COSTS OF A COURT MARTIAL CONVICTION
What could a court martial conviction cost you? It may be more than you think.
We’ve determined this after decades of being in the business, having defended thousands of clients, taken hundreds of cases to court, and reviewed additional thousands of cases by judge advocates and other civilian court-martial attorneys in the industry. What is revealed is a grim collage of promising futures destroyed, reputations slandered, and families split asunder.
How we determine the average cost of conviction:
- The vast majority of our clients have spent 5 to 10 years in the military. They enjoyed enlisted ranks between E-4 and E-7 and had intended to stay in the military for another 5-10 years.
- The average plea deal for a conviction is a bad-conduct or dishonorable discharge from the military and between 10 to 20 months in prison.
- About half of our clients could face felony charges, sex offender registration, or some other punishment which will impact their civilian lives.
You now understand the calculus that went into determining the average cost of a conviction. Now, let’s see how much the average service member stands to lose.
Tangibles and Intangibles: Learn the Full Cost of Your Conviction
When you’re convicted of a criminal offense in the military, you have to account for both tangible and intangible losses. Tangible losses are the physical assets you’ll lose throughout your life from a conviction. Intangible losses cannot be measured. But they hold immense value—perhaps even more than tangible assets.
- Loss of all military benefits: The average service member could lose a pension package of $1,000,000+ paid out over his or her lifetime. He or she will also miss out on medical insurance for the entire family, which could easily pay out between $500,000 and $2,000,000 over 10, 20 or 30+ years.
- Loss of income while incarcerated: Average time spent in prison is about 1-1.5 years, and could be much, much longer. But even with an average prison sentence, you could be leaving behind $60,000 to $100,000 in salaried pay from the military or at a civilian job.
- Forced return of all bonuses and property to the government: If you received an enlistment bonus, you will be forced to repay it. This could be anywhere from $8,000 to $80,000. If your case involves any fraudulent activity against the government, you will be expected to pay this money back in full, possibly to the tune of $20,000+ to $50,000+
- Your connections to family and friends: Who you are to your family and friends before your conviction is not who you will be afterward. A conviction changes how people perceive you. It will change whether or not they ever trust you again. It will change whether or not they decide to remain close to you in the years to come.
- Your personal freedoms: We take our freedoms for granted. Going out for beers on a Friday night. Playing catch with your son in the backyard. Being with family on Christmas day. We cannot place a value on memories with people we love. We cannot place a value on the time lost wasting away in prison.
- Your emotional health and dignity: A conviction will change you. Time in prison will change you. Your emotional health could suffer in ways you do not yet understand. And that can affect every aspect of your life, both personal and occupational.
- Loss of many constitutional rights: If you are convicted of a felony charge, many of your rights as a citizen of the United States will cease to exist. You will never be able to legally own a firearm again. You will lose your right to vote in elections. You will receive no government benefits, yet you will be forced to pay the same taxes.
From what we can determine, the total average cost of a conviction is:
- Tangible Assets: $2,500,000+
- Intangible Assets: Impossible to determine.
The Cost of a Military Defense Attorney Is Cheap in Comparison
Bilecki Law Group has been defending service members of all branches of the military for decades. Altogether, our attorneys have defended thousands of clients and overseen hundreds of successful courts-martial cases.
Our past clients did two things that the majority of service members never do. They compared the cost of an experienced attorney vs the cost of a conviction, and they weighed the odds of success of hiring a truly stellar law firm, and hiring an average law firm or worse, representing themselves in court.
Never assume an experienced law firm is out of your reach. Instead, contact Bilecki Law Group and learn the truth of what a conviction will cost you…and how you can start fighting back TODAY.
How Can I Ever Find the Money to Pay for a Good Lawyer?
Are My Odds Really That Much Better with an Experienced Defense Attorney?
But if you review Bilecki Law Group case history, you’ll notice that far fewer than 90% of our clients are convicted of their crimes. In fact, it isn’t even close to 90%. And you can verify this. Right now. Just head over to our case history page and see for yourself what an experienced defense attorney can do for you in court.