Understand Your Options and Rights Following an Alleged Violent Incident Under the UCMJ
Criminal charges alleging violent crimes are among the most aggressively prosecuted within the military. They can also result in the most serious penalties, which can include discharge from service and prolonged incarceration. If you have been charged with assault, sexual assault, manslaughter, homicide, domestic abuse, abuse of a detainee or another violent crime, it’s important to obtain the assistance of a dedicated criminal defense attorney with a track record of fighting and beating violent crime criminal charges in a military setting.
Attorneys at the Denver and Colorado Springs law firm of Aviso Law LLC, have the court-martial defense knowledge and experience needed to effectively fight your criminal charges. Prior to entering private practice, our attorneys handled many of the most complex and high-profile criminal cases in the military. Serving in nearly every military justice capacity, including Trial Counsel, Chief of Military Justice, Senior Defense Counsel, Capital Defense Counsel, Appellate Defense Counsel, Brigade Judge Advocate and Staff Judge Advocate, Ryan Coward has over a decade of experience on any appointed attorney from the trial defense service. In response to his success rate at trial, his military career culminated in his appointment as Capital Defense Counsel representing Major Nidal Hasan, who was charged with the tragic Fort Hood mass shootings. Following his Fort Hood assignment, Mr. Coward entered private practice, bringing years of first-hand experience as a service member and military law litigator to his handling of military criminal defense.
If you face a possible military trial and court martial, you may be unfamiliar with to the complexities and legal processes of military law. Lack of information often leads accused service members to put their full faith in their assigned military defense counsel, who may lack the resources and experience to fully investigate and handle such issues as:
- Reconstruction of a crime scene
- Errors and misconduct on the part of officials
- Errors made by eyewitnesses
- Forensics, pathology and neuropsychology
For instance, in the case of a homicide defended by assigned military defense counsel, defense experts may not be available to assess blood spatter patterns and DNA evidence. Military personnel may not have the background and skills to identify errors made by witnesses to alleged manslaughter, including the prosecution’s expert witness. If CID, OSI, NCIS, or MPI fail to follow proper procedure at delicate times, such as domestic abuse intervention, assigned military defense counsel may not have investigators on hand to uncover and reveal the errors. Our firm can provide the comprehensive and strategic defense you need.
Remember, though the Uniform Code of Military Justice differs from civilian criminal law in many respects, you do have rights, and military prosecutors must still prove your guilt before a successful prosecution can occur. For this reason, the wisest course of action is to refuse to make a statement, decline consent to a search of your car, home, computer or person and insist on talking to an attorney before proceeding. By not aiding the prosecution in its case against you, you greatly increase your chance of an acquittal and may significantly decrease the charges and penalties against you. For more information on what to do following a military arrest, schedule a consultation with our firm.