Your Lead Lawyer
Must Be Loyal to You, Not the Brass.
Everyone in the military is entitled to a free government lawyer, but that person will not be of your choosing.
As is the case with many court-appointed Public Defenders in civilian life, the free lawyer is likely to be young, relatively inexperienced, and on overload from carrying too many cases. 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 devastating.
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.
When you hire a civilian lawyer, you also get to keep your free military attorney.
This is helpful when it comes to military protocol and differences in court procedures between state, federal and military jurisdictions.
In Making a Civilian Attorney Choice, Look at Experience
Ask, “Does this person know how to defend against my charges?” The civilian is always going to be a lawyer first; the free guy is going to be an officer first.