Edwards Air Force Base is one of the country’s largest and most critical military bases. If you serve as any member of the military and are stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, it’s vital to know your rights as a member of the military if you are accused of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This special legal tome is a set of rules that specifically applies to members of the United States Armed Forces. While similar to the criminal justice codes that apply to US civilians in many ways, the UCMJ is more demanding and includes codes of conduct meant to encourage good character among service members.
Experienced Defense Counsel for Edwards Air Force Base Service Members
It’s possible to face military criminal court proceedings if you commit any criminal offense that would qualify for prosecution as a defendant. However, you may also face the military criminal court system if you violate the UCMJ in a way that does not necessarily qualify for prosecution. For example, the UCMJ includes many articles that specifically outline rules and regulations while on duty that do not apply to civilians, and certain immoral actions that are not criminal offenses for civilians, such as infidelity, can lead to prosecution for military members under the UCMJ.
Aaron Meyer Law provides comprehensive and responsive military criminal defense representation to US service members stationed at Edwards Air Force Base. Our team has maintained a perfect professional record thanks to Attorney Meyer’s extensive experience as a US Marine, Judge Advocate, and military criminal defense attorney. As a result, we develop uniquely tailored legal solutions for every service member we represent and can help you confidently approach your case.
Understanding the Value of Experienced Military Criminal Defense Attorney
When you need legal representation after being charged with a crime, finding an attorney with experience handling cases like yours is crucial. This is a shared concern for civilians and military members, but the latter requires more specific legal representation. Only an experienced military criminal defense attorney can review the articles of the UCMJ that apply to your case, and they can also help you understand the legal mechanisms in play, so there are minimal unwelcome surprises in your proceedings.
The military criminal justice system moves much faster than most civilian criminal courts. While you have the same constitutional right to defense representation as a civilian, time is a far more pressing concern, and you must prepare your defense as quickly as possible. The branches of the US military have various methods for resolving misconduct and criminal behavior:
- A commanding officer may use Article 15 to address a subordinate’s poor performance, lack of decorum, or failure to meet fitness requirements. The Article 15 process may also enable the commanding officer to enact a nonjudicial punishment, encouraging the subordinate to rectify the issue in question so they can avoid formal prosecution. If you believe you have been issued an Article 15 citation in error, it is worth asking an Edwards Air Force Base military criminal defense attorney how best to respond.
- Administrative separation proceedings may arise if a service member repeatedly fails to meet required performance and fitness standards or if their commanding officer believes they have failed to adapt to military life for any reason. The service member has the right to make a case for retaining their position, and they may need to agree to remedial training, a strict fitness plan, or other probationary measures to remain in the service. An Edwards Air Force Base military criminal defense attorney can provide valuable guidance if you have been cited for administrative separation for any reason.
- If a service member commits a UCMJ violation that would equate to a misdemeanor for a civilian, they are likely to face the Special Court-Martial process. Penalties for conviction could include removal from the military with a Dishonorable or Other Than Honorable Discharge, forfeiture of all the pay and military allowances they have received, and incarceration. If they are not removed from the military, they are likely to face a demotion in rank, docked pay for several months, and other penalties assigned at the discretion of the court.
- Any offenses that would typically qualify as felonies will likely lead to General Court-Martial proceedings. Penalties are similar to those in Special Court-Martial cases but more severe, such as longer incarceration, heavier financial penalties, and a greater likelihood of Dishonorable Discharge from the military.
Ultimately, if you are accused of violating the UCMJ, you could face strict penalties, and your military career may be at stake. Further, the outcome of your case will have negative repercussions in your civilian life. For example, if you have a record of a Dishonorable Discharge, it will be very difficult to qualify for certain types of employment, government benefit programs, and certain types of financing or financial aid. The economic impact can be severe as well, so it is vital to carefully weigh your defense options in this situation and speak to an Edwards Air Force Base military criminal defense attorney you can trust.
Build Your Defense Today
Time is crucial for any US service member facing military criminal justice proceedings at Edwards Air Force Base in California. While you can have a military defense attorney detailed to your case at no charge, similar to a public defender in civilian criminal court, investing in a private Edwards Air Force Base military criminal defense attorney can offer a much greater chance of avoiding the worst possible penalties your situation could present. Aaron Meyer Law develops client-focused defense strategies for a wide range of criminal cases. The sooner you connect with defense counsel you can trust, the better your chances of reaching a positive outcome for your case.
Contact Aaron Meyer Law today and schedule a consultation with an Edwards Air Force Base military criminal defense attorney. Once we understand the details of your situation, we will get to work immediately, building you the most effective defense possible and preparing you for the difficult proceedings ahead of you.