Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) when an active duty female accused me of forcing her to perform various sex acts without her consent.
For whatever reason the female lied to investigators about what happen as she had definitely consented to the acts verbally or by her own actions.
I was looking at over 30 years in prison for this offense. I hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to represent me because of his former experience as a Judge Advocate [Military Lawyer] in the United States Marine Corps and his over 20 years of court-martial and military law experience and the good results he got for clients in prior similar cases.
Mr. Bruzzo spoke with my assigned military attorney and determined she was not motivated enough; he then managed to get another military lawyer assigned to the case. Mr. Bruzzo represented me at the Article 32 hearing and questioned the victim which revealed serious problems with her memory of the events and inconsistencies in her story.
Mr. Bruzzo and my military lawyer filed various motions after the Article 32 to dismiss charges ahead of trial.
Mr. Bruzzo then thoroughly prepared me for testifying at trial by practicing my testimony. We then went to trial and presented our evidence at trial. Mr. Bruzzo managed to find two witnesses who testified that the victim in my case was NOT an honest person.  He also attacked the lack of physical evidence in the case as well as the unreliability of the alleged victim’s testimony. Mr. Bruzzo also put on numerous character witnesses on my behalf.
After the evidence was in the members [jurors] deliberated for about 1 hour before coming back NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS. I am very happy with this result and very impressed with Mr. Bruzzo’s trial skills. As such I would recommend him for any military criminal law, sexual assault and/or Article 120 of the UCMJ offense.

Dated:7/1/14                                                                                                                                    SS

Charges Dropped, Case Dismissed

I am on active duty in the United States Military. An incident happen in my unit where other service members were accused of hazing newly promoted individuals in a tradition called “blood stripping”, where people punch the individuals in the leg for getting promoted.

As the senior person at this event where this incident supposively took place my Command was coming down on me. Despite an excellent record they did not even give me the option of Non-judicial punishment (Article 15) but sent me straight to a Special Court-martial. I was charged with Article 81 for supposively conspiring with other people to haze the “victims”; I was also charged with Article 92 for violating General Orders on hazing and I was charged with Article 107 for making false statements, basically because I denied being present or witnessing any incident of hazing. I was facing up to 1 year confinement for these offenses and the loss of my career.

I did not do ANY of the things my Command accused me of and I was very frustrated with this situation. I hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to represent me because of his over  20 years successfully representing people in the military at courts-martial and his back ground as a Marine Corps Major,  Judge Advocate (military lawyer) and Company Commander in the Marine Corps.

Mr. Bruzzo set to work on my case and he reviewed all the statements against me noting the weaknesses in the Government’s case. He then spoke with the Prosecutor about the case several times and pointed out the problems they would have proving it, especially given my stellar reputation in the Command and my excellent career up to that point.

After a short while Mr. Bruzzo informed me that the Government would be DROPPING THE CHARGES AND DISMISSING THE CASE!  

Obviously, I was very happy with this result as the matter had turned my life upside down. I am very grateful to Mr. Bruzzo and I would highly recommend him for any military hazing or military criminal matter.

March 28, 2014                                                          


I am an active duty member of the United States Military. I was accused of taking several thousand dollars of Government property and attempting to sell it in violation of Article 108 and Article 121 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). I was looking at a Special Court-Martial and up to 1 year of confinement for these offenses. In addition I already had a Non-Judicial Punishment (Article 15) for Possession and use of a Controlled substance (UCMJ Article 112a).
Mr. Bruzzo appeared in court and then went to work trying to persuade the prosecutor to reduce the Charge to avoid a criminal conviction and allow me to get out of the military sooner. The prosecutor was initially unwilling to make a deal with us but Mr. Bruzzo, working with my military lawyer, finally succeeded in getting the Court-martial charges DISMISSED with the agreement that I admit responsibility at a Summary Court-Martial. A Summary Court-Martial is not a judicial process and as such I avoided a criminal conviction and confinement.

I am very happy with this result and I would recommend Mr. Bruzzo for any similar criminal or military law matter.



I am on active duty in the Military of the United States. I was charged with use of a controlled substance in violation of Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ); I was also charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of Article 111 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ); in addition I was charged with one more much less serious charge. I faced up to one year of incarceration; forfeitures and fines and loss of all my rank. If I was convicted of the article 112a charge I would have been administratively separated from the military even if the court did not discharge me. I wanted to remain in the Military and so I went about trying to find the best lawyer I could. I was referred to Attorney William W. Bruzzo who I learned from another lawyer is an experienced military attorney.  Mr. Bruzzo studied my case and met with me to decide strategy. He also sent me to counseling and employed experts to aid in my defense. Mr. Bruzzo first tried to negotiate my case with the Government. When a resolution was not possible he advised me to take the matter to trial. Mr. Bruzzo fought very hard at trial and presented me and the evidence in the best possible light. After several days of evidence and argument the members (military jurors) came back with a finding of NOT GUILTY, on the Article 112a (use of a controlled substance) and NOT GUILTY on the Article 111 (operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol). This result meant that I would not be automatically removed from the military and that I could continue my career. I believe that if Mr. Bruzzo was not my lawyer I would not have had such a good result. Accordingly, I enthusiastically recommend Mr. Bruzzo for any military criminal matter.

DT                                                                                 March 10, 2009

I am an active duty member of the United States Military. I was charged with rape under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice; this crime carries unlimited punishment and can result in an individual going to prison for life. I needed an experienced attorney who also had experience in the military courts. I hired William W. Bruzzo, a criminal defense attorney who is also a former Judge Advocate and a Major in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Bruzzo set to work defending me and used his knowledge to retain experts for my case at Government expense and then used them to effectively defend my case. Mr. Bruzzo also worked hard to discredit the alleged victim by showing that the injuries to her were from someone who had sex with her after me. Mr. Bruzzo prepared his case well then fought hard every day of trial with the end result that I was found NOT GUILTY OF THE RAPE CHARGE. Without Mr. Bruzzo’s hard charging defense I could have gone to prison for a very long time. I am very grateful to him and I would enthusiastically recommend him for any military case.

GM                                                                                                     Date: 11/8/03

Client was charged with Rape of a child under the age of 12 years; sodomy of a child under the age of 12 years and faced a maximum of life in prison. Attorney William W. Bruzzo took this case to trial and filed 8 evidentiary motions that were argued prior to the trial commencing. After closing argument and while the jury was deliberating whether the Defendant was guilty or not guilty, the prosecutor mentioned to Mr. Bruzzo that he would be asking for 28 years of prison if the client was found guilty. However, after less then an hour of deliberation the jury came back NOT GUILTY on all counts. But for Mr. Bruzzo’s efforts the client’s life would have been ruined.

POSITIVE URINALYSIS (Article 112a of the UCMJ)

Client was charged with violation of Article 112(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Possession of a controlled substance) when a sample of the client’s urine came up positive for a controlled substance. Mr. Bruzzo, who is a former Major in the Marine Corps, represented the client in the case. He filed papers in the court demanding a hearing to see whether the Government had complied with the proper procedures for urine testing. Shortly after he filed the motion, the Government withdrew charges and DISMISSED the case against the client because they had not followed proper procedures. Until Mr. Bruzzo filed these papers the Government had not been forthcoming about the mistakes they had made.


The case results described in this website are not intended nor do they constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your case. Every case is different and many factors come into play such as the particular facts of the case and background of the client. The information on this site should not be interpreted as offering formal legal advice or construed as forming an attorney-client relationship.

This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California.

The case results described in this website have been initialed or signed by the actual client and are available for review by officials of the California State Bar.

Southern California Military Lawyer William Bruzzo
×Coronavirus and the Orange County Criminal Courts. Do you have a loved one in custody? Click here.

Orange County Courts are accepting Restraining Order requests during the Coronavirus Crisis. Click here for more information.