Military Law Attorneys

The military is a large, complex system. Whether you are attempting to correct your disability rating or you are facing investigation for an alleged offense, navigating the system alone can be daunting. Because military criminal and administrative cases are significantly different than civilian proceedings, and because service members have so much at stake, working with experienced lawyers who are fully prepared to fight on your behalf is crucial.

The Federal Practice Group handles the full range of matters affecting our military men and women, including:

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Common Myths About Military Justice

Military law refers to a type of law that governs armed forces members. The branch of law is still widely understood by many. Here are some common myths about military justice that you shouldn’t believe.

  • Military jurors are reprimanded for disagreeing with authority. One of the most common myths about military justice is that jurors are punished for voting against what their commander wants. However, commanders are actually prohibited from retaliating against jurors for siding with the defendant.
  • Military courts always agree with the commander. Military commanders are allowed to select the judge and jury in a trial. Therefore, some assume that they will always side with the commander. Although they do serve the commander, they won’t automatically side with him or her.
  • Defendants aren’t read their Miranda rights in the military. Fortunately, this is false. Just like civilians who are accused of crimes, military members are always read their Miranda rights. The military is very serious about honoring these rights after someone is charged with a crime.
  • Military law only handles military crimes. Some people believe that military justice only handles military crimes, such as absence without leave and violating military orders. However, the military system also prosecutes ordinary crimes, like assault, theft, selling drugs and murder.
  • Military justice doesn’t consider appeals. Another common misconception about military justice is that defendants don’t have the right to apparel. The truth is that these defendants receive one automatic review and one discretionary review before the Supreme Court.

What to Do If You’re Charged with a Crime in the Military

If you were charged with a crime while in the military, you may feel nervous and scared. However, if you take the necessary steps afterward, you increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

  • Remain silent. If a commander questions you about your charge, politely decline and ask to speak to a defense lawyer.
  • Be professional. Although facing criminal charges is stressful, it’s still important to be on your best behavior in the military. Continue to do your job, treat everyone with respect and be dependable. Treating your job as a service member seriously will make a difference in court.
  • Consult a military defense lawyer. No matter what type of crime you’re charged with, it is essential to have a defense lawyer who specializes in military law on your side.