I May Be Facing a Military Criminal Charge. What Should I Do?
Criminal charges, whether civilian or military, are serious matters. In the military, criminal charges may stem from a wide number of alleged acts that would not ordinarily support a criminal charge for civilians. If you are facing a military criminal charge or believe you may soon be facing one, you can take some basic steps to protect your legal rights, including:
- Staying Silent – Like civilian Miranda warnings, military Article 31 rights give you the right to stay silent and the right to counsel. Whenever you are given an Article 31 warning, you should assert these rights. You can request legal counsel, but do not speak to your commanding officer or anyone else until you have an experienced military criminal defense attorney available to assist you.
- Searches – The protections regarding searches of your person, living space, office, and belongings can be very different in a military setting than in a civilian home or workspace. While military officials are authorized to search in a wide variety of settings, you can protect your rights by making it clear that you do not consent to a search. Then, stay silent. Avoid answering questions until you have an attorney to assist you.
- Choosing an Attorney – Although you have the right to free counsel provided by the government, working with a private military defense lawyer can help you protect your rights more fully and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Consider choosing your own attorney to work with the government lawyer to defend you.
Attorney Joseph H. Low IV is a former Marine with exceptional credentials in military defense. Call his office toll-free at (888) 454-5569 today to learn more about your rights and legal options.