Fort Knox Military Defense Lawyer

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Fort Knox Military Defense Attorney

The legal system known as “military law” was designed to regulate the conduct of military members. It details how one should be punished if found guilty of violating any of these rules. This branch of law only applies to someone who is an official member of the military. All other cases are heard by civilian courts. If you have been charged with a military law violation, a Fort Knox military lawyer can defend you against these allegations while protecting your rights.

At the law office of Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, we have been assisting military personnel with their legal cases for many years. We know how to turn a very isolating experience into one of collaboration and teamwork. Our pride for service members goes well beyond our experience as military attorneys, as we are passionate about helping those who have helped us by serving the country. Contact us today and see how we can assist you with your military case.

What Value Does a Fort Knox Military Lawyer Provide?

Many previous clients of Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, may share how our legal defense services prevented them from suffering disproportionate consequences compared to the acts they engaged in. Achieving this outcome can be attributed to the sum of many different services that a Fort Knox military lawyer provides.

Some of the most common roles and responsibilities of these attorneys include:

Choosing a Court-Martial Defense Strategy

One of the most significant contributions a Fort Knox attorney can offer to their clients is a strong defense strategy against any military criminal allegations. These can be minor offenses, like not listening to a commanding officer, or more serious incidents, like sexual assault. To minimize the number of vulnerabilities in your case, you need an attorney who has a masterful understanding of criminal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

To produce a strong and compelling court-martial defense, an attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into their client’s allegations. This requires them to collect evidence and execute a comprehensive legal analysis. This could include conducting interviews with any eyewitnesses, reviewing military records, or obtaining video surveillance footage. These strategies allow them to choose a defense position that can effectively counter the prosecution’s case.

Offering Legal Advice

When someone makes the decision to join the army, they are simultaneously agreeing to remain compliant with every rule under military law. These rules were developed to keep peace and order within the armed forces. However, their complexity can make it difficult for a service member to understand them in detail. This could lead someone to make a mistake or unintentionally violate military law.

In these cases, a Fort Knox attorney can step in to offer professional advice. They can guide clients on the most effective ways to minimize any potential penalties or consequences. An attorney can also proactively clarify certain rules or conditions, which can help a service member avoid any situations that would get them in trouble.

Providing Guidance With Administrative Matters

Fort Knox military lawyers also offer guidance on administrative proceedings. These actions can have a significant impact on a service member’s tenure in the military, like being passed over for a promotion or dealing with a negative evaluation of their performance. Military lawyers can offer their professional wisdom on how to approach these matters, allowing them to reduce as much suffering for their clients as possible.

Fort Knox military attorneys can also offer support on administrative separations. These are cases where a service member has been told that they are being discharged from the armed forces. This can be an extremely distressing situation without having an attorney on standby. They can explain an individual’s rights and options in great detail as well as represent them in any required court-martial proceedings.

Family Law Matters

Military law recognizes that a service member’s personal life does not “turn off” while they are on duty. There can still be a number of issues happening back home, like the need to get a divorce. Fortunately, military attorneys can also double as family law attorneys in these situations. They can help their clients start the divorce process and negotiate with the opposing party on sensitive topics like child custody and property division.

For example, a military attorney is well-versed in the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA). This specific act governs how military benefits and pensions are divided between two spouses as they are divorcing. This can help ensure that the attorney’s client is able to receive a fair distribution of benefits and has legal support in any conflicts that may arise during this process.

Common Military Law Defense Strategies

If you are a service member who has concerns over facing serious penalties that you believe are too harsh, you need to hire a Fort Knox military defense lawyer as soon as you can. They can evaluate your case from every angle to determine which defense strategy could be the most advantageous.

Some common defenses that your attorney may use include:

Challenging Evidence

Fort Knox military defense attorneys understand how much time and effort is needed to thoroughly evaluate each piece of evidence, as doing so allows them to spot any shortcomings from the opposing counsel. This could include questioning what methods were used to collect evidence or challenging how credible an eyewitness’s testimony is. This is all in an effort to raise doubts among a military panel and judge that the allegations are true.

One popular angle your attorney may take is to explore the chain of custody. They can see if all the evidence was legally collected and handled properly. If there are any discrepancies in this process, a criminal defense attorney could suggest that the evidence has been tampered with and is no longer admissible.

A Fort Knox military defense attorney might bring in third-party professionals who can give their own interpretations of the case. Their testimonies can be used as evidence to support your case and refute the prosecution’s.

Violation of Your Rights Under the UCMJ

If there is any evidence to suggest that a service member’s rights were violated during their own criminal investigation, this could have a major influence on the outcome of the case. For example, if law enforcement did not have proper documentation to conduct a search and seizure, it could dismiss any evidence that was collected during that time. Other violations could include not being read their Miranda rights or being denied a speedy trial.

To advance a “violation of rights” defense, an attorney needs to investigate the exact procedures that the military authorities used during the investigation and arrest. If there are discrepancies between the protocols and what actually happened, an attorney can use this in a court-martial and attempt to close the case. Obtaining this information could completely dismantle a prosecutor’s entire case against the defendant.

Alibi or Fact-Based Defense

An alibi is a story that can establish a service member’s whereabouts during the same time that the crime was committed elsewhere. If an alibi is proven to be credible, this could completely erase the charges against the service member. On the other hand, fact-based evidence can have a similar role. For example, time-stamped security footage can serve as an “electronic alibi” to also remove an individual from the crime scene.

The use of technology continues to influence these fact-based defenses as well. Having access to new information, like GPS data from mobile devices or social media posts, can also strengthen a defense strategy. To understand the full extent of what evidence can be collected to move forward with an alibi or fact-based defense, you need access to an attorney who has witnessed a number of different precedents that could be used to aid your own case.

Mental Health or Capacity Defense

If a service member suffers from an untreated mental health disorder, this could be used as a defense. This is an attempt to show how the individual should not be held accountable for their actions, as they were not in a mental state that would allow them to act rationally or understand the weight of their actions. Common conditions in the military, like PTSD and depression, are extremely relevant and have been used before as defense strategies.

If you choose to take this defense position, your attorney needs to engage a mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist. Having these professional opinions on your mental state can help validate the credibility of this claim and refute any accusations that you are hiding behind a mental illness to escape responsibility.

It’s important to note that a mental health defense does not absolve responsibility. Rather, it adds context to the events that unfolded.

Good Military Character Defense

If a service member wants to advance a “good character” military defense, they will need to showcase various positive records and contributions obtained during their tenure. Examples of this could include military awards, commendations, and positive evaluations from superior officers. Any testimonies from other peers can also help provide comprehensive insight into the accused’s character and integrity within the military community.

This approach is especially promising for first-time offenders. It becomes harder to make a case for being a good soldier who is worthy of a second chance or has promised to rehabilitate themselves when they have a record that suggests otherwise.

To ensure that your good character defense can work, an attorney can evaluate all evidence that can be used and provide their opinion on its chances of succeeding. If they have concerns, they can offer an alternative defense to consider.

FAQs

Q: How Does the Appeals Process Work in Military Law?

A: After a court-martial conviction, the results of the case can be reviewed by an appellate court that is specific to the military branch of the convicted, such as the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. At this point, the court will look into how a decision was reached and if there is any evidence of factual errors. The court will also consider whether the sentence was appropriate or if a different repercussion would be more aligned with the service member’s actions.

Q: Can Military Lawyers Represent Service Members in Civilian Courts?

A: Military lawyers are often not licensed to represent their clients anywhere else other than military court. This is because the knowledge and training they receive primarily apply within the confines of military law. They are trained to handle cases under the UCMJ, which is not recognized in civilian court. However, some military lawyers may also hold a civilian law license, which grants them the ability to represent clients in both arenas individually.

Q: What Are the Consequences of Being Convicted in a Military Court?

A: Being convicted in military court can have significant, long-lasting consequences for service members. The punishment will depend on the offense, but it can range from a simple demotion or forfeiture of pay to being imprisoned or discharged from the service. These consequences can spill into other areas of the individual’s life, such as losing military benefits, struggling to find employment as a civilian, or losing the right to own firearms.

Q: Are There Any Differences in Legal Proceedings for Officers and Personnel in the Military?

A: Both commanding officers and military personnel generally must follow the same rules and regulations outlined in the UCMJ. However, there are some slight differences. For example, the individuals on a court-martial panel can vary, depending on whether the accused is an officer or an enlisted service member. This is to ensure that the individuals contributing to the final ruling understand the specific military duties and responsibilities of the accused.

Contact Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, Today for Military Defense

If you have been accused of breaking military law, contact Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, today. Whether you are in the army, navy, marines, or air force, our experienced attorneys can provide a strong defense to protect your rights and maximize your chances of a positive outcome. We look forward to learning more about you and how we can help with your case.

Free Initial Consultation Today

If you live in Oak Grove, Fort Campbell, Hopkinsville, or Cadiz, Kentucky, don’t face your criminal charges on your own. Reach out to criminal defense attorney Michael J. Thompson and schedule a free consultation to discuss your criminal charges. You can reach Mr. Thompson at (270) 439-1175. You can also contact our law firm by filling out our online contact form.

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15744 Fort Campbell Blvd
Oak Grove, KY 42262