When you have been charged with a crime in the military, it can be an extremely scary time. Whether you have been accused of drug use, sexual assault, domestic violence, or anything else at all, there is a lot at stake. Your personal and professional lives often hinge upon the outcome of these charges and you don’t know what to do next.
While you are entitled to a military defense attorney to defend you for free, here are 3 reasons you should hire a civilian military attorney.
1. A civilian attorney has experience taking criminal cases to trial.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a civilian attorney for your military defense is that he or she has experience not only with military law but also with taking criminal cases to trial. You want someone who has deeper experience.
While some military attorneys are very experienced, a Department of Defense report found a few alarming things:
- Army attorneys don’t need to have prior trial experience to become defense counsel – there is no minimum experience required.
- Air Force attorneys have had less than ten trials on average prior to becoming defense counsel and most of these cases involve guilty pleas.
- The majority of defense counsel in the Marine Corps are often fresh out of law school
- After only two years of handling “administrative separations and other non-judicial issues,” Navy attorneys can become defense counsel.
By choosing a civilian attorney, you are likely choosing someone who has a depth of experience cross-examining witnesses, confronting accusers, delivering closing arguments, and winning “not guilty” verdicts. You can rest more easily knowing that your attorney is prepared for whatever is to come his or her way.
2. With a financial investment comes an emotional investment.
While it’s great to get something for nothing, what are you really receiving after all? Although you can receive the assistance of a military defense attorney at no cost, how much is he or she then actually invested in you and your case? Alternatively, when you pay a decent cost to a civilian attorney to help with your case, he or she is more incentivized and invested in helping to obtain the best outcome for you and will make him or herself widely available to answer your questions or address your concerns.
Although a military defense attorney is free, he or she is often overwhelmed with handling a whole variety of issues. Additionally, they often will only work on their days and hours of duty. In other words, they often abstain from putting in the extra time and effort that you deserve.
3. Civilian attorneys’ interests aren’t interwoven with the military.
The third reason you should hire a civilian attorney is for their independence – and yours. When you work with a military-appointed attorney, they are on active duty and have some type of direct tie to the military. In other words, they are fully enveloped in military life whereas a civilian attorney has a different perspective. He or she has the ability to see what is transpiring by looking from the outside. He or she doesn’t have to worry about how any actions taken will adversely impact their military career. By working with a civilian attorney, he or she only has your best interests at heart.
The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced civilian military attorney as soon as possible.
If you are a military service member and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!