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Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm
Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Florida Military Criminal Lawyers
If you are a servicemember stationed at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida and facing criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), it is critical that you understand your rights and get experienced legal representation. Military criminal law can be complex and the consequences for convictions are severe. This article provides an overview of military criminal defense and how lawyers can assist servicemembers at NAS Whiting Field.
Common Criminal Charges Under UCMJ
Some of the most common criminal offenses that military personnel at NAS Whiting Field face include:
- Drug offenses like use, possession, distribution
- Assault, domestic violence
- Adultery, fraternization
- AWOL, desertion
- Larceny, theft
The military takes all criminal charges seriously. Even a misdemeanor conviction can end a military career with a bad conduct discharge. Felony convictions almost always result in jail time and a dishonorable discharge.
Unique Aspects of Military Criminal Law
While some civilian criminal laws are similar, the military system has unique rules and procedures that make specialized defense counsel critical. Some key aspects include:
- Command influence over the process
- No grand jury indictments
- Speedy trials – cases move much faster than civilian courts
- No jury trials unless facing over 1 year confinement
- Differences in discovery, evidence, sentencing
Because of these factors, having a military law attorney who understands the complexities is the best chance for the best outcome. Never try to navigate a UCMJ case alone.
Punishments Under the UCMJ
If convicted at court-martial, military personnel can face severe sentences. Possible punishments include:
- Reduction in rank
- Forfeiture of pay and allowances
- Confinement – military jails
- Punitive discharge – bad conduct discharge, dishonorable discharge
- Sex offender registration
In addition to criminal punishments, convictions often end careers through administrative separation. Speak to a lawyer before making any admissions or accepting any Article 15 punishments.
First Steps After Charges
Upon notification of potential charges, servicemembers have rights – exercise them! Steps to take include:
- Say nothing to investigators without an attorney
- Hire a civilian military lawyer immediately
- Follow the lawyer’s advice on how to proceed
- Have the lawyer deal with command and investigators
- Start developing your defense strategy
Never go it alone when charged under UCMJ. The experienced military attorneys at MyMilitaryLawyers.com emphasize that the first conversation with counsel is protected under attorney-client privilege. There is no downside to exercising your rights.
Why Hire Civilian Military Lawyers?
Military personnel have the option of being represented by appointed military counsel (JAG lawyers) or hiring experienced civilian attorneys. There are good reasons to hire civilian lawyers including:
- No command influence – they answer only to you
- Often have more trial experience than military counsel
- Can be more aggressive in building a strong defense
- Avoid conflicts of interest present with JAG lawyers
- Greater litigation resources available
While JAG lawyers work hard, retaining civilian counsel is usually the best chance at the best outcome. Many top military law firms offer free case evaluations.
NAS Whiting Field Courts-Martial
If charges under the UCMJ are referred to a general court-martial, NAS Whiting Field utilizes the federal courthouse in Pensacola, FL for trials. Cases arising on base are tried here instead of on-base courtrooms. For special or summary courts-martial, proceedings occur at NAS Whiting Field.
Because general courts-martial can impose steep sentences like years of confinement, servicemembers facing referral want the very best defense team money can buy. Top gun civilian lawyers have the skills and experience to fight the government’s charges.
Article 15, Administrative Actions
In addition to courts-martial, NAS Whiting Field commanders can impose non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ. While not considered a criminal conviction, Article 15 punishments can still be severe career-enders. Servicemembers have rights in refusing Article 15’s, but often feel coerced into accepting.
Never accept Article 15’s without consulting with a military law attorney first. In many cases, fighting the allegations at court-martial leads to a better outcome. At a minimum, skilled lawyers can negotiate for less-harsh Article 15 punishments if that route is chosen.
NAS Whiting Field commanders can also initiate administrative separation actions against accused personnel. These are not criminal, but can quickly end military service. Having an experienced attorney fight to save your career is crucial.
Why Choose MyMilitaryLawyers.com?
Facing military criminal investigations and charges can be terrifying. The consequences following a conviction can alter your life permanently. The military law attorneys at MyMilitaryLawyers.com have the skills and track record to give servicemembers the best chance of success.
Benefits of retaining their services include:
- Over 150 years combined military law experience
- Proven trial results – recent acquittals, dismissals, no confinement
- Available for in-person consultations and representation
- A+ Better Business Bureau accredited
- 5 star client reviews
Put this top-rated team of military defense lawyers in your corner. Getting experienced counsel involved immediately is critical to protecting your rights and developing a winning strategy. The initial consultation is free and confidential. Call today to discuss your charges at NAS Whiting Field.