When someone in the military commits a crime, or if someone accuses a person in the military of committing some type of crime, a court will grant the defendant a defense attorney from the military. However, you may be looking for a civilian-military defense attorney to help you with your case. When your career and life hang in the balance based on this court decision, you want to make sure you are making the right decision regarding who you hire to defend you in court. So, why should you pay for your own attorney if the government will provide you one for free? Below, you will find more information on why you should hire your own military defense attorney to ensure you have a solid defense for your case.
What Happens If You Lose At Trial?
Even if you were a civilian, losing at trial would be no small matter when someone accuses you of a crime. However, if you are an enlisted member of the military, losing at trial means the government can take away your future career (and even whether certain companies and businesses will employ you) and your future freedom. There is a great deal at risk, and you want to ensure you have someone on your team you can trust to represent you. If you were to lose your case, you could:
- Lose all your medical benefits.
- Lose your retirement.
- Lose your current job and future jobs.
- Have the military dishonorably discharge you.
- Have the military demote you.
- Have the government force you to pay back your military academy education.
Military punishments usually come in addition to the typical civilian punishments you would expect, so you should not take your case lightly.
Are There Drawbacks To a Government-Appointed Attorneys?
Unfortunately, just because you are a member of the military does not mean you will automatically get an attorney. Further, these appointed attorneys have additional duties aside from their legal work (like military duties), and they may not have the same amount of dedication and time to give you as a civilian-military defense attorney would. When someone accuses you of a crime, you should ensure you get legal counsel as soon as possible so that your attorney can begin working on your case and devising a defense for your legal troubles.
What Should You Do If Someone Accuses You?
When someone initially accuses you (and if an officer arrests you), remember that you have the same right to remain silent as civilians do. You have the right to demand to speak with an attorney and the law does not obligate you to answer any questions until you and your attorney have spoken. The sooner you hire an attorney and the quicker you speak with your attorney about the charges, the sooner you and your attorney can work on getting a desirable outcome for your case.
If someone has accused you of a crime and you are an enlisted member of the military, do not hesitate to call a military attorney at Camp Pendleton, like one from The Federal Practice Group, as soon as you can. We work hard to defend those who serve our great nation.