All members of the United States Armed Forces must follow the articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) at all times. This legal document is a special set of laws and a code of conduct for the military. If you are stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and are accused of any criminal activity or professional misconduct that qualifies as a UCMJ violation, you need criminal defense representation you can trust to help you navigate the difficult proceedings that will follow.
Criminal Defense Representation for Fort Huachuca Service Members
The military criminal justice system, while similar to civilian criminal court in some ways, poses a very different set of procedural requirements to the defendant. Speed is essential for any defendant to mount an effective defense against the charges they face. While it’s possible to have a detailed military defense attorney assigned to your case at no charge, if you have the means to hire a private Fort Huachuca military criminal defense attorney, they are more likely to help you reach a positive conclusion to your case.
Aaron Meyer Law provides aggressive defense representation to US service members stationed at Fort Huachuca and throughout the United States. As a former US Marine and Judge Advocate, Attorney Meyer provides each client with unmatched defense representation backed by a solid perfect defense record. Additionally, attorney Meyer develops an individualized defense strategy for every client our team represents. As a result, you can rely on Aaron Meyer Law to provide the ongoing support you need to confidently approach your proceedings.
Understanding the Military Criminal Justice System
There are some similarities between military and civilian criminal court proceedings, but members of the military should brace for significantly expedited proceedings compared to the pace at which civilian criminal cases usually unfold. If you are accused of violating the Articles of the UCMJ, time is a crucial concern. You must respond to the allegations against you very quickly, and while it may be tempting to simply request to have a military defense attorney represent you, taking time to secure a private Fort Huachuca military criminal defense attorney is well worth the effort.
The military has several tiers of disciplinary action a service member may face. At the lowest level is an Article 15, or a formal warning from a commanding officer. This is a way for a commanding officer to enact a nonjudicial punishment for a specific offense, poor performance, or pattern of misconduct that may not qualify for more serious prosecution. However, while an Article 15 may only entail a formal warning, minor penalties, and/or a requirement to attend remedial training of some kind, if you did not commit the offense in question, you have the right to defend yourself.
An administrative separation is the next level, and this process is generally reserved for separating service members who fail to adapt to military life, fail to meet necessary fitness and/or performance standards, and those who are rendered medically unfit for duty. Again, an administrative separation can cut a military career short, and the service member in this situation can potentially secure an alternative resolution with an experienced attorney’s assistance.
The most serious charges will lead to court-martial proceedings. Each branch of the military has slight variations in their handling of courts-martial, and there are two possible levels of court-martial that both carry severe penalties if they result in conviction:
- When a defendant has committed an offense equivalent to a misdemeanor for a civilian, they are likely to face a special court-martial. Penalties for a conviction can include demotion in rank or removal from service, fines, forfeiture of any previously received pay and allowances, and incarceration in a military prison. Some defendants may be permitted to remain in the military after completing their sentences, but it will be very difficult for them to qualify for promotions in rank, and they could face a host of remedial training and penalties for their actions.
- The general court-martial process is typically used for offenses that would qualify as felonies for civilians. Penalties are more severe than they are for special courts-martial, and defendants are highly likely to face Dishonorable Discharge or Other Than Honorable Discharge if convicted. If the defendant is allowed to remain in the military, they must complete all assigned penalties, face a significant demotion in rank, and will likely be transferred to a fitting duty station at the discretion of the military tribunal handling their case. Their other penalties, such as fines, incarceration, and pay forfeiture, are likely to be more substantial.
The consequences of any conviction in a military tribunal can be dire, and a defendant could face an extensive term of confinement, heavy financial penalties, and removal from the military. A Dishonorable or Other Than Honorable Discharge record will make things very difficult in their civilian life, including interfering with employment opportunities. If you are faced with a court-martial while stationed at Fort Huachuca, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced military criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can prepare you for the difficult proceedings ahead and help you feel more confident about your situation.
Find Your Defense Team Today
Finding the right Fort Huachuca criminal defense attorney to represent you can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of the proceedings ahead of you. Attorney Aaron Meyer can provide the rapid response you need from a Fort Huachuca military criminal defense attorney so you can approach your case with reassurance. Our team has maintained a perfect professional record thanks to Attorney Meyer’s experience and dedication to protecting clients’ rights. Whether you are faced with nonjudicial punishment or risk being kicked out of the military, we can help.
A Fort Huachuca service member could easily face an abrupt end to the military career they have worked hard to maintain, and the consequences of any UCMJ violation can easily follow them into their civilian lives for years. Contact Aaron Meyer Law today and schedule your consultation with a Fort Huachuca military criminal defense attorney. The sooner you contact our team, the sooner we can begin building your defense.