If you have gotten in legal trouble in the military, it’s in your best interest to consult a military attorney at Fort Hood. You have too much to lose. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about military law.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) refers to laws that apply to the U.S. military. These laws apply outside the borders of the U.S. and aim to instill order and discipline in military members. Some of the crimes defined in the UCMJ are similar to civilian crimes while others are specific to military members.
Yes, most certainly. Military members reserve similar legal rights to those of civilians who are charged with crimes. Service members don’t have to consent to unreasonable searches and seizures, can obtain a free military attorney and have a fair trial.
Although you have the option of going to trial like defendants in civilian cases, it’s not a requirement. In fact, the majority of military criminal cases get settled out of court. It may get dismissed if there is no probable cause found at the hearing or the prosecution and military member may agree to a plea bargain. On the other hand, if the military member and his or her military attorney in Fort Hood don’t find the plea agreement to be fair, they may take the case to trial.
If you’re a military service member, you have the right to a military attorney at no cost. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t hire a civilian military attorney of your own. Just like public defenders, military attorneys are often fresh out of law school and have heavy caseloads. If you don’t feel comfortable with your appointed attorney’s level of experience and skills, don’t hesitate to talk to other attorneys.
First and foremost, your attorney should have prior active duty Judge Advocate experience. There are several differences between the military justice system and civil justice system. If an attorney hasn’t served as a Judge Advocate, he or she may not be able to distinguish between military and civilian laws. Your attorney should also be honest, assertive, communicative and compassionate.
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