The court martial attorneys at Aviso Law LLC regularly represent individuals subjected to pretrial confinement. Often times, military members accused of misconduct may be confined prior to the proceedings. Luckily, military members do not always have to wait to win at court martial to be released from confinement. The Colorado court martial attorneys at Aviso Law LLC can assist you in regaining your freedom at multiple points along the way.
If you are accused of a military crime and are facing court martial, the military can physically restrain you before trial. A commanding officer has the authority to order pretrial confinement. This incarceration must be based on probable cause, meaning that there must be a reasonable belief that a crime was committed by the person and that there is a reason for the confinement. There are various reasons why confinement may be necessary including the risk of flight or serious misconduct by the accused. If pretrial confinement is ordered in your case, you must be informed of the reason, your right to remain silent and your right to appointed or civilian counsel.
Pretrial confinement must also be periodically reviewed by your superiors. A commanding officer must review the case within 48 hours to determine if probable cause exists. They must also conduct another review within 72 hours to determine if confinement should continue. These reviews can be combined. Also, within 7 days of being confined, you are entitled to the review of your case by an impartial military magistrate. This officer is then charged with determining whether probable cause exists and whether confinement is necessary. This is an opportunity for your attorney to make a case for your release. You have the right for counsel to appear before the military magistrate and to make a statement on your behalf. The government also has the right to counsel before the reviewing officer, and therefore it is important that you retain an attorney who will best advocate for your rights during this hearing. While this is an informal hearing, and the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, this opportunity should be exploited by an experienced court martial attorney to give you the best chance of being freed. The reviewing officer will then make a final determination and write a memorandum memorializing his decision to either release or retain you. This decision can be reconsidered if new evidence arises.
If the reviewing officer determines that there is probable cause and that your confinement should be continued, your case will be transferred to a military judge. The military judge will then have the discretion to decide whether you should continue to be confined. The judge has the ability to release you for a variety of reasons, including insufficient evidence, new evidence or abuse of discretion. It is important to have a skilled attorney representing you before a military judge as this may be the last opportunity for release until the disposition of your case.
Aviso Law LLC’s attorneys represent members of all branches of the military and travel to your location within or outside of the United States. If you may be facing pretrial confinement, contact the firm in the Denver and Colorado Springs offices by calling (719) 247-3111 for a free consultation today.