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Michael Brian Hanzel

Military law Attorney at Mount Pleasant, SC

5.0   10 reviews

also known as Mike Hanzel

Free consultation
Free consultation
  • State Years
    South Carolina - SC 7 years
    Virginia - VA 18 years
  • Licensed for 7 years
    State SC
    Acquired 2017
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 18 years
    State VA
    Acquired 2005
    Associate No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Michael

Learn Michael’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Military law

    19 years, 350 cases

  2. Criminal defense

    19 years, 350 cases

  3. Sex crime
    Has vast experience as a military prosecutor and defense attorney litigating sexual assault cases. As a defense attorney, has won acquittals in every contested sexual assault case, including many full acquittals.

    18 years, 42 cases

  4. Appeals

    10 years, 25 cases

  5. DUI and DWI

    16 years, 3 cases

Michael Hanzel is a solo practioner focusing on military law, criminal law, and appeals. During 12 years on active duty in the Navy JAG Corps, he served as a military prosecutor and defense attorney, where he represented clients at the trial, appellate, and administrative levels.  Recognized as a specialist in military justice litigation, he has represented clients around the globe facing charges including sexual assault, sexual harassment, hazing, drug offenses, larceny, ethics violations, indecent viewing, child pornography, and attempted murder. His clients have ranged from the ranks of E-1 to O-7 and he has represented or advised servicemembers from almost every military backgrounding including SEALs, aviators, surface warfare officers, submariners, engineers, doctors, nurses, chaplains, other JAGs, almost every enlisted rate, as well as Marines and Coast Guardsmen.  His character, skills, and experience combine to achieve outstanding results for his clients.


The Hanzel Law Firm
3003 Dunes West Blvd.
Suite 10
Mount Pleasant, SC, 29466


5.0 / 5.0
  10 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Robert | March 4, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The People You Want Fighting For You!!!!!!!!
Mr. and Mrs. Hanzel responded quickly when guidance was sought in my case. They were very professional and every step of the way they made sure that they had my back and put their best foot forward representing me in my military matter and also getting me the result that I was aiming for. By far best attorneys out there, hands down. Hire them!!!
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Posted by K Patel | December 14, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Hanzel was a force to be reckon with. Watching him work was amazing. He is very thorough, responsive, and detailed. During the course of my separation board proceedings, he was in complete control and prepped me for whatever situation may occur. I highly recommend his services to anyone in need. I am so blessed that I chose you! Thank you Mr. Hanzel for your services and dedication to your clients around the world!
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Posted by Melissa | June 11, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mike and Lauren are the absolute BEST! Do not do what I did and assume the military-appointed lawyers are going to take time to defend you. In my case, I had 2 military lawyers that completely botched my BOI...I was 1 month shy of 19 years in service at the time, had a flawless record (number 1 everywhere), I had a minor UCMJ violation, and the result of the board was 3-0 separate. WHAT?!? That's how bad they screwed it up. So I contacted Mike and Lauren and they jumped on my case. They were very thorough, responsive, and completely in control of my situation. Looking back, I should have not assumed my case was an easy, cut and dry case where the board would retain me...I should have called Mike and Lauren the second I knew I had an investigation on me. We somehow (thanks to Mike and Lauren) were able to salvage my retirement, but not my career. My advice, call or e-mail these guys the second you think you might be in trouble. They will guide you through the entire process and ensure you get the best possible outcome. I would never have been able to do what they did by myself or with any military-appointed lawyer, so do not hesitate to contact them! They truly are the best in the business and I can't thank them enough for everything they did for me!
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Posted by Kianna | March 31, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing people and lawyers!
I was on deployment and went to mast and got busted down. With the help of Michael and Lauren Hanzel I was able to get my rank and everything that was taken from me back. They were super flexible with my schedule and up front about everything going on. I was able to do most of it through email due to my situation, and even with that they managed to successfully work my case. I am so greatful I took the time and found the Hanzel Lawfirm for my case, I would recommend them anytime!
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Posted by Danny | July 6, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best in the business
Mike and Lauren Hanzel represented me at an Art32(won) and a Admin separation board (won). In the world full of politics and the military more concerned about politics than the truth they stepped in to defend me. The are true experts at their craft. A true power couple who compliment each other in every way. After almost 20 years in the Military and dealing with numerous defense attorneys and Military lawyers as a leader. I can say without a doubt these two have the knowledge, answers,and experience to get you through your tough situation. False allegations are on the rise against those of us in the military. You will learn fast regardless of how great of a person you are. That once the allegation is made. Your command will turn their back on you. Mike and Lauren exposed all the lies and the truth prevailed. I will be forever in their debt. I can continue to serve on my terms and my 2 million Dollars in retirement benefits are safe.
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Posted by Bill | May 8, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Father of O-1
I cannot express my gratitude enough for attorney’s Mike and Lauren Hanzel for successfully defeating the NJP charges that were levied against my son, who is an O-1 Ensign. At one point the situation appeared very dire as my son was an Ensign for less than a year when he found himself the target of a corrupted, unchecked chain of command, who abused their authority and committed unlawful actions, and who were very willing to unjustly ruin a young man’s Navy career and life through NJP. To think of other young sailors who may have been kicked out of the Navy by an abusive leadership, acting outside their authority, and to think that those young sailors may have accepted their life altering punishment through an archaic NJP process, where your accusers decide your fate, is absolutely horrifying. This was my son’s situation. He was very close to thinking he had no other recourse then to let this NJP process move forward until I did some research and found Mike Hanzel at the Jag Defense law firm. I contacted a number of firms that suggested obtaining character references for my son along with other tactics as a primary means of defense which left me feeling very uneasy about whether they would actually be able to help, or just cost us a great deal of money on top of our problems. Then I came across Mike and Lauren, both ex-Navy Jag lawyers with an excellent understanding of military law as well as Navy customs, rules, and contacts within the Navy leadership and legal offices. It became quite clear very quickly that they had the tools to take charge of our case and execute quickly and decisively. Most importantly, after learning the facts of our case, they recommended that we go on the offensive and file our own Inspector General (IG) complaint against specific corrupt leaders on my son’s ship. The fact that the NJP was happening within 2 days of my initial contact with the Hanzel’s, they worked with us through the weekend to file our IG complaint against my son’s accuser’s, and quickly navigated the Navy bureaucracy to successfully postpone the NJP and initiate actions to protect my son from further abuse or retribution while our own IG complaints were followed up. I am relieved to say that after 6 months of IG investigations 2 senior officers were fired and my son has been completely cleared to proceed with his career in the Navy and honorably serve his country as he set out to do, and is doing exceptionally well. Thank you Mike, Lauren and the Jag Defense law firm!!! We are eternally grateful.
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Posted by Benjamin Siekert | February 8, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Defense Councel in Navy
Mr. Hanzel was appointed to my JAG Officer when I was brought up on Adultery charges. He was professional, meticulous, and thorough at his job. He went the extra mile on everything and was always available to answer any of my questions. When I was found not guilty I knew it was because of the hard work and dedication that Mr. Hanzel and his team did that made it happen. I would 100% recommend him to anyone for anytime of court case you could possibly have. Thanks again for everything!
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Posted by Thomas | February 7, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Lawyer with a great mind.
Mike Hanzel represented me through 4 years of hell. My case was more of a political agenda, and Mike Hanzel attacked every aspect of the Government's with vigor and relentless drive. If you are looking for a lawyer who will research every aspect of history and find away to relate it to your case, then Mike Hanzel is the one for you. Even after my case was over and Mike had kicked the Government's butt, he continued to provide me with services on his dime. Mike Hanzel is a fair, honest and caring man, traits you don't find in many lawyers. YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG!
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Posted by Martin | December 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Defense hound with an ambition for truth!
Mr. Hanzel represented me in a military capacity. He has a real passion for law, but more important a personal drive for the truth to be told, heard, and acted upon. Mr. Hanzel is one of the very few attorneys that does it for all the right reasons and his personal investment would make even the most weary comfortable knowing he is on their side.
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Posted by Paul L. | December 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Meticulous Legal Mind
Mr. Hanzel defended me against a very serious false accusation while I was on active duty. His understanding of the case and more importantly, his ability to work in a court room was something I won't soon forget. His ability to cut straight to the heart of the matter makes him an incredible force in the court room and got me an acquittal in less than an hour of jury deliberation. He was patient and understanding with all the crazy fears and wild ideas my family and I had going through this process. He saved my family and I and there is no price you can put on that. If you need help then there is no one else I would recommend you turn to.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.3 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Court Appointed Defense Attorney
  • 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 2018 - Present
  • Managing Partner
  • The Hanzel Law Firm
  • 2017 - Present
  • Defense Attorney
  • U.S. Navy Reserves
  • 2017 - Present
  • Senior Defense Counsel, Navy Defense Service Office Southeast
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2014 - 2017
  • Senior Defense Counsel, Navy Defense Service Office Northwest
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2011 - 2014
  • Adjunct Professor
  • U.S. Naval Academy
  • 2010 - 2011
  • Appellate Defense Counsel, Washington D.C.
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2009 - 2011
  • Law Clerk, NMCCA
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2009 - 2010
  • Mock Trial Instructor, DoD School, Bahrain
  • Department Of Defense
  • 2008 - 2009
  • Prosecutor and SJA, Bahrain
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2008 - 2009
  • Legal Assistance and Defense Attorney, Charleston, SC
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2006 - 2008
  • Extern
  • U.S. Army Jag Corps
  • 2004 - 2004
  • Extern
  • The Irvin Law Firm
  • 2003 - 2005
  • Volunteer
  • Richmond Legal Aid
  • 2001 - 2001
  • Legislative Assistant, London
  • British Parliament
  • 2000 - 2000
  • Special Assistant
  • Virginia Governor's Office
  • 1996 - 1996
  • Communications
  • Virginia Attorney General's Office
  • 1994 - 1994
View all work experience


  • University of Virginia School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2005
  • University of Virginia
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1999

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Certified Military Justice Litigation Specialist
  • U.S. Navy Jag Corps
  • 2018


  • Criminal Justice & Court Services Act of 2000
  • United Kingdom's anti child sex offender laws
  • 2000

Speaking Engagements

  • Virginia State Bar Association CLE Conference
  • Sexual Assault in the Military
  • 2017
  • Naval Justice School Paralegal Course
  • Defense Team Integration
  • 2016
  • Defense Counsel Training
  • Sentencing in Sex Offense Cases
  • 2016
  • Basic Trial Advocacy
  • Trial Advocacy
  • 2016
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (5)
Endorse Michael
Military law Attorney | Apr 29
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I worked for Mike when he was Senior Defense Counsel at the U.S. Navy Defense Service Office, Southeast and learned so much from him then, and continue to learn from him today. Mike is a skilled trial tactician with impeccable ethics who works hard for his clients."
Military law Attorney | Mar 08
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Mike and I served together as appellate defense counsel when he was in the Navy and I was in the Marine Corps. He is one of the finest writers I have come across in my years of practicing military law and his integrity and devotion to his clients is beyond question. Intelligent and laser-focused, Mike has all the legal skills one would want if you're facing an adverse military justice matter. Whether UCMJ action is being taken against you at the administrative, trial, or appellate level, rest assured that Mike can bring the case to the best possible resolution. His litigation skills are stellar, his legal acumen is exceptional, and he has a reputation for success--qualities you need in a defense attorney. He has my highest possible endorsement to anyone in need of legal representation for a military law matter. Mike is an attorney that will fight for your rights!"
Military law Attorney | Dec 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mike has extensive experience in military justice and criminal matters. He is not afraid to try a case, is a persuasive attorney in court, and leaves no stone unturned for all clients. He is a defense specialist who gets results."
Military law Attorney | Dec 06
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I worked together on a case with Mike Hanzel in 2016. Due to his prior experience as an appellate defense attorney, Mike has the ability to recognize legal issues better than most. In doing so, he was able to paint the prosecutors into corners before trial and then reap the rewards of doing so through his zealous representation once we made it into the courtroom. If any of my friends in the military found themselves accused of a crime, I would not hesitate in recommending Mike to them."
Military law Attorney | May 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Mike Hanzel is an extremely talented litigator who has fought in military courtrooms around the world for his clients, achieving superior results. He has the knowledge and skills to handle the most complex military cases. I would recommend him to anyone in need of a military law attorney."
Military law
Criminal defense
Military law
Military law

Avvo Contributions

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Mount Pleasant Military law Lawyer Michael Brian Hanzel
Michael Brian Hanzel
Military law Attorney
Mount Pleasant, SC
Licensed for 18 years
Free Consultation