Every member of the United States military has the same constitutional rights as a civilian, but they are also beholden to a completely separate code of conduct and set of laws specifically designed for members of the military. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a comprehensive set of articles that each dictates a specific expectation for members of the military. The UCMJ outlines a service member’s rights and responsibilities, and each article outlines the process for resolving alleged violations of the UCMJ.
Experienced Criminal Defense Representation for US Service Members at Fort Bliss
If you are stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and are accused of any UCMJ violation, you could face a host of penalties, and your military career could be at stake. While you have the same right to legal counsel in this situation that you would as a civilian. However, the penalties associated with UCMJ violations typically eclipse those a civilian would face for similar offenses, and there are also numerous articles that prohibit US service members from engaging in actions that are not illegal at all for civilians, such as committing infidelity against a spouse.
Aaron Meyer Law can provide the aggressive criminal defense representation you need on your side if you have been accused of violating the UCMJ in any way while stationed at Fort Bliss. Attorney Aaron Meyer is a former United States Marine and Judge Advocate, and the team at Aaron Meyer Law leverages this experience on behalf of every client we represent. So, if you need a Fort Bliss military defense attorney, Aaron Meyer Law is ready to accept your case.
Why You Need Criminal Defense Counsel for Your Case at Fort Bliss
The military criminal justice system is very different from the court proceedings you would face if you were charged with a crime as a civilian. Even a seemingly minor offense can have dramatic consequences, and the military strives to process all allegations of UCMJ violation as swiftly as possible. There are also various levels of severity when it comes to how a commanding officer can choose to address their subordinate’s UCMJ violation.
Each article of the UCMJ outlines a different expectation or rule for service members, and the military takes all violations very seriously. A minor infraction, poor performance, or violations of decorum and good character could lead to an Article 15 form of nonjudicial punishment. A commanding officer can use the Article 15 process to formally address a subordinate’s misconduct or minor violations of the UCMJ. The commanding officer can recommend remedial actions and/or penalties for the subordinate. More severe violations of the UCMJ are more likely to lead to administrative separation hearings or court-martial.
You have the right to defense representation in these situations, and while you can have a defense attorney detailed to your case free of charge, similar to a public defender in civilian criminal court, hiring an experienced private Fort Bliss military criminal defense attorney can offer a much higher level of defense representation in your situation. When you choose Aaron Meyer Law to represent your defense, we will explore every detail of your case and prepare you for each phase of your proceedings. Military criminal court proceedings tend to move much faster than the civilian criminal justice system, so you need defense counsel with the experience and alacrity to handle rapidly evolving proceedings on your behalf and reach positive results.
Potential Penalties for UCMJ Violations at Fort Bliss
The US Army and all other branches of the military follow the UCMJ, and each branch has unique procedures for handling criminal cases involving their service members. If you are stationed at Fort Bliss and are accused of violating the UCMJ, there are many possible outcomes to your situation:
- An administrative separation could be the response to a significant violation of the UCMJ, including persistent displays of poor character, inability to meet fitness and performance standards, or similar reasons that do not necessarily qualify for a court-martial. This is a way for the military to separate a service member who does not align with their military duties and/or lifestyle and is incapable of improving. If you are faced with a potential administrative separation, a Fort Bliss military criminal defense attorney can help you prepare arguments if you intend to fight the separation or at least help you secure the best possible characterization of your service in your discharge.
- A special court-martial is the military criminal justice process of addressing an offense that would be equivalent to a misdemeanor for a civilian. The potential penalties for a service member convicted at this level could include involuntary separation from the military, fines, forfeiture of previously received pay and allowances, and confinement. In addition, if they are permitted to remain in the military, they will likely face a disciplinary detail, demotion in rank, or transfer to a new duty station to complete remedial training.
- A general court-martial will follow an offense that would qualify for felony prosecution in civilian criminal court. The penalties for this type of case are very serious, often including removal from the military with the characterization of a Dishonorable or Other Than Honorable Discharge. Forfeiture of pay and allowances, fines, and incarceration are also possible penalties the military judge might assign.
Every service member charged with violating the UCMJ will have a different experience, but a common thread for all service members in this situation is the value of reliable military criminal defense representation. The UCMJ is very strict and seemingly unforgiving for many offenses, and it’s vital to have legal representation you can trust if you want to reach the best possible outcome for your case.
Aaron Meyer Law can provide the detail-oriented defense counsel you need at Fort Bliss when your military career is at stake. Our team works quickly to assess the details of our clients’ cases and to prepare them for the difficult proceedings they face. We know your situation may seem desperate and hopeless, but our team has a perfect professional record thanks to Attorney Meyer’s unwavering dedication to protecting our clients’ rights. If you are ready to learn how a Fort Bliss military criminal defense attorney can help you, contact Aaron Meyer Law and schedule your consultation with our team.