Military Defense

Do I Really Need a Civilian Military Defense Lawyer?

By Joseph Low on December 16, 2014 - Comments off

For many military service members, the first time they face a criminal charge in the military is the first time they have ever been accused of a crime – inside or outside the armed services. Since military criminal matters are often different than those carried out in civilian courts, learning about your legal rights and options from a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in military matters is a must.

When you are charged with a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you have access to defense counsel, free of charge, through the U.S. Government.  You also have the option to contact an experienced civilian military defense attorney.  Many service members decide not to work with a civilian lawyer, assuming that the free Government lawyer will be able to give them enough help. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

What is the UCMJ?

By Joseph Low on November 18, 2014 - Comments off

Military Service members who are facing military criminal charges are likely to hear many references to the “UCMJ.”  For those who are new to the military criminal justice process, this acronym may be confusing.  What is the UCMJ, and how should you respond when you hear you’ve been arrested or charged with a violation under it?

UCMJ stands for “Uniform Code of Military Justice.”  Established by the U.S. Congress, the UCMJ defines and governs a wide range of activities for which service members can face criminal charges.  It also sets out basic rules for courts-martial and other legal proceedings and covers other related topics. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Why You Should Challenge Negative Findings in a Security Clearance Decision

By Joseph Low on October 13, 2014 - Comments off

When your security clearance is revoked or denied, it does not necessarily mean you have committed a crime.  Nonetheless, your security clearance is important to your current job and crucial for your career future.  Whether your security clearance has been revoked or your application for a new security clearance has been denied, you should strongly consider working with an experienced California military defense lawyer to challenge the findings and increase your chances of receiving a favorable clearance determination. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Top Considerations When Seeking a Military Defense Lawyer

By Joseph Low on September 15, 2014 - Comments off

If you’ve been questioned or charged with a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the event might be your first-ever brush with criminal law.  If so, you might be confused, frustrated, or even alarmed.  Here are some of the top questions our clients face.  Consider the answers for yourself then contact an experienced California military defense attorney.

Does Hiring a Lawyer Say That I Have Something to Hide?

If you are being investigated or charged with a crime, chances are good that the prosecuting officer already believes you have “something to hide,” whether or not that is actually true.  Meanwhile, you have rights under the UCMJ and the Constitution.  Finding an experienced attorney who will stand firmly “in your corner” is your best option for protecting those rights. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

NDAA Makes Changes to Article 32 Hearings

By Joseph Low on August 11, 2014 - Comments off

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014 contained some provisions intended to improve Article 32 hearings.  These provisions mean several changes to how Article 32 hearings proceed, according to the U.S. Navy’s official blog.  As a result, experienced California military defense attorneys have followed the new provisions intently.

An Article 32 hearing is a “preliminary hearing” at which the facts of the case are presented, the evidence against the accused military service member is presented, and the accused person may present evidence on his or her own behalf.  The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether enough evidence exists to allow the case to proceed to court-martial.  Service members have the legal right to be represented by an attorney at the Article 32 hearing. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

I May Be Facing a Military Criminal Charge. What Should I Do?

By Joseph Low on July 29, 2014 - Comments off

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:

  1. 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. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Why Choose a Civilian Defense Attorney?

By Joseph Low on June 26, 2014 - Comments off

Military Court LA If you’re facing a court-martial or criminal charges in the military, you may have a Judge Advocate appointed, or “detailed,” for you.  But you may also consider hiring a private civilian defense lawyer.  Although the costs of hiring your own military defense attorney may seem high, the benefits often outweigh the costs.  Here’s how:

Civilian defense lawyers have time to devote to your case. The key to success in military defense cases is time.  Having the time to investigate, plan, and prepare is crucial in building a vigorous defense that strives toward the best possible outcome.  While your detailed Judge Advocate’s services are free, he or she may have dozens or even hundreds of other cases that need attention.  As a military officer, your government attorney may also be responsible for training, completing performance reports, or fulfilling other duties – tasks your civilian attorney won’t have on his or her plate. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

Four Ways to Prepare for Your First Meeting with Your California Military Defense Lawyer

By Joseph Low on May 19, 2014 - Comments off

California Military Defense AttorneyIf you’re facing a military criminal charge, you may feel confused, frustrated, or angry.  Your experienced Long Beach, California military defense attorney can help you navigate the charges and seek the best possible outcome in your case while also protecting your legal rights.

To contribute fully to your own defense, it is best to prepare for your first meeting with your attorney.  Here are four tips:

  • Be ready to answer questions.  To represent you well, your lawyer will need background information.  He or she will probably ask you many questions, including questions about your living situation, work, and character.  Your attorney will also ask about the events that led to the charges you face.  You can prepare for these questions by writing down all the details you remember surrounding your case and bringing these notes to your meeting. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

What is a “Failure to Repair” in the Military?

By Joseph Low on April 14, 2014 - Comments off

California Military Defense“Failure to repair.” To a civilian, it sounds like a mistake in an auto shop. But to members of the armed forces, a failure to repair – also known as a “failure to go to appointed place of duty” – is just one of the many forms that an absence without leave (AWOL) may take. A conviction of failure to repair can carry significant penalties.

According to article 86(1) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a failure to repair includes the following elements: Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

How Do You Choose the Right Desertion or AWOL Defense Lawyer?

By Joseph Low on February 10, 2014 - Comments off

California Military Defense“AWOL,” or “absent without leave,” is a military term that has found its way into the everyday civilian vocabulary. For most civilians, “going AWOL” has no consequences; their friends might find it “weird,” but there is no actual penalty. This is not true for servicemembers. Military courts consider AWOL and desertion to be crimes and pursue them accordingly.

Desertion and AWOL are serious charges for any military member to face. Because the military courts take these charges seriously and prosecute them vigorously, it is crucial for any military member facing such a charge to have an experienced and aggressive military criminal defense attorney on their side. Read the rest »

Posted in: Military Defense

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