All members of the military have the right to be represented by a military lawyer who is appointed to represent you at no cost to you. You also have the right to hire a civilian defense lawyer. You may be thinking, “Why would I pay for a civilian lawyer when I get a military attorney for free?” The short answer is that your appointed JAG attorney is often best as part of a team led by an experienced, capable civilian defense counsel.
Your Case, Your Choice
Whether you are even assigned a military defense attorney for your matter varies depending on your branch of service. Some branches will not assign a military attorney to help you with nonjudicial punishment or investigations, while others may only offer you a short meeting with an attorney who can only provide general guidance but who will not have the time to learn the details of your case. Depending on the type of legal matter you are facing and your branch of service, the only option for an attorney who can review your case and give you personal advice is to hire a civilian defense lawyer.
There are some great military defense attorneys who might get assigned to your case. Some military attorneys are incredible litigators, extremely smart, and intensely dedicated to their clients. On the other hand, some do not truly want to be defense attorneys, and it shows. When you get an appointed attorney, you do not choose who is assigned to your case.
When you choose a civilian defense counsel, you get a say in who represents you. You want someone whose personality works well with yours. At Kral Military Defense, we take the time to listen to your concerns. We are blunt and honest in our assessment of your case. We tell you why we are doing what we do, and we give you all the advice you need before you have to make your own potentially difficult decisions. We are patient while explaining the process to you because it is very important for you to understand what is happening in your case. You will be included in every step of the way, and your input will always be valued.
What Sets Kral Military Defense Apart?
Abby and Steph have been working together for over a decade. You will not find our level of experience, collaboration, and teamwork anywhere else. We treat every client how they deserve to be treated, rather than treating them like a number or a dollar sign. When you hire one of us, you get personal attention. We communicate with all our clients through text messages, calls, and emails. We respond quickly and personally to any concerns that arise during our representation. We are approachable, real people who genuinely care about helping you.
Military Justice is the only thing we do. Other attorneys spread themselves across different practice areas. At Kral Military Defense, Military Justice is our whole mission. This allows us to stay educated about the fast-changing military justice system. We know the rules and laws for courts-martial, administrative separations, nonjudicial punishment, and other UCMJ actions. We stay up to date on technology, the news, and what’s happening right now in military justice.
We have extensive experience. We have litigated hundreds of trials and represented thousands of clients. We have handled every single aspect of a case – from before an investigation has even started all the way through appeal.
We never lose focus on protecting our clients’ rights. If a case can be dismissed or any charges can be dropped before trial, we try to make that happen. If we go to trial, we do not back down from litigation of any kind. We are confident and do not get intimidated by anyone or anything in the military. We don’t have to worry about a FITREP, OPR, or OER, getting a good next assignment, or impressing a chain of command. We only worry about your case.
Many military attorneys are overworked new lawyers with very little trial or military experience. Ask your assigned counsel how much experience they have. Have they ever litigated your type of case? How many years have they been an attorney or a defense counsel? How many courts-martial have they tried and how many of those were before a panel of members? Can you be involved throughout the process, and if so, how much? Finally, how do you feel after hearing their answers, knowing that your future rests in their hands?
Do You Need A Civilian Defense Attorney?
Not everyone will decide they want a civilian defense lawyer. But in your case, it might be a wise choice or even required to ensure your freedom. Servicemembers have so much to lose when they are facing a court-martial. A job might be the least of your worries. You could lose your retirement, rank, bonuses, benefits, and the honor inherent in your service. A guilty verdict can result in jail time. A bad conduct discharge, dishonorable discharge, or dismissal can permanently scar future job opportunities. Sex offender registration can follow someone for the rest of their lives. When you hire a civilian lawyer, you are investing in your future. Consider the investment in light of everything you have to lose.
Ultimately, you want an attorney who you feel will do the best job representing you. You don’t want to spend your future questioning whether a better attorney could have gotten you a better outcome. Our most important goal is that you feel like we have done everything we can to get you the best result possible for your case. At the end of the day, you will see that we have worked hard, been dedicated to your success, and passionately fought tooth-and-nail for you. We don’t settle for less.
If You Want To Talk About Whether A Civilian Defense Counsel Is Right For You, Call Kral Military Defense, PC 619-376-6820.
Our firm exclusively handles military law cases. We do not practice in any other area of law because military justice is what we know and what we love to do. And unlike military attorneys who are still on active duty, we have the ability to focus all our time, attention, and energy on working on our clients’ cases. We do not have to worry about annual miltiary training requirements, going away parties, meetings to prepare for the meetings, answering taskers for slide decks, or writing performance reports. Moreover, you know if you retain KMD, we will serve as your military defense lawyer until your case is complete, without the risk of a PCS, TDY, or separation.