A report from Statista says that the United States had 1,390,000 active military personnel in the year 2022. These staggering numbers show that the number of Americans wanting to serve the country isn’t going to slow down soon.

Just like civilians, service members have a set of laws that are used to punish them when they commit crimes or violate rules. This law, called the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), determines whether a service member is guilty of the crime they’re accused of.

Service members who’re accused or charged with a crime have the right to legal counsel. They can either accept the free lawyer offered by the military court or hire a military investigation lawyer.

An attorney plays a vital role in a military investigation. There are many benefits to hiring one. This blog post discusses a few of them.

Better Understanding of the Rights

Military law is a maze. While understating it to some extent is feasible, mastering it is impossible. The service member’s current state doesn’t help the cause either.

Though it is difficult, understanding their rights is crucial for a service member in a military investigation.

This is one area where a military investigation lawyer is useful. Their expertise in military law allows them to explain the service member’s rights in layman’s terms. A service member under investigation has the right to

  • Stay silent
  • Legal counsel
  • Fair trial
  • Avoid self-incrimination
  • Be informed of the crimes they’re currently being questioned for

With the lawyer by their side, the service member will be able to understand their rights, setting things up for the investigation process.

Better Strategizing

A thorough analysis of the crime(s) the service member is accused of is vital to a military lawyer. This is because, with this information, they can devise a strategy on how the service member must handle the investigation process.

The prosecution will be hell-bent on proving the service member’s involvement in the crime. This will be clearly reflected in the aggressiveness they exhibit during cross-questioning.

However, an experienced military lawyer knows how to tackle this. They will train the service member on how to answer the prosecution’s questions. They will tell the service member what they should and shouldn’t say during questioning.

The main objective here is to make sure that the service member doesn’t incriminate themself by proving incorrect answers.

Compiling Evidence

Just like civilian law, military law requires solid evidence to prove a crime. Evidence is particularly useful during the investigation process as it turn the tides of the case.

A military attorney will assist the service number to gather or compile evidence that is required to prove their innocence. This can either be in electronic format, like phone records or text messages, or documents, like files and receipts relevant to the case.

Whatever the evidence may be, the lawyer will ensure that the evidence in hand is put to good use.

Conduct Witness Interviews

Witnesses are another important aspect of a military investigation.

There are chances that someone might have witnessed the crime that a service member is charged with. They may be able to provide a statement on what happened that might contradict the prosecution. A military attorney does an impressive job of finding such witnesses and getting their statements.

The military attorney will also cross-question the prosecution’s witnesses. They will conduct a no-holds-barred interview to get everything possible from the prosecution’s witnesses.

Conclusion

Military investigations are stressful. That’s because they can end a service member’s career and have the potential to put them behind bars. Not just that, the service member and their family will also be subjected to severe emotional stress.

And on top of all that, a criminal charge can interfere with the benefits the service member may receive.

It is important for those accused of crimes to find legal representation in addition to the JAG allocated by the military court. With quality legal representation, a service member can get through a military investigation without much trouble.

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