Tennessee Military Defense Lawyer

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Tennessee Military Defense Attorney

A Tennessee military defense lawyer represents service members who are being accused of certain acts of misconduct within the military justice system. These challenges can range from minor disciplinary actions to handling more severe crimes in a court-martial. All military personnel in this situation need legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected. A military attorney can handle their case with the knowledge that the unique demands of military law require.

At the law office of Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, we focus on providing quality legal defense for those who are working hard to serve our country. Our team is well-versed in every detail of military law and brings years of experience to help defend your interests. We stand ready to advocate for your interests and can work tirelessly to help achieve the outcome you are searching for.

The Most Common Allegations That Military Defense Lawyers Can Combat

A military defense lawyer sees a significant amount of variety in the cases they handle, as there are many different reasons why their clients may be accused of misconduct. These matters require a nuanced understanding of military law and the unique details of service life.

Some of the most common allegations that a military attorney can defend include:

Court-Martial Offenses

Military defense lawyers are often the first professionals called for cases that involve serious criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). For example, their client may face allegations of desertion, which is when a service member completely abandons their service duties without showing any intent to return. Another example would be insubordination, which is when a service member intentionally disobeys commands from a superior officer.

Even a more serious crime, like theft of military property or sexual assault, can be a court-martial offense. In these scenarios, a defense attorney needs to scrutinize all the evidence they can collect and try to find ways to contest the prosecution’s narrative of what happened. For example, they may try to challenge the chain of custody of stolen items to raise doubts that their client is objectively guilty.

Non-Judicial Punishments

Less serious offenses, such as small-scale theft or minor insubordination, will lead to a non-judicial punishment. This is when a commanding officer has issued disciplinary action without the need for a formal court-martial proceeding. In these scenarios, a military member may seek the help of a defense attorney for advice on whether to accept the non-judicial punishment or demand a court-martial to challenge the accusations.

If they choose to advance to a court-martial, they will need to collaborate with their attorney to prepare statements and gather evidence. They can then present a compelling case against the accusations of the commanding officer. For example, a defense lawyer may leverage their client’s otherwise exemplary military record of positive achievements to suggest that a case of minor insubordination was an isolated event that should be forgiven rather than punished.

Administrative Actions

A service member could face administrative actions, such as a demotion for failure to meet certain standards, or a reprimand for non-criminal misconduct, like consistently being late for duty. A defense attorney can step into these administrative cases to challenge the basis of the charge. They may suggest that the allegations are inaccurate or that the proposed punishment is not proportionate to the offense.

For example, if an attorney is representing a client who was denied a promotion due to alleged unsatisfactory performance, they will take a close look at their history of performance evaluations. If there is any evidence to suggest a bias toward the individual, or there was a procedural error that unfairly categorized this individual as not meeting standards, this can be raised in settlement discussions or a court-martial to reverse the decision.

Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentlemen

When someone is accused of “conduct unbecoming an officer and gentlemen,” it implies that the individual has engaged in behavior that has brought dishonor to the armed forces. This is an intense accusation that can lead to severe consequences and significantly damage the service member’s reputation.

One common example in this category is facing allegations of an inappropriate relationship between the suspect and another officer or enlisted member of the service. To combat this charge, a defense attorney may highlight the consensual nature of the relationship or demonstrate how it had no negative impact on any aspect of the military’s function. Bringing in different character witnesses or evidence that their client’s performance was not compromised can help.

AWOL or Unauthorized Absences

The acronym AWOL stands for “absent without leave.” This relates to other incidents of unauthorized absences where a military member is gone when they are mandated to work. In these cases, a defense attorney can argue that certain extenuating circumstances, like a family emergency or mental health issue, are what led to their absence rather than just ignorance or a disregard for their responsibilities.

If their client does share some accountability for their actions, the defense attorney can help negotiate for a reduced sentence that could still keep them in the military. To make this happen, they will highlight the service member’s positive record in their position. An attorney might argue that this incident was an isolated event rather than a repeated pattern of behavior that needs to be harshly punished.

Drug and Alcohol-Related Offenses

If a service member is caught under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on duty, it can be a challenging accusation for a defense attorney to combat. However, they can examine the evidence, like the accuracy of the drug test or circumstances surrounding the incident, to indicate that their client deserves a second chance or should only face minor penalties, especially if this was their first drug- or alcohol-related offense.

For example, in scenarios when service members had a positive drug test, a defense attorney could question how the results of that test were handled and interpreted. If there are any discrepancies in the chain of custody that dealt with this part of the process, they could argue that the results are not reliable enough to warrant severe consequences.

Security Violations

Any breach of classified information or security protocols can cause significant alarm in the military. This could potentially compromise national security and put innocent lives at risk. If a service member is being accused of engaging in a security violation, a defense lawyer can examine their client’s specific actions and intentions.

For example, if their client is being accused of mishandling classified documents, one defense could be to argue that there is no evidence that there was an intent to mishandle the documents. If they can also point to an inconsistency in the military’s processes that would lead someone to unknowingly engage in a security violation, this could help reverse the allegations and keep the service member in their position.


Q: How Do Military Defense Lawyers Handle Divorce and Family Law Cases?

A: Military defense lawyers who are also certified to handle family law and divorce cases are uniquely qualified to address these types of disputes in a military setting. They understand the nuances of military benefits, pension divisions, and the consequences that a family unit could face due to their relative’s military deployment. Their legal counsel can help secure fair settlements or custody arrangements that respect both military regulations and family law principles.

Q: Can Military Defense Lawyers Handle Crimes Beyond Assault, Like Theft or Drug Offenses?

A: Yes, military criminal defense lawyers are well-equipped to handle any crime under military law, including theft, drug offenses, or even more serious felonies. Their ability to navigate clients through these intense allegations stems from their knowledge of the UCMJ and experience in military courts. Whether they are representing an active military member or veteran, they can work to craft a compelling legal defense to reduce or dismiss their clients’ charges.

Q: What Makes TN Military Defense Lawyers Distinct in Handling Military Justice Cases?

A: Because TN military defense lawyers have been trained in military law and the different issues that it involves, they have the most well-rounded knowledge to find creative solutions and identify legal nuances. Their familiarity with local military bases, command structures, and any challenges that are specific to Tennessee law allows them to leverage these factors that a traditional attorney would overlook or struggle to incorporate.

Q: How Does a Military Defense Lawyer Assist Veterans Facing Criminal Charges in Civilian Court?

A: Just because someone is a veteran rather than an active service member doesn’t mean that they can’t hire a military defense attorney for help. Veterans will appreciate how military defense attorneys understand the unique challenges of military service, such as combat-related stress or service-related injuries. These factors could be used as leverage to defend allegations against them in civil court.

Having this type of comprehensive support can help ensure that veterans’ rights are not violated under any conditions of military law and/or civilian law.

Contact Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, Today

If you are in the military or are a veteran facing criminal charges, contact the military defense attorneys at Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law, today. We understand how distressing being accused of misconduct can be, which is why we are motivated to help service members find ways to protect their rights and reputations.

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