As a military member, you have the right to a free attorney provided by the government. Sounds good, right? Well…these “free” attorneys could end up coming at a cost, not in dollars, but in certain freedoms: your job and your future employability – all due to poor and/or mismanaged representation. For these reasons, you should consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as the ones at Stechschulte Nell Law, who will represent your best interests. Let’s take a closer look at criminal defense for military members.
What’s on the Line for Military Members?
While you have the right to a free military JAG attorney, it is often in your best interest to hire a civilian lawyer. Our attorneys understand that you have a lot on the line.
- Your job
- Future employability
- Military housing benefits
- Your enlistment bonus (or you have to pay it back)
- Paying back the costs of your military academy education
- Your retirement
In our experience…
We understand that your legal issue likely started due to a lapse in judgment. This may be related to a co-dependent issue. With military members, PTSD may cause you to use alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms. Our Tampa defense attorneys have had success in getting service members into a program for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment at the VA. The VA is a leader in the prevention and treatment of SUDs and allows for a host of services and benefits for military professionals and veterans to move in the right direction.
JAG Attorney or Civilian Military Lawyer?
It is important that you are both comfortable with and confident in the attorney who represents you. Often, your appointed military attorney is a recent law school graduate, with little litigation experience. You want to be sure that the attorney representing you on your criminal case has the experience necessary to aggressively defend you and protect your military career and benefits.
If you lose your case it could cost you significantly more in the long run than it would have to hire an experienced private attorney.
Contact us for a consultation about how we can help you!
When to Speak with a Defense Attorney
As an active military member, you may not be entitled to a free attorney until after you have been charged with a crime. Waiting until after police interviews, search warrants, and/or the filing of formal charges could put your military future in jeopardy. The first step in your defense strategy should be to have legal representation ASAP to help you navigate the court system.
Never wait until you have been interrogated or formally charged before talking to a defense attorney. If you’ve been arrested or asked for an “interview”, we highly recommend that you refuse to answer any questions without a lawyer present
In our experience…
Military members in the midst of a divorce or estrangement may find themselves arrested for domestic violence. In these cases, the police are called and someone is likely getting charged. Stechschulte Nell has been successful many times for securing Nolle Prosequi (getting the case dismissed) and helping to protect your future in the armed forces.
The criminal attorneys at Stechschulte Nell have great respect for service members and have helped many military members receive a favorable outcome. Contact our Tampa criminal defense lawyers for a complimentary case review to see how we can help you. With a former Prosecutor on our team of attorneys, we are uniquely qualified to help mitigate your risks at trial.
Contact a Military Defense Attorney
Being a service member means that you have more at stake than civilians if you’ve been charged with a state or federal crime. That is why it’s critical to immediately hire an experienced military defense attorney to represent your case. For more information or to schedule a consultation at our South Tampa criminal defense law firm, please contact us today at 813-280-1244.
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