Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington is a major strategic center for the United States military on the Pacific Coast, situated just south of Tacoma. Hailed as one of the most family-friendly military installations in the continental United States, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is home to thousands of service members and their loved ones, and even more service members stationed at the base live in the nearby communities.
Experienced Military Criminal Defense Representation for Joint Base Lewis-McChord Service Members
If you or a relative are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, it is vital to understand your rights and know what to expect if you are charged with any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This code of conduct and set of laws exclusively applies to the US military, and while many aspects of the UCMJ mirror the civilian criminal codes enforced throughout the United States, penalties for UCMJ violations are typically much harsher than their civilian counterparts.
Aaron Meyer Law can provide the comprehensive military criminal defense representation you need at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Attorney Aaron Meyer leverages the full scope of his experience as a former US Marine and Judge Advocate in every case accepted by Aaron Meyer Law. As a result, our firm can provide the responsive legal counsel you need for your impending case, potentially revealing options for defense you hadn’t considered on your own.
Why Do I Need a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Military Criminal Defense Attorney?
Every US service member in every branch of the military has the same constitutional rights as a civilian if they are charged with a crime or any violation of the UCMJ. However, the military judicial system moves more quickly than civilian criminal court proceedings, and the UCMJ includes many Articles that outline offenses that are not crimes for civilians. For example, while many would agree that cheating on a spouse is immoral, it is not illegal for a civilian. However, adultery is a punishable offense under the Articles of the UCMJ, potentially jeopardizing the at-fault spouse’s military career in various ways.
When you are charged with a UCMJ violation of any kind, it is crucial to take advantage of your right to legal representation. Similar to how a public defender can represent you free of charge in civilian criminal court, it’s possible to have a detailed military defense attorney assigned to your case. However, if you are able to do so, hiring a private Joint Base Lewis-McChord military criminal defense attorney offers more robust representation.
Aaron Meyer Law has maintained a stellar professional record in military criminal defense thanks to our team’s experience and dedication and Attorney Aaron Meyer’s aggressive approach to defense counsel. If you need legal representation when facing criminal charges within the military, it is vital to select an attorney who understands the military judicial procedure and can provide rapid and effective counsel through your proceedings.
Common Types of Military Criminal Cases
The US military has multiple tiers of disciplinary action that can be enacted against service members who have violated the Articles of the UCMJ. The severity of the proceedings you face depends largely on the nature of the offense you allegedly committed. Aaron Meyer Law can provide comprehensive legal representation in all types of military criminal court proceedings:
- A commanding officer may issue an Article 15 to a service member if they believe a court-martial would be overly harsh for the offense in question. It’s reasonable to think of Article 15 as a formal reprimand with the potential for nonjudicial punishment assigned at the commanding officer’s discretion. You have the right to contest an Article 15, and an attorney can help you make a more compelling argument.
- Administrative separation is reserved for service members who fail to meet performance standards. Negligence on duty, failure to meet physical fitness requirements or repeated minor violations of uniform, formation, duty hours, or other obligations can potentially lead to an administrative separation hearing. Service members facing administrative separation can rely on their attorneys to build counterarguments and preserve their military careers.
- A special court-martial is a judicial process similar to a civilian criminal trial for a misdemeanor-level offense. While the special court-martial process is similar to a civilian criminal trial in several ways, there are many key differences that demand the attention of an experienced military criminal defense attorney. Penalties for conviction in special court-martial can include separation from service, forfeiture of pay and allowances, docked pay, incarceration, and more.
- The general court-martial is the most serious judicial action a service member can face, typically reserved for UCMJ violations deemed equivalent to felonies in civilian criminal court. Dishonorable discharge, demotion in rank, incarceration, and forfeiture of pay and allowances are just a few possible penalties for conviction.
At all levels of the military’s internal judicial system, the accused must know and take full advantage of their rights. Working with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord military criminal defense attorney offers the best chance of success in this type of case. The Aaron Meyer Law team is ready to help you approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.
What Can My Legal Team Do for Me?
Depending on the severity of your offense and whether you face administrative separation or court-martial, there could be several options for building your defense. Your Joint Base Lewis-McChord military criminal defense attorney will carefully review the charges against you, evaluate the strength of the evidence and testimony the prosecution has accumulated, and help you discern your best possible defenses.
When you choose Aaron Meyer Law to handle your defense at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, you will have ongoing support and guidance throughout all stages of your case. Our team has maintained a perfect record of defending our clients, thanks to Attorney Meyer’s philosophy of unrelentingly attacking the foundation of the prosecution’s case. Attorney Meyer will do everything possible to dismantle the case presented against you, prepare you as fully as possible for each new phase of your proceedings, and ultimately guide you to a positive outcome. If you are ready to learn more about how an experienced Joint Base Lewis-McChord military criminal defense attorney can help you, contact Aaron Meyer Law today to schedule a consultation with our team.