Military members often have the ability to work with attorneys and defenders through the military, but if you’re under investigation, you do have the option of working with a civilian defense attorney. If you choose to do this, what you’re agreeing to is allowing your personal attorney to conduct a parallel investigation to the military investigation that is currently ongoing.
Why would you want to work with a civilian military attorney? The simple answer is because they will have a fresh eye for the case and will start building a defense after going through their own investigative process.
Your attorney knows your rights
One of the best reasons to work with an attorney during an investigation is because you will be better informed of your rights. You should, for example, be told the nature of the offense that you’re being accused of and be read your Article 31(b) rights. Your attorney will make sure you are prepared to talk to investigators only when you’re familiar with your rights as well as what you should or should not say to protect yourself.
The other side doesn’t always play fair
It’s the simple reality that those involved in military law cases don’t always play fair. The investigators may try to make small talk with you to get you comfortable in the hopes of discovering new information or getting you to waive your rights. They might use tactics that make you feel like you need to clarify yourself, which could end up incriminating you.
Don’t make the mistake of talking to others, such as family, friends, other service members or law enforcement, without your attorney on board. Your attorney will let you know your rights and take steps to help you start building a defense against any allegations you face. Since your attorney won’t be specifically involved with the military, you may also feel more comfortable knowing that they do not have ties that could influence the way they handle your case.
An investigation is serious, so make sure you have the protection and legal knowledge you need. Good help could make a difference in this case.