Military Criminal Charges & Court Martial Process
What are you up against when charged with a military crime?
If you are currently suspected of, or charged with, a crime in the military, the deck can be stacked against you and you will need the assistance of a skilled court martial attorney. The command, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and Staff Judge Advocate's office are all on the same team. This team has unlimited financial resources whose mission is to convict you and put you in jail. By the time a service member has been charged, a team of experienced law enforcement officers will have already investigated the case, they may have taken a confession, the command will have already placed the accused in a negative light, and the prosecutors have already reviewed all the evidence as they ready themselves for trial.
The service member and military defense counsel are often browbeaten into quickly taking the first "offer" that comes their way and pleading guilty. Pleading Guilty should be a last resort,
yet many military defense attorneys systematically plead their clients guilty when they have a fighting chance of winning their case.
You Need an Aggressive Court Martial Lawyer
At The Bilecki Law Group LLLC, we don't care if you are guilty, innocent or somewhere in between. Even when the evidence seems insurmountable, we fight cases with determination. Pleading guilty is the exception and not the rule. It is only done as a last resort when it is in our client's very best interest.
Ask your current Trial Defense Service (TDS) attorney, Area Defense Counsel (ADC), detailed military lawyer or prospective civilian lawyer to describe in detail the last ten or fifteen cases he or she has defended. How many of those had similar charges to yours? How many were guilty pleas, went to trial, or were full acquittals?
If your attorney cannot describe, in detail, the last ten or fifteen cases he or she has defended, this should be a red flag warning for you to look elsewhere for representation. We list our last 100 cases for each of our prospective clients to see, as they speak for themselves.
The current overall conviction rate in the military is over 90%. Service members often simply roll over and plead guilty because they feel there are no other options, they are assigned a military lawyer who systematically pleads all of their clients guilty, or because they don't know how to fight the system being used against them. If you plead guilty, you have a guaranteed federal conviction, and a great chance of going to jail, losing your pay, losing your GI Bill and getting a punitive discharge. If your case involves a sex crime, you will likely become a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. If you truly want to fight your case, contact The Bilecki Law Group LLLC to discuss all of your options, not just a guilty plea. We invite you to compare
our results with any court martial lawyer, civilian or military, worldwide.
Consequences of Pleading Guilty for a Military Crime
Below are examples of what you are up against if charged in the military, as well as the consequences of pleading or being found guilty. If you want to fight your charges and win, you need an experienced, hard-hitting court martial defense team fighting for you to level the playing field.
Defense Outnumbered 5 to 1. Government prosecution team members usually outnumber your assigned military defense counsel by at least 5 to 1. They have unlimited resources and a team of paralegals and law enforcement to collect evidence against you, and in rare cases, manipulate that evidence to ensure you are found guilty.
Special Victim Prosecutors (SVPs). The military has a new program of SVPs who were hand selected at the highest levels in the military to prosecute sex crimes. These prosecutors are the best trial lawyers in the military and have one mission: to convict and put in prison anyone charged with a sex crime. If charged with a sex crime, you need a civilian lawyer who can outgun an SVP. Does your current military lawyer have the experience to do so?
Buying Witness Testimony. Military prosecutors have the power to grant leniency, immunity or other deals to witnesses in exchange for desired testimony. You need a civilian lawyer who can take down these lying witnesses and expose these flawed prosecution tactics.
Denial of Defense Experts. Unless you have the funds to privately hire the experts you need, you must ask the government to provide defense experts. Prosecutors routinely deny defense experts even though they have experts of their own. You need a civilian attorney who knows how to get the experts you need appointed, or one with the skill to win your case without an expert - by destroying the government expert's credibility and testimony.
Military Defense Attorneys Not "Detailed" Until After You are Charged. Even though the government has a team of people working to put you in jail, you will not be detailed a military lawyer until you are actually charged with a crime. By the time you are charged, it may be too late, evidence may be lost, witnesses gone and the command too invested in the case to drop it. As soon as you are suspected of a crime, you need an aggressive lawyer to get involved so that evidence is secured, or so that charged never get preferred in the first place.
Denial of Requested Delays. The prosecution will deny requested delays, attempting to stunt the defense's ability to conduct independent investigations, discover evidence, build a strategy, and find relevant witnesses. You need a battle-tested civilian attorney to get the delay you need so your case can be properly investigated.
Lying Law Enforcement. CID, OSI, and NCIS agents are trained in their Field Manuals to use lies and deceit to get confessions and assure convictions, not find the truth. Agents make a career of eliciting confessions and testifying at trial to their version of events, not what actually happened. You need a heavy hitting civilian lawyer who can cross examine these agents and expose their tactics and lies. Ask your military lawyer how many times he has taken down a CID, NCIS or OSI agent who obtained a "confession" from their client. If you see or hear that your military lawyer is "friends" with the CID, OSI or NCIS agents, they won't be able to take them down at trial and you will regret it - from a jail cell.
Military Defense Lawyers Still "Part of the JAG Family." While your detailed military lawyer is part of a separate origination from your command or the Staff Judge Advocate's Office, they are still "part of the JAG family" and often move from their defense job right into a job as a military prosecutor. In some cases, especially high profile ones, there can be extreme pressure on your military defense lawyer not to "burn bridges" or use the "scorched earth" approach, even though such approaches may be necessary to get an acquittal. You need a civilian defense attorney with military defense experience, who is no longer in the military and who is not afraid to take down the government if it is necessary to win your freedom.
Many Military Defense Lawyers are Brand New. For many military lawyers, this is their first job defending someone accused of a crime; they simply lack the trial experience and confidence to outgun the prosecution team against you. Many have never tried a jury trial to verdict, let alone won a case. If your military lawyer appears intimidated by the evidence against you or by the prosecution team, what will happen when they stand and argue your case in front of a panel of high ranking NCOs and Officers? You need a civilian defense lawyer with the experience and track record of standing up to prosecutors and winning when it counts, at trial.
Understanding the Potential Consequences
At The Bilecki Law Group, we have the experience, skills and backbone necessary to fight the system designed to put you in prison and kick you out of the military. If you want a fighting chance, contact The Bilecki Law Group LLLC and level the playing field. If you decide to roll over and take the first guilty plea offered to you, or if you are convicted at trial, the consequences can and will be devastating to you and your family. If the cost of retaining a heavy hitting civilian military defense lawyer seems unreasonable to you, consider what you might lose now and the future if convicted:
You will likely go to prison. If convicted, you will lose your freedom, the ability to sleep in your own bed, lose the opportunity to see your children and be there as a parent. This does not even take into consideration the social, mental, and emotional price of being sent to prison and the loss those close to you will experience once you're gone. When you are released from prison, you will be broke and a convicted felon.
You will likely lose all pay and allowances. To see how much a conviction costs, multiply your pay times how many months you will serve in prison. If you are an E6 and get sentenced to 2 years in confinement, you will lose over $100,000 in pay alone. Consider the loss of pay against the relatively minimal cost of hiring a heavy hitting court martial defense lawyer.
You will be forced to pay back the cost of your military education.
You may lose any retirement. If you are a retirement-eligible NCO or Officer, you may lose any retirement you were previously entitled to from the military. The approximate value of your lost retirement may exceed a million dollars.
You will likely be punitively discharged. You will encounter difficulty getting a job in the future. A punitive discharge will remain on your permanent record forever and show up in all background checks administered by potential employers.
You may be forced to refund your enlistment bonus.
You will lose your TRICARE benefits
for you and your family. The cost of basic civilian medical insurance for a family can cost a minimum of $10,000 per year. Your premium plus other costs may add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
You will lose military childcare,
your ability to obtain a VA loan, and all other military benefits.
You will be a
Registered Sex Offender
if your case involved a sexual crime. You will have to inform all future potential employers of your status and this information will be made public to your neighbors and local police department wherever you go
for the rest of your life. Those who know may treat you like a social outcast.
As a Sex Offender you will be Social Outcast. As a "sex offender" you will be severely restricted on where you are allowed to live. Many states do not allow sex offenders to live near schools or daycares. You may not be able to be around children and you will likely have your face, name and address posted on a sex offender website. This is the harsh reality for those who are convicted of sex crimes, even in "he said, she said" cases where both parties drank alcohol, had sex, and later, the female had a case of "buyer's remorse."
Listed as an Avvo® 2012 Clients' Choice Criminal Defense Lawyer
With so much to lose, do you want to leave your fate to an inexperienced military defense attorney who systematically pleads all of their clients guilty? A court martial conviction can ruin your life and change you forever, but many service members still want to put their lives in an inexperienced military attorney's hands, instead of spending the money necessary to obtain the best legal defense possible. In the end, such a decision often costs 20 - 30 times more than the amount that would have retained a good defense lawyer.
If you are serious about your future and want to fight the charges against you aggressively, contact The Bilecki Law Group LLLC immediately and we can discuss your options, not just a guilty plea. The Bilecki Law Group, LLLC is a Court Martial Defense law firm. As military lawyers, we can aggressively represent you against the court martial charges you are facing, including
rape, drug crimes, larceny, BAH fraud, and other
military criminal charges under the UMCJ. We represent service members from all services, including the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
We serve worldwide including following States, Cities, and Countries:
Hawaii, Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Guam, Continental United States, Germany, Italy, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan