A military lawyer represents active-duty military personnel, reservists, and former military personnel with veteran status. Most military law cases involve court martial proceedings under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the rights of re-employment for reserve military personnel who may be called to active duty. If you fall into any of the above categories, and you have been accused of a crime, you need to call a lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases. Only a lawyer who is familiar with way the military conducts its court proceedings can give you an adequate chance of beating the charges against you.
Your Rights as the Accused
The first thing to remember when you are ever accused of a crime is to remain silent. The rights of the accused in military proceedings says that the accused has the rights similar to civilians in civilian courts. Your other rights include the right against self-incrimination as well as entitlement to know the suspected offenses before any questioning is to begin. Also, as part of your rights, just like in civilian cases, you are provided with the right to free military counsel when questioned as a suspect of any crime.
So when you are ever asked questions in relation to a crime you’ve been accused of, you should always exercise your right to remain silent, and you should ask to see a military lawyer who can help you sort out the situation.
An independent military defense lawyer is offered for free no matter if you can pay for the lawyer or not. You, as the accused, can also hire a civilian lawyer if you choose to pay for it. Or you can even ask for a specific military counselor, who may assist you if he or she is available at the time of your hearing.
You have the right to be represented by your lawyer at the hearing when a determination is made with regards to the pretrial confinement, and during all of the court martial sessions.
The lawyer will help you understand the offense you are charged with, as well as the repercussions you are facing should you be convicted of the charge. Your lawyer’s job is to be by your side every step of the way so that you are adequately defended, and hopefully so that if you are innocent you can be released of all charges.
If You Are Convicted
If you ask for military counsel and you are convicted, all hope is not lost. The military counsel will help you with the appeals process through the military appellate courts and, potentially, all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
Now you know when to call a military lawyer and what to expect if you are ever convicted of a crime if you are active-duty, reserve, or a veteran of the armed forces.