Military Base Representation

Members of the military can face a variety of legal situations that are extremely dangerous, both to their freedom and to the advancement of their careers.

Any person who has served in the military and has run into legal trouble knows that this court system is exceptionally harsh. Armed Forces members are held to a higher standard than the civilian public. Any violation of the military justice code could lead to extreme personal repercussions, including destroying a lifetime career.

High crimes and misdemeanors that have violated the UMCJ should be addressed with the help of a highly qualified lawyer with a complete understanding of the military justice system. Some of the offenses that could heavily impact your career and freedom include conspiracy, solicitation, fraudulent enlistment, desertion, absence without leave, contempt towards officials, disrespect towards a superior commissioned officer, failure to obey an order, cruelty and maltreatment, mutiny, escape, rape, murder, manslaughter, and many more. The penalties imposed in military court for these offenses far outstrip what could be expected as a penalty in any other court system.

Understanding your Rights

As a member of the military, you are subject to harsh punishment for minor breaches of discipline. These disciplinary hearings are adjudicated by your commander. You will not have the right to a judge and jury. The punishments can be extensive, including a reduced rank, loss of your pay, restrictions regarding your usual privileges, and if you are serving on a ship, you can be confined to quarters. These are the repercussions that could be expected for the least serious offenses. In cases of more serious accusations, such as criminal charges, the damage to your future opportunities and freedom can be extensive.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

It is suggested you seek an attorney the moment you are notified of possible disciplinary action. There is a wide range of disciplinary action a service member might face, and the consequences of those actions vary greatly. A military law attorney can discuss the possible consequences, and how best to proceed in your particular case.  

Service members have the right to always remain silent. This right is listed in Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The natural inclination is to explain why you are not guilty of the allegation. However, the military will always try to use the statement against the service member. For this reason, we always advise clients to exercise their right to remain silent under Article 31(b). The military cannot use your right to remain silent against you.  

You always have the right to consult with an attorney. Depending of the type of investigation or disciplinary action, you may also have the right to have an attorney present with you. It is best to discuss your particular situation with a military law attorney to understand if that right applies to you. 

Yes, each one of the branches has a Court of Criminal Appeals. If you receive either a punitive discharge or in excess of 1 year of confinement, you have the right to an automatic appeal. Just like at the Court-Martial, you will have be detailed a military appellate defense counsel.  

Yes, most service members will be entitled to either an administrative separation board (or, if an officer, a Board of Inquiry). Each branch requires the service member to have been in a certain number of years before they can request to appear before a Board. If you are entitled to a Board, you will have the right to appear with a defense counsel, and present a defense before three Board members. 

 It depends on what the legal issue, and how you are able to challenge the legal issue. The military law attorneys at FPG have represented service members at trial that resulted in a not-guilty verdict. These clients were able to continue their military career as though the Court-Martial never happened.

The military lawyers at FPG are former Judge Advocates, with years of experience in both the military and on the civilian side. They have been successful in getting their clients acquitted of criminal charges at Court-Martial, and have successfully had Court-Martial convictions overturned on appeal and discharges upgraded.  

Speak with Our Military Lawyers today