NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm
Naval Air Station Key West, Key West, Florida Military Criminal Lawyers
If you are a servicemember stationed at Naval Air Station Key West and facing military criminal charges, it is critical that you understand your rights and options. A conviction can end your military career and follow you for life. An experienced military defense lawyer can help you build the strongest case possible. This article provides an overview of military criminal law at NAS Key West and how a dedicated defense attorney can assist you.
Common Criminal Charges at NAS Key West
Some of the most common criminal offenses we see at NAS Key West include:
- Drug offenses like use, possession, distribution
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence and child abuse
- Absent without leave (AWOL) and desertion
- Disrespecting an officer or disobeying orders
- Adultery and fraternization
The military has jurisdiction over these and many other crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). If convicted at court-martial, penalties can include jail time, demotion, forfeitures of pay and benefits, and discharge from service.
Building an Effective Legal Strategy
Military law is complex. Without an attorney familiar with the UCMJ and military courts, it is easy to make mistakes that hurt your case. A defense lawyer will thoroughly examine the evidence and identify the best ways to fight the charges, such as:
- Filing motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence
- Presenting affirmative defenses like self-defense or lack of mental responsibility
- Negotiating a plea deal for lesser charges
- Gathering evidence and lining up witnesses to refute accusations
- Finding flaws in the prosecution’s arguments
- Advising you of your rights throughout the military justice process
An aggressive defense may even convince the prosecution to withdraw or reduce charges. But this takes an experienced trial lawyer, not a JAG with little courtroom experience.
Why Hire a Civilian Military Attorney?
Military defense counsel from the JAG corps are free, but they carry high caseloads and typically serve short tours at each base before reassignment. A civilian federal criminal defense attorney brings deeper experience with the UCMJ and military courts. They provide continuity through the entire defense process. Civilian counsel can also be more objective because they don’t answer to the military chain of command. Their only duty is defending your best interests.
Key Factors in Choosing a Military Lawyer
Look for these qualities when hiring a military defense attorney for NAS Key West:
- Extensive experience with courts-martial and appeals
- Past success defending similar charges
- Strong relationships with local prosecutors and judges
- Willingness to fight aggressively rather than advising plea deals
- Dedication to military law, not a general practice lawyer
- Engagement and responsiveness throughout the defense
- Clear communication and advice every step of the way
It also helps to look for someone who has served in the military. They understand the system from the inside and can relate to servicemembers.
How a Military Lawyer Can Help at NAS Key West
Here are some of the ways an experienced military defense attorney can help servicemembers at NAS Key West:
- Fully explain the charges and possible penalties so you understand the stakes
- Advise your rights under Article 31 against self-incrimination
- Represent you at Article 32 hearings to argue against charges
- Negotiate with prosecutors for dismissal or lesser charges
- Identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Obtain experts to analyze evidence and testify for the defense
- Gather evidence and witness statements for your defense
- Prepare you to testify effectively at trial
- Present a strong defense case before a military judge or panel
- Raise issues on appeal to overturn a conviction
The goal is building the most effective case possible and avoiding actions that could unwittingly hurt your defense.
Key West Military Defense Lawyers
The military law specialists at Crisp and Associates have over 60 years combined experience defending NAS Key West cases. Managing attorney Natalie Crisp is a former JAG officer. Clients praise their tireless work ethic and success securing acquittals and favorable plea deals.
Attorney Michael Waddington of Michael Waddington, Attorney at Law has defended over 50 serious courts-martial and negotiated hundreds of favorable outcomes. Many clients say he helped them avoid jail time and a federal conviction.
David Girard is considered one of the nation’s top military defense attorneys. He is a former JAG officer and judge advocate who now only represents servicemembers. He has an impressive record of trial wins at NAS Key West.
It costs nothing to discuss your case with a military lawyer. Take advantage of a free consultation to explore your options. The right defense from the start can make all the difference.
Getting Help from a Military Lawyer
Contact a dedicated NAS Key West military defense attorney immediately if facing court-martial charges. The lawyer can advise you of your rights and start building the strongest possible defense. Their experience with courts-martial provides the best chance of a positive outcome allowing you to move forward with your military career.