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Military Law question.

San Diego, CA |

I was wondering how the process works in regards to my unit charging me. I am a sergeant in the Marine Corps and am most likely facing drug (steroid) possession / usage and possibly distribution if they want to go that far. I have contacted multiple attorneys concerning this matter, and they've all told me I'm pretty much screwed because I talked with them too late. Now I'm just trying to avoid getting a court martial, especially a general court martial since it's basically a felony. A lot of the attorneys said they see it not going to court martial, but it could. When will I know to call my attorney? When my command tells me that they're taking it to court martial? I have a feeling that when they tell me that, I'm going to be locked up and not have a means of contacting my attorney.

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

You should be talking to an attorney now.;; 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.


You will know when you "rate" an attorney when you are served a preferred charge sheet from your command. However you will know when you need an attorney when you are the subject of an investigation, which is the case here. More than happy to give you a free consult when you are ready. Please read my Avvo profile and call me.


The bottom line is that the best time to engage an attorney is right away. Honestly, it is never too early to retain an attorney. Even if you have talked to law enforcement, getting an attorney on your side and working on your defense, even before you are charged, is critical. Rest assured, the prosecution is solidifying its case against you to make sure you are convicted, sent to jail and kicked out of the Marine Corps. But be prepared to really retain an attorney and pay for his or her services and brutally honest about what you have done. Contacting attorney after attorney looking for free advice is not going to be helpful in formulating a strategy to defend you, as you have already experienced. Once your unit receives the information, they send a request for legal services or RLS to the Marine Corps prosecutors. Your unit, in conjunction with the trial counsel and either NCIS or CID will investigate the case. Once they believe they have enough evidence against you, the prosecutors will draft charges. Then a decision will be made by your commander, likely your battalion commander whether to charge you and what forum, Summary, Special or General Court Martial.



All I will add is that if you are confined, they still must allow you reasonable access to your attorney. I would not worry about that at all.


Make an appointment to see a JAG now. In addition, if you are going to proceed with civilian counsel, hire that person now. You know what you did Or did not do. So, you know whether there is evidence against you or not.

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