San Diego Military Crimes Attorney
If you’re facing serious charges in the military, hiring a civilian-military crimes defense lawyer might be in your best interest. A court-martial doesn’t just affect your future in the military but it also can have repercussions in your civilian life. You could lose your job, your rank, your military benefits, and even your retirement if the case doesn’t go your way.
What are Some Common Military Crimes?
The most common military crimes are those that civilians can be charged with as well, such as assault, battery, drug possession, and DUI. There are also unique military offenses, such as disobeying a direct order, going AWOL (absent without leave), and disrespecting an officer. If you’re convicted of a military crime, you could be facing a dishonorable discharge, jail time, or both.
What are the Common Penalties of a Military Crime?
The penalties for a military crime depend on the severity of the offense and whether you’re convicted at a court-martial or through a less serious military tribunal.
A court-martial is the most serious form of military justice and it has the power to hand down any sentence allowed by law, including death. Military tribunals are less serious and can only hand down punishments that are authorized by the particular tribunal.
The most common penalty for a military crime is a dishonorable discharge, which means you’ll lose your military benefits and retirement. You may also be sentenced to jail time, depending on the severity of your offense.
What Are Some Common Defenses of a Military Crime?
The most common defense to a military crime is that you didn’t commit the act you’re accused of. This is called an alibi defense and it requires you to provide evidence that you were somewhere else when the crime was committed.
Other defenses to military crimes include self-defense, duress, and entrapment.
What Should you do if you’re Charged With a Military Crime?
If you’re facing charges for a military crime, the first thing you should do is contact a civilian-military crimes defense lawyer. Military lawyers are not allowed to give advice on civilian criminal cases.
It’s important to find an attorney who is experienced in both military and civilian law. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action and help you build a strong defense.
Hiring a civilian attorney who specializes in military crimes can give you the best chance at a favorable outcome. Military lawyers are familiar with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and know how to navigate the military justice system.
They can also provide a more objective perspective on your case and help you understand all of your legal options. You do have the right to free representation offered through the military. However, military lawyers are oftentimes inexperienced and overwhelmed with their caseloads.
Serious cases need serious attention to reach the best outcome for the accused. Civilian military defense lawyers can provide this specialized level of care. Civilian lawyers also have access to a wider range of resources than those available to military crimes lawyers.