What is your right to counsel in the Military?

A military defense counsel is provided free of charge regardless of the accused's ability to pay. You should immediately contact the defense counsel on your base if you are suspected of a crime. In the Army, it is the Trial Defense Service. In the Air Force, it is the Area Defense Counsel. In the Navy it is the Legal Services Office. Do not speak to anyone except your attorney about the substance of your case. In particular, do not speak to co-workers, military investigators or your chain of command about the charges of which you are suspected.

In addition, the accused may retain a civilian defense attorney that will work with your military attorney or you can dismiss your military lawyer. The accused is responsible for paying a civilian lawyer.

Choosing an attorney may be the most important decision that you ever have to make. It is not a decision that you should take lightly. Demonstrating the importance of choosing the right defense lawyer, on 19 December 2005, the Army Times wrote a three page article titled "Hiring Civilian Attorneys: The Costs Pay Off, Soldiers Say."

The accused has the right to be represented by counsel at the magistrate hearing when a determination is made regarding continued pretrial confinement, at the Article 32 investigation, and during all court-martial sessions.

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

Recent Accomplishments

Discharge Review

CAAF Sets Aside Sentence in Case After Improper Argument by Prosecutors

By William Cassara | February 25, 2021

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [CAAF] released a decision in United States v. Norwood on February 24, 2021. Petty Officer Norwood’s niece alleged that he had sexually abused her. At trial, the prosecutors made several improper and inflammatory arguments to the members. Prosecutors can make strong arguments […]

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William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Supreme Court Reverses CAAF on Statute of Limitations in Military Rape Cases

By William Cassara | February 1, 2021

From 1986 to 2006, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) listed several offenses as eligible for the death penalty. One of those offenses was rape of an adult. The UCMJ stated that offenses “punishable by death” had no statute of limitations. This meant that these types of cases could […]

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William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Navy Discharge Review Board Gives Navy NCO Great Result

By William Cassara | January 11, 2021

The Navy Discharge Review Board recently amended our client’s DD-214 to allow him to reenlist and continue his 16 year career.

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