What Questions Should You Ask Your Military Attorney?

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Military soldier asking his attorney questions about his case

When you’ve been accused of a crime in the military, it can be quite terrifying. With so much at stake it’s more important than ever that you obtain a military attorney whom you can trust and who is right for you. 

1. Do you have experience in military criminal defense? How Much?

If you were going through a divorce, you’d hire an experienced divorce attorney; if you were in need of a comprehensive estate plan, you’d hire an experienced estate-planning attorney. So if you are accused of committing a crime in the military, you should hire an experienced military criminal defense attorney. 

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) governs military criminal law. This is very different than the law that applies to the civilian population. Because it is so different, even the most experienced civilian criminal defense attorneys may not understand much about the UCMJ. Therefore it’s imperative that you hire an attorney who not only understands the military laws that govern the crime you are accused of, but also have experience with your particular branch of service. You want to be sure your attorney has a depth of experience in defending cases just like yours. 

2. What do you believe are my options?

When you are accused of committing a crime, it’s very important that you understand all of your options. Therefore, it’s even more important that you hire an attorney who understands all of your options and can adequately communicate all of them to you. This includes everything from plea deals to trial strategies and should be able to advise you as to your best option(s), potential consequences, and outcomes. Don’t hire an attorney who is looking to accept a plea deal immediately without speaking with you; your attorney needs to be open-minded. 

3. Are there any defenses I can assert?

Your attorney should have your best interest at heart. There are often a variety of legal defenses that you can assert, including procedural ones that when raised can potentially result in a your case being dismissed or you being acquitted of the charges. 

4. How will you calculate my legal fees?

Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to understand how your legal fees are going to be calculated so that you can ensure payment. Most criminal defense lawyers charge flat rates at various points of the case. This often includes an initial fee before the services even begin. Initial fees often range anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. 

But for military criminal defense attorneys, fees usually run about the same.  It’s important that the attorney you are consulting with lays everything out on the table and you get all fees in writing. It’s imperative that you take a look at the fine print of your contract to ensure that additional fees aren’t hiding in plain sight. 

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 military attorney as soon as possible.

If you are a military service member (active or reserve) 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!

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