Air Force Military Defense Lawyers

Air Force Criminal Defense Lawyers

How the Air Force Military Justice System Works

As a proud member of the United States Air Force, you have served our nation with utmost dedication and commitment. Yet, while you have put your life on the line for countless others, you may not know what to do when you are accused of a military crime such as sexual assault, murder, fraternization, drug crimes, or any General Article 134 UCMJ offense.

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A Military Conviction Can be Devastating

Being found guilty of a misdemeanor, crime, or any other offense can not only tarnish your military career that you have worked to build but can also put your future at stake. Therefore, to avoid life-altering repercussions, you need to take immediate action from the time you are accused. Additionally, it is crucial to hire military defense lawyers to help you protect yourself from any legal liabilities and keep your future safe and intact.

How Military Justice Differs from Civilian Defense

Many people outside the Army are unaware that military and civil law have a common foundation but differ in many components. The military justice process is complex and can confuse anyone, especially when they have to face it alone.

Military commanders exercise their discretion when determining whether an offense should be charged and how so. Military commanders can use their discretion when administering military justice in the following ways:

  • Initiation of administrative action
  • Non-judicial punishment given by the commander (Article 15s of the UCMJ)
  • Through a court-martial

Collateral Consequences of an Air Force Military Conviction

  • Loss of all veteran and government benefits
  • Loss of disability and unemployment benefits
  • Loss of voting rights.
  • Loss of the ability to legally own or possess firearms.
  • Inability to qualify for bank loans or college financial aid.
  • Difficulty in obtaining meaningful employment.
  • Criminal records will remain in law enforcement databases.

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Air Force Court-Martial Attorneys

Airmen are allowed to hire a civilian military defense attorney for non-judicial punishment and court-martial procedures. When facing a military court-martial, the command and JAG prosecutors can send you to one of three types of courts-martial.

  • A Summary Court-martial is reserved for relatively minor offenses.
  • A Special Court-martial is usually used for misdemeanor cases. At a summary court-martial, the maximum confinement is limited to one year.
  • A General Court-martial is the military’s highest level trial court where military service members are tried for serious, felony-level offenses.

If the Airmen are not satisfied with the verdict from their court-martial, they can further appeal to the US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. However, the process of appealing and defending yourself against a court-martial can be complicated when you are not well-versed with military law and the UCMJ.

Expert court-martial lawyers have vast legal knowledge of court-martials and the experience necessary to defend your military charges effectively.

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Your Rights Within the Air Force

As an Air Force member, you have many rights afforded to civilians when it comes to protecting yourself from further legal harm (under Article 31 UCMJ). You have the right to remain silent when you are accused and throughout the legal procedures when you don’t have an experienced attorney by your side.

You also have the right to appeal against any verdict or decision made through non-judicial punishment and court-martials. Depending on the severity of your case, the appeal can even go to the United States Supreme Court.

You are entitled to hire an attorney, regardless of whether your case concerns military sexual assault or disobeying a superior’s order. Court-martial defense attorneys have fought many cases that can vary from civil offenses to military offenses and thus may provide you counseling and advice through your court-martial process.

Without knowing your entitlements, it’s easy to get lost in the complicated legal military procedures. Availing yourself of an attorney can inform you more about the process and how you can prevent your future from being tarnished due to a wrongful conviction.

General court-martial maximum sentence:

  • Dishonorable discharge (enlisted)
  • Dismissal (officers)
  • A Dishonorable Discharge or Dismissal is mandatory for certain sexual offenses.
  • Total Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for life without eligibility for parole
  • Death
  • Reduction to the grade of E-1
  • A fine
  • A reprimand
  • Hard about without confinement
  • Restriction
  • If convicted of certain sexual offenses, the service member has to register as a sex offender

An Solid Defense Against Varied Accusations

There are various accusations that you may need to be defended against, both civil and military-related. They can include:

  • Military Rape and Sexual Assault under Article 120, UCMJ
  • Drug Offenses: Airmen may be accused of using drugs illegally if they have failed any required drug test. Depending on the commander, your punishment can range from administrative separations to a court-martial.
  • Obstruction of Justice: If you have knowingly or unknowingly taken actions that have actively prevented an active investigation, you can be charged with obstruction of justice.
  • Desertion: The government may attempt to prove that you have deserted your unit or taken a prolonged leave of absence with no intention of returning.
  • Refusal to Obey an Order (Article 92 of UCMJ): Airmen can be charged with Article 92 if they have willingly refused to obey orders, broken the Code of Conduct, or have not completed their duty

UCMJ Common Articles

There are many articles within the UCMJ that you can be accused of violating. Some of the most common ones are:

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Collateral Consequences of Sex Offender Registration:

  • Denied housing
  • Loss of family
  • Isolation
  • No educational opportunities
  • Unemployable
  • Physical assault
  • Increased homelessness
  • Harassment
  • Financial hardship
  • Stigmatization
  • The decline in mental health
  • No internet access
  • Deterioration of social bonds
  • Loss of residency

While the UCMJ has an extensive list of articles and crimes that Airmen can commit while on active duty, these are common articles cited during court-martials. Article 134 is also used to list offenses that may not have been covered by the UCMJ already. If you stand accused of crimes like sexual assault, it would be in your best interests to consult military sexual assault lawyers as soon as possible.

It’s important not to make rash statements or insist on innocence if you have been accused, as any statements or admissions made by you can be used against you in a military court-martial trial. Consult a military defense attorney before taking any action or making statements.

Our Air Force Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Ready to Answer Your Call

Whether it’s in a civil court or a military court, being found guilty can be disastrous for anyone. Your future, present, and past could be put on the line when facing an Air Force court-martial without adequate protection from the best Air Force military defense lawyers available.

If you are convicted by the Air Force at a court-martial, you could face severe punishments like loss of rank, confinement, fines, dishonorable discharge, and even death when you fail to hire an attorney in time to defend you against false or exaggerated military charges.

At Gonzalez & Waddington, you can find capable and experienced Air Force criminal defense lawyers who will work day and night for you to make your conviction disappear. With a history of winning court-martial cases, our attorneys are taken seriously at any court.

Call us at 1-800-921-8607 for experienced legal professionals who will help build an iron-clad case for you.

Punishments if convicted

Summary court-martial maximum sentence:

  • One month confinement
  • Hard labor without confinement for 45 days,
    Restriction for two months
  • Forfeiture of two-thirds of 1 month’s pay.
  • Enlisted members above E-4 may not be sentenced to confinement, hard labor without confinement, or reduced pay grade beyond one pay grade.

Special court-martial maximum sentence:

  • Bad Conduct Discharge (enlisted)
  • Forfeiture of two-thirds pay
  • Confinement for twelve months
  • Reduction to the grade of E-1
  • A fine
  • A reprimand
  • Hard about without confinement
  • Restriction
  • If convicted of certain sexual offenses, the service member has to register as a sex offender

Our Air Force court-martial defense attorneys defend Airmen at the following Air Force Bases:

Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

Eielson AFB

Elmendorf AFB

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Luke Air Force Base, Arizona

Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas

Beale Air Force Base, California

Edwards Air Force Base, California

Los Angeles Air Force Base, California

Travis Air Force Base, California

Vandenberg AFB

Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado

Peterson AFB

Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado

USAF Academy

Dover Air Force Base, Delaware

Bolling AFB/AF Pentagon

Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

Hurlburt Air Force Base, Florida

MacDill Air Force Base, Florida

Patrick Air Force Base, Florida

Tyndall AFB

Moody Air Force Base, Georgia

Robins Air Force Base, Georgia

Hickam AFB

Mountain Home AFB

Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas

Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana

Andrews AFB

Hanscom AFB

Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi

Keesler AFB

Whiteman AFB

Malmstrom AFB

Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska

Nellis AFB

McGuire AFB

Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico

Kirtland AFB

Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina

Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

Minot Air force Base, North Dakota

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma

Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma

Vance AFB

Charleston AFB

Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina

Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota

Arnold AFB, Tennessee

Brooks City-Base

Dyess Air Force Base, Texas

Goodfellow AFB

Lackland AFB

Laughlin AFB

Randolph AFB

Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas

Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Langley AFB

Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington

McChord AFB

F. E. Warren AFB

Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea

Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea

RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire,United Kingdom

RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, United Kingdom

RAF Fylingdales, North York Moors, United Kingdom

RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom

RAF Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, United Kingdom

RAF Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

RAF Welford, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Büchel Air Base, Germany

NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany

Ramstein Air Base, Germany

Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

Aviano Air Base, Italy

Ghedi Air Base, Italy

Ankara Support Facility, Turkey

Incirlik Air Base, Turkey

Izmir Air Station, Turkey

Chievres Air Base, Belgium

Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium

Lajes Field,Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal

Morуn Air Base, Spain

Pбpa Air Base, Hungary

Stavanger Air Station, Norway

Volkel Air Base, Netherlands

Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan

Misawa Air Base, Japan

Yokota Air Base, Japan

Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates

Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar

Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait

Sheik Isa Air Base, Bahrain

RAFO Thumrait, Oman

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