3 Ways a Military Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Fight For Your Rights

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As a member of the United States military, being accused of criminal misconduct is an extremely serious situation. Not only can a conviction end your military career, it can also result in the loss of your freedom and significant difficulties in obtaining employment in civilian life. It’s crucial for anyone in the military that has been accused of a crime to retain a highly experienced military lawyers. There are many ways that an attorney will defend your rights, three of which are discussed below.

Attorney Keith Scherer

Keith Scherer – Military Attorney.  Call 877-867-5247 now for a FREE consultation!

1.  Ensure that any investigation does not violate your constitutional rights

Just because you joined the military does not mean that you have given up your constitutional rights. Military law enforcement investigations are limited by several provisions of the Bill of Rights,1 and any violation of these legal rules can result in the evidence gathered against you being inadmissible in court. Military members are given additional protections under Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Am experienced civilian military attorney will explore every aspect of the investigation, including interrogations, to see if there were significant violations of your rights. Suppression of evidence in a case greatly increases the odds of victory at court-martial. Even better, when the government loses key items of evidence because of law enforcement misconduct and abuses, the odds of getting the case dropped altogether go way up. You need an attorney who knows how to identify those issues and make the most of them.

2.  Represent you in court-martial proceedings

While many cases are resolved without a trial, a significant number of investigations lead to courts-martial. Military trials involve complicated rules of procedure, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is extremely difficult for people without military legal training to understand. Your attorney will represent you at trial and make sure that you are treated fairly and that your legal rights are protected. He will also help you understand the procedures and laws, and make sure you aren’t overwhelmed by military jargon and acronyms. In short, your civilian military lawyer will be your guide and translator throughout a very frightening, confusing process.

3.  Negotiate the most favorable pre-trial agreement possible

Many courts-martial do not result in a fully litigated trial. Instead, they are resolved through a Pretrial Agreement, also knows as a PTA. The terms of a PTA include the facts and offenses the member will plead guilty to, and a limit on his potential punishment. It is rarely advisable to go into a case with a guilty plea as the primary goal. An experienced military lawyer will work on two tracks at once: (a) preparing a defense for trial, and (b) exploring the potential for a very favorable deal if conviction seems inevitable. Knowing the potential for success at trial is critically important to any plea discussion. Lastly, your attorney must be a skilled courtroom advocate but also have a gift for diplomacy. Plea negotiations can be extremely complicated and challenging, and you can’t expect favorable terms unless your attorney knows the law, how to win at trial, and how to communicate with the government.

Contact a civilian military criminal defense lawyer today to discuss your case

The lawyers of Gagne, Scherer & Associates, LLC are former members of the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps who have devoted their civilian legal careers to representing the legal rights of servicemen and women who have been accused of crimes. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our military criminal defense lawyers, call our office today at 877-867-5247 or send us an email through our online contact form.


1 http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
2 http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ucmj.htm