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1stlawyerinfo.com primary objective is to provide you with the support and military lawyer lawyer resources, military lawyer attorney information necessary to handle your legal issues. One of the biggest ways we achieve this goal is by helping you contact a qualified legal professional free military lawyer lawyers information, military lawyer attorneys solutions and counselor near you, who can inform you of your legal rights and options.

1. WHY SHOULD YOU RETAIN A CIVILIAN ATTORNEY WHEN THE MILITARY WILL GIVE YOU A DEFENSE COUNSEL AT NO COST?
The decision as to whether or not you should hire a civilian attorney is one that very well may affect the ultimate outcome of your case, as well as your future, and should be made as soon as possible. You are entitled, by law, to have a military attorney appointed to represent you in any criminal or administrative action which has been initiated against you. You also have a right to request a specific military attorney in a Court-Martial, although that request can be easily denied. While each situation may be different, frequently the military attorney who will be assigned to your case will have less than two or three years of actual trial experience. In actuality, your case may be the attorney’s first contested case or members (jury) trial. Any military attorney is fully “qualified” under the law to represent you.

It is commonly recognized, however, that the actual experience level of your attorney will likely have a tremendous impact upon the final result, especially in complex cases. You should question your military attorney about his experience. Determine how long the attorney has been practicing law (you can look at his certificates on the wall of his office – when did he graduate from law school?). How many contested cases has the attorney taken to trial? How many jury trials has the attorney had? Has he ever handled a case like yours before? What kind of results has the attorney obtained? Pay close attention to the attorney, since your career and future will be in his hands. How does the attorney come across to you – as a confident lawyer who will not hesitate to stand up to someone of higher rank, or as someone who is unsure of himself, uncertain or insecure? Will he fight for you? Is he going to take the “easy way” out of the case, which regrettably can result in your going to jail or losing your career? Are you comfortable placing your future in his hands? WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU IF YOU RETAIN OUR FIRM! We will provide you an honest and fair appraisal of your situation and will aggressively represent you.

2. AN INVESTIGATOR WANTS TO INTERVIEW ME - WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you are going to be questioned by an investigator, it is best to assume that you very well might end up getting charged with a criminal offense. Even if you did not commit the offense that is being investigated, you have to understand that you can be charged with a criminal offense, go to court and possibly be convicted. It is a well established fact that our civilian and military criminal justice system is not perfect. Mistakes are made – people are falsely accused and innocent people can be convicted and sentenced to prison for crimes they never committed.

Whether you committed the offense being investigated or not, when you are being questioned, the best thing for you to do is to immediately invoke your rights to counsel and to remain silent. Frequently, a person who is being questioned will agree to talk to the investigators, with the belief that he can keep the upper hand. That is not a wise move. The investigators are highly experienced and are permitted by law to use tactics such as lying to the suspect in their investigation. The more a person talks to the investigators, the more risk he takes that what he says is being misconstrued or is otherwise being used to build a case against him. If you are an officer or senior NCO, you may feel you are under pressure to talk to the investigator, with the belief that by invoking your rights you are indicating you are guilty. You need to be real careful! Once you agree to talk, you are putting yourself at the mercy of the investigator. Even a totally innocent statement can end up being misconstrued or re-worded by an investigator, and later considered in Court as an admission of a criminal act. Furthermore, your denial of the crime can itself be used as a basis of a charge of making a false official statement to the investigator.

So, even if you have done nothing wrong, if you are ever questioned by an investigator, or a member of your command about a criminal act, the best thing for you to do is to remain totally silent. If you have committed a crime, it is extremely important for you to invoke your rights. Although you may be told that it will help you in the long run if you admit what you did, that is rarely the case. You should invoke your right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney and give us a call for help.

3. I LEFT MY COMMAND WITHOUT AUTHORITY– CAN YOU HELP ME?
Over the last 23 plus years, we have assisted countless military personnel in all branches of the U.S. military who were classified as deserters, or being absent without authority and who wanted to get out of the military. These are difficult cases, since the military’s argument is that it must maintain good order and discipline within its ranks and cannot let the soldiers and sailors decide when they want to go home. Remember, if you have been away from your command for more than 30 days there is likely a Federal warrant outstanding for your arrest and even a traffic stop can put you in jail until you are transferred back to the military and possibly for many months thereafter. In many of these cases, we have been able to secure an administrative discharge from the service, without any criminal conviction or record, for extended periods of desertion, even up to several years. In most cases, it will be necessary for the service member to return to the military to get things resolved and it may take several months for this to occur. If our legal services are retained while you are in an absentee or deserter status, we will assist in coordinating your return to the military and once you are back with your command or the deserter processing facility, we will negotiate your case and closely monitor the situation. We will endeavor to bring the situation to a prompt conclusion, hopefully without a Federal conviction, confinement or punitive discharge on your record. If the command is intent on taking you to a Court-Martial, we are prepared to litigate your case to minimize the long term consequences of what has occurred and to get you back to your family as quickly as possible.

4. CAN I GET A FAIR TRIAL IN THE MILITARY?
The military’s judicial system is in many respects far superior to the criminal justice system of other jurisdictions. However, it is a very unique system that can easily trump upon the rights of the service member if he does not have competent legal counsel who is highly experienced in military law. So the first step in your quest to get a fair trial in the military is to ensure that you are properly represented!

5. ARE LEGAL FEES TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
While we are not tax attorneys and will not give any tax related advice, we encourage our clients to seek proper tax advice as to the deductibility of legal expenses. Under some circumstances, you may be able to deduct legal expenses that you incur which are related to your job, such as those you paid to defend yourself against criminal charges arising out of your trade or business. Arguably, if you are court-martialed and retain a lawyer to defend you against charges in an effort to remain in the military, a portion of the legal fees you pay may in fact be deductible on your tax return. Again, you should discuss this with an accountant or tax attorney.

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