Proving Self Defense in the Military
As a member of the U.S. armed forces you would hope to receive the benefit of the doubt should you ever be forced to defend yourself in the event of a violent struggle.
The reality, however, is far worse than that:
- You will be forced to prove self-defense. As a trained U.S. Service Member, this is actually harder to do than if you were a civilian.
- Should you fail in your self-defense bid, you will likely be convicted of the charges against you, which could include assault, aggravated assault or even murder.
- Any one of these charges could land you in prison and ensure total forfeiture of all military pay and benefits.
You believe you have a case for self-defense. But belief and proof are two different things. And in order to prove it, you’re going to need military defense attorneys with a record of doing just that.
A strategic self-defense case may be your only hope against a relentless government opponent that wants to see you behind bars. If this is the case, Bilecki & Tipon can help.
Self Defense: Do I Have a Case?
You have a right to defend yourself from violence or the threat of violence. If you were caught up in an altercation or were party to a physical fight, you have every right to claim self-defense as the cause of your actions.
Claiming self-defense is the easy part of course. Convincing a jury of it is another matter entirely. Showing intent of self-defense revolves around a few core pillars:
- You perceived a true threat to your person or to other people around you
- You were made to feel afraid by threats of violence against you or other people around you
- You did not initiate the fight or provoke the opposing party
- The force you used was proportional to the threat or force used against you
Bilecki & Tipon will review the facts and determine if we have a case for self-defense based on the facts and circumstances of your case. Should a self-defense argument not be in your best interest, we have other ways of securing a not-guilty verdict or mitigating the charges against you.
Defending Service Members against Assault and Murder Charges by Proving Self Defense
The prosecution will attempt to crush your argument for self-defense before it even has a chance to get off the ground. They have experience with this type of defense argument and will walk all over an unprepared military defense attorney.
A strong defense team will have thoroughly prepared for this by taking into account the following:
- A proper defense investigation: The prosecution likely avoided witnesses that could prove you acted in self-defense. By utilizing our own defense investigation may find the key witnesses that were overlooked by law enforcement.
- Proof of outstanding character: We’ll gather evidence and testimony that demonstrates your outstanding character. This often neutralizes or undermines the prosecution’s attempt to portray you as both violent and impulsive.
- Hard-hitting cross examinations: The prosecution can call the alleged victim to the stand. A skilled examination can exploit their lies, or make them appear angry or violent in front of a jury, or throw doubt on their account of events.
Fight back against your charges with the court martial lawyers at Bilecki & Tipon today!
Our Clients Have Escaped Assault and Battery Charges with Effective Self-Defense Strategies
Bilecki & Tipon has fought and won assault and attempted murder cases by proving self-defense.
Beat the evidence and the odds. Hire Bilecki & Tipon and prove your innocence by asserting self-defense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Verbal Threat Count as a Justification of Self Defense?
It may. Any person that perceives an immediate threat and acts to defend themselves from harm could claim they acted in self-defense.
For example, if John walked up to Frank in a threatening manner and said he was going to beat him into the ground, then Frank would have every right to act first in self-defense. A real threat was perceived even if John had not yet taken action.
What Is Imperfect Self Defense?
Imperfect self-defense occurs when a person is said to become unreasonable due to fear from the threat of violence, leading him or her to attack first or continue to attack after the threat has been neutralized. An imperfect defense does not excuse the guilty party but it may help to reduce his or her charges.
Do “Stand Your Ground” Laws Apply to Military Service Members Under the UCMJ?
Attempts have been made by service members to invoke Stand Your Ground laws in the states that legally recognize them. Not all of these have been successful. Furthermore, no law in the UCMJ offers similar protections to service members. Service members are still required to prove that they attempted to avoid the violent situation.