Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Military Personnel and Legal Representation

Why Military Personnel May Need Representation

Many people have come to Tully Rinckey PLLC at this site because they have questions about legal issues that concern their military service. When people initially inquire about lawyers who handle military law, they may be facing some form of disciplinary action in a military court. Knowing that there are attorneys who specialize in military law brings a lot of much-needed relief to service members whose service, benefits, and later civilian life are at stake.

Military Experience Makes a Difference

The US military has a culture and set of values that many civilians cannot completely comprehend. There is a strict code of conduct that the branches expect of all their members. Because of the degree of discipline required of military members, infractions that involve insubordination may have consequences that seem harsh to outsiders. Discharges that are not honorable have the potential to affect benefits, ranging from loss of some benefits to the forfeiture of all of them. Lawyers who have served in the military themselves understand the separation process and its consequences very well, and can work with service members in a way the accused feel more comfortable with.

What Are Some Possible Legal Issues?

Service members accused of misconduct may face a court-martial, especially for violent or otherwise serious offenses. One type of allegation that can have particularly serious consequences is desertion. When a service member faces the possibility of a court-martial, taking advantage of access to the right to legal counsel may bring about a better outcome. Service members can benefit from seeking advice about their case, regardless. Many service members are unaware of their full legal rights and are better able to face their case once they know these rights.

Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell and Upgrades

When the DADT policy was in place, there were many GLBT service members who received general discharges under honorable conditions. Veterans with general discharges have faced challenges re-enlisting or getting GI Bill benefits. One option that former service members in this situation can use is working towards a discharge upgrade that would convert their general discharge to an honorable one. With an honorable discharge, many of these veterans find new possibilities open to them.

Other Possible Legal Issues

Some legal issues commonly faced in civilian life take on a whole new dimension when one is actively serving in the military. A divorce or child custody case may seem like a challenge when one spouse is deployed. However, lawyers who handle military cases can use technology to ensure that the proceedings go smoothly for all those involved in the case. Another consideration is how to divide disability or retirement pay, which might otherwise prove difficult to manage without representation.

Having Full Confidence

Any legal issues that arise during active duty or during separation from the military have a lot of complex issues to consider. However, the help and advice of an attorney can make things easier for those involved. Many service members feel more confident about their case's outcome knowing that they have legal assistance.

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