Suggestions for Better Success with the UCMJ:
As a Marine paralegal I served both during Desert Storm and for the last ten years as a legal assistant protecting the rights and benefits of service members from all four branches of the military. I worked alongside senior judge advocates from all four branches and with highly experienced attorneys from private practice in complex, high profile cases including capital murder cases. My time in the trenches taught me many things about the military criminal justice system. When it comes to protecting the rights of the accused and preparing for all that comes with being accused, I have rated the following suggestions for better success as the top ten in my book.
If you have been accused of doing something wrong, regardless of whether you did it or not, you will have to deal with the unpleasantness of being accused. Whatever stage you are in, these ten actions can reduce the negative effects of your sitaution.
10. Remain calm.
Regardless of what actually happened, staying calm reduces complications.
9. Seek legal counsel.
Regardless of what actually happened, having an advocate is priceless.
8. Seek spiritual counsel.
If you are spiritual or religious, seek the counsel of a spiritual advisor who can help you remain calm and who can keep your confidentiality.
7. Be respectful to all law enforcement officials.
They have a job to do. Do not complicate matters by losing your calm.
6. Listen to and follow your legal counsel's advice.
Your attorney has your best interest in mind. He is ethically bound to put you first.
5. Keep Quiet.
Observe operational security relative to your case. Loose lips sink ships. Talk about your case only with your attorney and his team.
4. Be respectful of your command.
They have a job to do and many other matter to attend. You are most likely not their daily primary focus. Do not make it otherwise.
3. Learn about your case.
Read the Charge Sheet and any information your attorney has for you. Knowledge is power.
2. Remember, you are a service member.
Abide by your code of conduct, keep your appearance above reproach, and practice your customs and courtesies. Your appearance to others will help you overcome the image problems you face as an accused.
1. Be true to yourself.
Be honest with yourself about your situation and the truth behind it. Prepare yourself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally for each step of the way. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Now you know my Top Ten suggestions for better success in a military justice case. If you’d like to know more, call me. Getting acquainted is free. Waiting any longer to seek assistance could be very costly.