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

Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Finds That Government Did Not Prove Sexual Assault Offenses Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

By William Cassara | June 25, 2020

In 2018, the Marine Corps tried Cpl Lewis on several sexual assault charges. The panel convicted him of attempted sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, and sexual assault. The Government charged that these offenses occurred when the alleged victim, Cpl Alpha, was incapable of consenting due to impairment by alcohol. The […]

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Army Court of Criminal Appeals Affirms Trial Judge’s Decision Excluding Hearsay Statements Made By Alleged Victim and Son

By William Cassara | June 15, 2020

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) recently decided the case of United States v. Henry. The case concerns the Government’s appeal of a military judge’s decision not to allow certain statements made by the alleged victim and her son at trial. Hearsay Rules of evidence generally do not allow […]

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Great result for Army CW3 who received a GOMOR

By William Cassara | June 5, 2020

We represented an Army CW3 who received a GOMOR for allegedly failing to show up for work during COVID 19 and achieved a great result for our client.

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