Going against the United States Military in a trial is a serious feat. United States Military prosecuting attorneys are highly trained and qualified individuals. Not to mention, they have the force of the United States Military behind them.
Being charged in the military can be a daunting matter. Not only does one face the legal ramifications or punishment of their accusations, but also, whether or not they are discharged from service. Both of these consequences can have lifelong negative consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to be as prepared as possible to face an equally prepared prosecution. This is not to say that building a strong defense is not possible. Nor is it to say that all who go against military prosecution are doomed.
With diligence, effort, and some knowledge in hand, building a strong defense is entirely possible. Perhaps the most important part of building a strong case is choosing the best military defense attorney possible. While there are hundreds, if not thousands of military defense attorneys in practice, only a select few may be qualified enough to help you win your case.
Be informed about what law office you choose to represent you. Be detailed in knowing what you need from your attorney. And above all, do your research. Below, various tips on how to hire the best military defense attorney for your particular case are outlined. While this list may not be all-encompassing, it is an excellent resource and place to start.
When choosing a military defense attorney perhaps one of the first things you will examine is how long they have been practicing law. Also, it is important to note how long they have been practicing as a defense attorney. While he or she may have ample experience as a prosecuting attorney, acting as a defense attorney can require a completely different type of skill set and competency.
Next, ask specifically what he or she did in the military, prosecute or defend. Finally, ask why he or she left the military and how many years it has been since they have left the military.
Extra tip: It cannot hurt to ask why they left the military. This could provide valuable insight to you as a client.
Detailed Track Record
When examining a track record of a military Defense Base Act attorney, more factors come into play than simply their length of time practicing law. Detailed and specific results should be provided to you. For example:
- Out of their cases how many have been trial cases in front of a jury?
- Or out of all of their cases how many were retained?
- What percentage of individuals were discharged?
Knowing the specifics of their cases can reveal a bounty of information on how skilled and experienced attorney may be. For example, if they have done 10 jury trial cases it might be tempting to assume that they are a seasoned individual in practicing law. While that may be the case, that same attorney may also have had none of those clients retained.
Therefore, even though the effort was made by the individual to help his clients 0 of the 10 clients had favorable results. This is most certainly not an attractive option for your defense. The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens has extensive information regarding the variety of cases they have served and their levels of expertise. The law office’s notable cases are readily available.
The attorney makes sure to show not only the rankings of what military personnel were accused, but also, what the accusations entailed and the outcome of the cases. This type of open and readily available information indicates a competent and confident military defense attorney. Additional questions to ask may be:
- How many of those clients were sent to jail?
- How many of those clients were acquitted of their charges (either fully or partially)?
- Out of your clients that were sent to jail, how long was their sentence?
- What are the charges in various cases you have handled?
Their Presence in the Community
Be wary of attorneys who claim to be “friends” with the SJA office, law enforcement, and the command. Attorneys are people too. It can be difficult for anyone to separate their private life from their work life. Do not allow their private life to taint your chances of earning your desired results. Check for feedback about your researched attorney from others in the legal community.
Is this particular attorney known for being difficult to work with? Are they known for being tardy? A little research into their reputation from their respected peers can give a lot of insight into how they will treat you as a client.
Speaking of clients, it is entirely acceptable to research how past clients felt about their defender. Check unbiased, third-party review websites for feedback on how that particular military defense attorney handled their case. Were they polite to their clients?
Was the attorney responsive when concerns arose? Of course, always keep in mind that those who did not receive the results they desired (despite the circumstances) may not always be the most favorable or trustworthy of sources. On the same token, an attorney with consistently negative reviews may raise a cause for some concern.
In addition, proceed with caution if an attorney is considerably less than other attorneys you have spoken with. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” can certainly be true. At a time when your entire future can hang in the balance, it is not the time for bargain shopping. However, do not be afraid to shop around for a military defense attorney based on their merits.
Diligence Will Pay Off
All in all facing military charges, prosecution, or the risk of discharge can seem daunting. However, do not let the situation overwhelm you. If you are willing to put in the time choosing an adequate and experienced military defense attorney can substantially aid you in your case. With these tips, the perfect defense attorney can be found.