Coast Guard Military Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense Lawyers for the Coast Guard

The UCMJ forms the backbone of the military’s legal system and applies to all active duty, national guard and reserves, and retired armed forces personnel across all branches. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, you must turn to military defense lawyers for help right away. Our civilian defense lawyers have a history of representing members of the Coast Guard in UCMJ and non-judicial administrative matters. 

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Coast Guard Criminal Defense Lawyers

Members of the Coast Guard need to know their rights. Members of the Coast Guard have the Constitutional right to be represented by a skilled military criminal defense attorney. Don’t wait to hire a court-martial defense counsel. Act now and contact the hard-hitting court-martial attorneys at Gonzalez & Waddington.

Our military criminal defense lawyers can handle your charges and defend your reputation. Whether you are facing charges of Sexual assault, Article 120b, Article 120c, Assault – Article 128, UCMJ, Deposit of Obscene Matters – Article 120a, UCMJ, the court-martial lawyers at Gonzalez & Waddington can help.

Coast Guard UCMJ Overview

The Coast Guard is an exclusive branch of the military responsible for a wide range of marine tasks. These tasks include guaranteeing safe and legal trade to rescue people in dangerous situations. Recent high-profile military sexual assault cases have increased public interest in military regulations. As a result, the presiding authority’s ability to offer compassion to a military member guilty of a crime is being called into question.

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

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Collateral Consequences of a Coast Guard 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.

Coast Guard Court-Martial Lawyers

If you, as a member of the Coast Guard or any sector of the armed forces, are a suspect in a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you will face a court-martial. Some military criminal charges, such as sexual crimes or drug usage, are comparable to civilian offenses. However, others, such as desertion or leaving your post without permission, are specific to the military way of life. A military defendant should understand the court-martial procedure.

General Court-Martial

If you have committed a serious crime, such as murder, you will face a general court-martial. 

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

The Court-Martial Process

The typical court-martial procedure begins with a report to a commanding officer (CO). The CO may then decide whether or not to press charges against the accused. Depending on the circumstances, the CO may merely threaten a court-martial but rather replace it with military punishment.

After facing a charge, a military member may enter pleas in court, just like a civilian. A military criminal defense lawyer will help you negotiate a favorable plea deal in exchange for lower punishment. If the matter goes to trial, it will likely include jury selection (voir dire), opening statements, direct examination, cross-examinations, presentation of witnesses and evidence, and closing arguments. Finally, if there is a conviction, then there will be a sentencing proceeding.

Know Your Rights

The actions you take while under investigation will directly affect your chances of winning at trial. Here are three basic rights that you should use:

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

If confronted about a possible UCMJ breach, service members have the full right to stay silent. Making statements to CGIS or other law enforcement seldom helps and may result in further penalties. For example, if your testimony differs from the alleged victim’s, you may be punished for giving a false official statement or perverting the course of justice. Cooperating with the police will not stop the military from taking action against you. On the contrary, it will only strengthen the government’s case.

The Right to Refuse Consent

You are also not obliged to agree to any search warrant of yourself or your property. Before performing a search, investigators must seek permission from their commander. The only way police may search or take your property without probable cause is with your permission.

The Right to Seek Legal Advice

Before relinquishing their rights, military people accused of a crime have the full right to consult with an attorney, military or civilian. Therefore, if you are accused of a crime, you must contact an experienced attorney. 

Protect Yourself and Your Military Career

Expert military defense lawyers can help protect your job, life, and future. If you are facing sexual assault charges, coast guard expert military sexual assault lawyers will aggressively fight for you.

Why not call us to ensure that your interests are protected? We are experienced Coast Guard, criminal defense lawyers. We have helped defend Coast Guard personnel subjected to an investigation, a court-martial, or sentencing for serious military sexual assault offenses and other UCMJ violations.  Contact us today.

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Rape & Sexual Assault – Article 120 in the Coast Guard

Coast Guard Criminal Defense Lawyers

As well as being criminal, sexual assault violates the service’s core values of “Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.” As a result, improving its efforts to eliminate sexual assault from the Coast Guard’s unit has been a higher priority in recent years.

The Coast Guard legal service is a “full-service” legal support agency. It provides legal guidance and counsel to the service’s decision-makers for any needs. Coast Guard members may face disciplinary and personnel procedures. As a service member, you are entitled to a military defense lawyer. Your military court-martial lawyer will help you negotiate the intricacies of the judicial and administrative procedures.

Punishments if convicted at a Coast Guard court-martial

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

Administrative Separations in the Coast Guard

A military administrative separation occurs when a military career ends. It happens when your commander starts a non-judicial procedure to remove you from service. There are two administrative separations based on the severity of the crime. These are listed below.

Misdemeanor Crimes

There must be proof of two or more minor disciplinary measures to be administratively separated for a minor infraction. Your commander will decide what minor disciplinary infractions are.

You require a pattern of discreditable behavior with military officials. Misconduct are breaches of the UCMJ, state criminal laws, and military conventions and traditions.

Sexual Assault in the Coast Guard

In 2019, the Coast Guard (CGIS) investigated 156 unrestricted reports of military sexual assault that alleged military sexual assault victims made to authorities. The Coast Guard leadership and their JAGs took many of these accusations to courts-martial trials and administrative separation boards.

Administrative Separation from the Coast Guard: What Happens?

Your command will inform you in writing if you’re administratively separated. Describe the reasons for leaving and the suggested categorization of service. The suggested definition of service is critical since it may affect future eligibility for veterans benefits.

There are three types of administrative separation or discharge.

Honorable Discharge

A service member is given an Honorable discharge when they fulfill their military behavior and job performance. In addition, you must have had a good to outstanding performance rating. 

Under Honorable Conditions

A service member is given a general discharge when their bad actions outnumber their good actions. With this type of discharge, you cannot reenlist or transfer to another military branch. However, you will most likely retain all your VA benefits.

Other Than Honorable Conditions

An Other than Honorable (OTH) discharge may be given when the Coastie’s behavior differs greatly from the expected military behavior. If a service member receives an Other than Honorable (OTH) discharge, an OTH may jeopardize their veteran affairs benefits.

Our Coast Guard court-martial defense attorneys defend Coasties at the following Coast Guard Bases:

Coast Guard Bases

Alaska Coast Guard Bases

Base Support Unit Kodiak

The base began as the Navy’s Naval Air Station Kodiak in 1941. ISC Kodiak gained an outstanding reputation for providing Rock Solid support where ever it was needed.

Coast Guard Station Juneau

Coast Guard Station Juneau dates back to the middle 1950’s. The original Station was located in Auke bay and remained there until 1978 when it was moved to its current location. Then, as of now, the station performed all missions assigned today with the additional mission of servicing manned lighthouses.

Station Ketchikan

ISC Ketchikan was established on 22 May 1996 from elements of the former USCG Group Ketchikan and USCG Base Ketchikan, combined with personnel formerly assigned to the Seventeenth CG District Administration Division. Station Ketchikan responds to an average of 150 Search and Rescue cases every year.

California

Training Center Petaluma

The Coast Guard Training Center (TRACEN) Petaluma is much more than the sum of its schools. It’s a small town whose residents share a commitment to mission, respect, innovation, and a focus on personal development.

Florida

Integrated Support Command Miami

ISC Miami was created on 17 May 1996 from the merger of Base Miami Beach and some financial and administrative elements of the Seventh Coast Guard District Staff.

Hawaii

Integrated Support Command Honolulu

From Hawaii to Guam to Japan, ISC Honolulu supports 35 commands throughout the 14th District Area of Responsibility, including over 3,000 Coast Guard active duty members, reservists, civilians, auxiliaries, and their families. ISC Honolulu evolved from the former U.S. Lighthouse Service Depot at both Pier 4 and a 5-acre plot on Sand Island.

North Carolina

 Air Station Elizabeth City

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City is one of the busiest Air Stations in the Coast Guard. On any single day, aircrews may be as far away as Greenland, the Azores or the Caribbean.

Virginia

Sector Hampton Roads

On 15 July 2005, Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads, Group Hampton Roads, and Group Eastern Shore merged to become Sector Hampton Roads.

Training Center Yorktown

Training Center Yorktown occupies the easternmost tip of Virginia’s historical triangle, formed by Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Yorktown’s moment in history began September 28, 1781, when a group of Colonial and French soldiers set out from Williamsburg to lay siege to the British Army that had fortified the seaport hamlet.

Alaska Coast Guard Bases

Anchorage
Dutch Harbor
Juneau
Ketchikan
Kodiak
Sitka
St. Paul
Valdez

Alabama Coast Guard Bases

Mobile

American Samoa Coast Guard Bases

Pago Pago

Arizona Coast Guard Bases

Scottsdale

California Coast Guard Bases

Alameda
Concord
Long Beach
Los Angeles
McKinleyville
Novato
Oakland
Oxnard
Petaluma
Point Reyes Station
Sacramento
San Diego
San Francisco
South San Francisco

Connecticut Coast Guard Bases

Groton
New Haven
New London

District of Columbia Coast Guard Bases

Washington

Florida Coast Guard Bases

Coast Guard Air Station Miami Military Defense Lawyers

Coast Guard Sector Key West Military Defense Lawyer

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Military Defense Lawyers

Miami Military Defense Lawyers

St. Petersburg Military Defense Lawyers

CGAS Clearwater Military Defense Lawyers

Jacksonville
Mayport
Miami Beach
Opa-Locka
Sarasota
Tampa

Georgia Coast Guard Bases

Glynco
Savannah

Guam Coast Guard Bases

Santa Rita

Hawaii Coast Guard Bases

Honolulu

Illinois Coast Guard Bases

Chicago

Kansas Coast Guard Bases

Topeka

Kentucky Coast Guard Bases

Louisville

Paducah

Louisiana Coast Guard Bases

Avondale
Baton Rouge
Houma
Lockport
Morgan City
New Orleans

Massachusetts Coast Guard Bases

Barnstable
Boston
Natick
New Bedford
Otis AFB
Weymouth
Woods Hole

JB Cape Cod Military Lawyer | Court Martial Attorney

Maryland Coast Guard Bases

Baltimore
Columbia
Glen Burnie
Suitland

Maine Coast Guard Bases

Bucksport
Portland
South Portland
Southwest Harbor

Michigan Coast Guard Bases

Cheboygan
Detroit
Detroit Beach
Sault Ste Marie
Selfridge AFB
Traverse City

Minnesota Coast Guard Bases

Duluth
Ray
Warroad

Missouri Coast Guard Bases

St. Louis

Mississippi Coast Guard Bases

Pascagoula

North Carolina Coast Guard Bases

Atlantic Beach
Buxton
Camp Lejeune
Elizabeth City
Wilmington

New Jersey Coast Guard Bases

Atlantic City
Cape May
Fort Dix
Moorestown
Wildwood
Woodbine

New York Coast Guard Bases

Buffalo
Coram
New York
New York -Richmond
New York-Kings
Staten Island

Ohio Coast Guard Bases

Cleveland
Toledo

Oklahoma Coast Guard Bases

Oklahoma City

Oregon Coast Guard Bases

Astoria
Medford
North Bend
Portland

Pennsylvania Coast Guard Bases

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

Puerto Rico Coast Guard Bases

Aguadilla
San Juan

Rhode Island Coast Guard Bases

East Providence
Providence
Warwick

South Carolina Coast Guard Bases

Charleston

Tennessee Coast Guard Bases

Memphis
Millington

Texas Coast Guard Bases

Corpus Christi
El Paso
Galveston
Houston
Port Arthur
South Padre Island

Virginia Coast Guard Bases

Alexandria
Arlington
Chesapeake
Chincoteague
Hampton
Herndon
Norfolk
Portsmouth
Rosslyn
Virginia Beach
Yorktown

Virgin Islands Coast Guard Bases

St. Thomas

Washington Coast Guard Bases

Ilwaco
Port Angeles
Seattle

Wisconsin Coast Guard Bases

Marinette
Milwaukee

West Virginia Coast Guard Bases

Barboursville
Falling Waters
Huntington
Kearneysville
Martinsburg

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