Every member of the USarmed forces is required to abide by the same laws that apply to civilians, but they must also adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This is a set of laws and a code of conduct specific to members of the military, and every member of every branch of service must abide by its articles at all times. Unfortunately, each branch has different methods of resolving UCMJ violations, and facing the internal judicial system of any branch of the military can be incredibly daunting.
Military Criminal Defense Counsel at Great Lakes Naval Base, IL
American service members are held to a higher standard of character than the general public, and as such, there are many things that, while not illegal for a civilian, carry severe penalties for members of the military. For example, if a civilian has an extramarital affair, this could easily lead to a divorce, but they will not face prosecution. By comparison, adultery is a UCMJ violation for a member of the military that carries severe, potentially career-ending penalties. This is just one example of the extreme situations in which military defendants might find themselves.
Attorney Aaron Meyer and the team at Aaron Meyer Law can offer the comprehensive and responsive defense counsel a US service member needs when they are accused of violating the UCMJ at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois. While members of the military face a stricter set of laws and a more demanding code of conduct than the public, Attorney Meyer has years of professional experience defending US service members from conviction and can apply this experience to your case.
Why You Need an Illinois Military Criminal Defense Attorney
The UCMJ imposes strict rules for all members of the military, and the penalties for conviction can mean the end of a military career. However, all military members have the same right to legal counsel as a civilian when charged with a crime. Similar to civilian criminal court, a defendant in the military accused of violating the UCMJ can have a detailed military defense attorney assigned to represent them at no charge. However, a private Illinois military criminal defense attorney can offer more responsive communication and more personalized counsel.
Aaron Meyer Law has years of experience representing members of the military in all branches of service across the country. As a former US Marine and Judge Advocate of the Marine Corps, Attorney Meyer has a flawless professional record thanks to their unwavering commitment to defending his clients’ rights. Our team takes an individualized approach to defense counsel. We know the Articles of the UCMJ and how they will apply in your case. In addition, we can help you gather exculpatory evidence and prove your innocence if you’ve been wrongfully accused or dismantle the case against you in various other ways.
Understanding Military Judicial Procedure at Great Lake Naval Base, IL
Members of the military face a very different judicial system than the criminal courts designed for cases against civilians. The branches of the military each enforce unique procedures for resolving UCMJ violations among their service members. The various legal issues a service member can face range in severity from Article 15 hearings and nonjudicial punishments to administrative separation proceedings or even court-martial. The severity of the proceedings you face hinges on the severity of your alleged UCMJ violation.
When a service member has violated the UCMJ in a minor fashion, their commanding officer has the right to issue an Article 15 citation, deliver a formal reprimand to the service member, and enact nonjudicial punishment. There are limits to the nonjudicial penalties a commanding officer can assign to a subordinate, and they must be proportionate to the alleged offense. Administrative separation is typically reserved for consistent low performance, failure to meet physical fitness or medical standards, or unintentional dereliction of duty.
Court-martial proceedings are the most serious military judicial proceedings a service member can face. There are two levels of severity to court-martial proceedings: The special court-martial process is generally reserved for offenses equivalent to misdemeanors in civilian criminal court, and the general court-martial process is for the most serious UCMJ violations, many of which would constitute felonies for civilians.
Potential Penalties for UCMJ Violations
If you are stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois and are accused of breaching the Articles of the UCMJ in any way, your military career could be at stake. US service members’ penalties for violating the UCMJ are typically much harsher than the penalties assigned in civilian criminal courts for similar offenses. A few possible penalties a defendant could face if convicted include docked pay, forfeiture of pay and allowances, mandatory remedial training, demotion in rank, or even dishonorable discharge or other than honorable discharge. In addition, defendants convicted of the most serious UCMJ violations can also face incarceration in a military prison.
When a US service member is kicked out of the military, their discharge record will make civilian life incredibly difficult. For example, they may no longer qualify for certain types of government programs or benefits, and finding work can be very difficult if prospective employers are wary of the former service member’s discharge status. Ultimately, even a minor UCMJ violation can lead to serious penalties that will follow the defendant through the remainder of their military career, end that career early, and persistently cause problems in civilian life.
Find Your Navy Defense Team Now
Time is a critical concern for anyone charged with a crime, but it is especially vital for any US service member charged with violating the UCMJ to move with the purpose of securing legal representation. Finding the right Illinois military criminal defense attorney as soon as possible significantly improves your chances of navigating your case to the best possible outcome. The branches of the military each have unique procedures for handling criminal cases internally, but all branches strive to resolve these matters as efficiently as possible.
You may have very little time in which to secure the legal representation you need, so it is always best to speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible when your military career and freedoms are at stake. If you are stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois and are charged with any UCMJ violation, we can provide the defense representation you need in this demanding situation. Contact Aaron Meyer Law today to schedule your consultation with an Illinois military criminal defense attorney you can trust with your case.