The Mayer Law Blog

What would a Military Lawyer tell you?

Posted October 9th, 2014 in Military Law

As I see more and more cases from all branches of the military, I start to see several trends. Rather than belabor the problems, I’ll focus on solutions. Here are a few nuggets of general advice that most military attorneys would give you for the most basic military law problems.

1. Stop talking! When talking to law enforcement, they are always in control. You are not. They know what information they want. You do not. They are trained to interrogate. You have never been trained to respond to interrogations by law enforcement. You have a right to remain silent. Use it. Or, talk to a lawyer before you give it up. In over 10 years of practice, I’ve had clients talk to investigators only twice, and that was a very calculated and practiced move.

2. Waive absolutely nothing. Do you have a right to an administrative separation board? Take it. Do you have the right to present a defense? Then present one. If you have a right, you should probably use it. Sometimes, this is not the case. Sometimes, you should give up a right as a matter of strategy. This is why you should always exercise one very important right: the right to consult counsel. Never underestimate the power of speaking with a military lawyer.

3. The decision that feels good is usually┬ánot the right one. When a person is in trouble in the military, nothing would feel better than to quickly go back home and be around friends and family. However, this usually means that you give up all your rights and let the government stick you with the worst possible outcome. That instant gratification wears-off and is replaced with lifelong stigma and difficulty. Like drugs, it just isn’t worth it.

Do yourself a favor. Consult counsel. That is always a right you have.

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