Will Your JAG Lawyer’s Loyalty Be to You?
Hard to say. You don’t get to pick your free G.I. attorney.
As is the case with many court-appointed civilian Public Defenders, the free JAG lawyer is likely to be young, green and on overload. At risk might be your life, your military career or your ability to get a job as a civilian.
General or Special Court-Martial penalties can be dire.
If found guilty, you will have a Federal criminal conviction on your record. That’s true even in Special Courts-Martial convictions where the offense would be considered a misdemeanor in most state courts.
Hire a civilian lawyer and keep your free JAG attorney.
This is helpful when it comes to military protocol and differences in court procedures between state, federal and military jurisdictions.
Pick a Civilian Lawyer With Deep Experience.
Ask, “Does this person know how to defend against my charges?” The civilian is always going to be a lawyer first; the free military attorney is going to be an officer first.