What to Do if You Are Accused, Suspected or Charged with a Crime in the U.S. Military

Michael S. Waddington

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Military Law Attorney

Contributor Level 8

Posted almost 5 years ago. 3 helpful votes



Stop talking If you are accused, suspected or charged with a crime - Get a court martial lawyer immediately.

Your first step when you are suspected of a crime, accused of crime, or charged with a crime in the military is to STOP. Stop talking with investigators, friends or your command. Stop cooperating with law enforcement and your command. Do not consent to any searches or seizures. Do not say anything to CID, NCIS, OSI, or the Military Police other than: "I want to have a lawyer present" and "I do not want to talk to you without a lawyer." Do this even if you are not guilty. May suspects talk themselves into prison and a Federal conviction. The bottom line is, if you are being questioned by military investigators, then they think you are probably guilty. It is true that by refusing to make a statement, some investigators will think that you are guilty. So what? They think you are guilty anyway. However, if you refuse to make a statement without a lawyer, then they will not be able to use your words to convict you and they cannot twist your words in order to get a conviction.


Get a court martial lawyer immediately

You have several choices when looking for a court martial lawyer. 1. You can choose a military lawyer. Most will not talk to you until you are officially charged. By then it is too late. 2. You can hire a civilian lawyer. Before you hire a civilian lawyer to defend you in your military case, you should be careful and only choose a lawyer that has extensive experience as a DEFENSE lawyer in military cases. Do not simply hire a lawyer because they are retired military, because they at one time were a JAG officer or prosecutor, or because the lawyer is a retired military lawyer. Also, don't hire a "local" lawyer just because they are cheap or simply because they are close to the military installation. Most expert military defense lawyers travel worldwide. Most expert military defense lawyers are expensive. The cost is usually worth it considering they are trying to save your life. 3. You can hire a civilian lawyer and use a military lawyer together. This is the best option.

Additional Resources

Search the internet for "court martial lawyer" or "military defense lawyer"

Michael Waddington - Court Martial Lawyer

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