When facing a court-martial, the military provides you with a free Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG Corps) lawyer. JAG is a military department that acts as a law firm for military personnel facing charges within the military.
However, you also have a right to seek different legal representation from a civilian military defense lawyer. Civilian military lawyers are lawyers who have chosen to specialize in martial law instead of civilian law. In many cases, civilian military defense attorneys are former JAG attorneys who left the military and started a private law practice.
But why would you need to spend money hiring a civilian military defense lawyer when the military has already provided a free JAG lawyer for you? Well, hiring a civilian military defense lawyer offers the following benefits.
1. You Get a Say in Who Represents You
When the military assigns a JAG lawyer to your case, they do so based on which lawyer is currently available to take the case. As a result, you don't get to choose your JAG lawyer based on experience or expertise. Thus, getting a novice JAG lawyer representing your case is not uncommon.
However, when you opt for a civilian military defense lawyer, you have a chance to vet the lawyer before hiring them. As a result, you can check a civilian military lawyer's experience, expertise, and previous cases to assess their suitability.
Hence, when opting for a civilian military defense lawyer, ensure you select a seasoned lawyer to represent you in a court martial.
2. Civilian Military Defense Lawyers Are More Flexible
JAG lawyers are often good at their job but are still bound by the military's code of conduct. Thus, they are still subject to the bureaucratic aspects of the military, such as rank and chain of command.
Such factors often limit a JAG lawyer when investigating your charges. As a result, your JAG lawyer may not have the flexibility or clearance to conduct a thorough investigation to help your case.
But civilian military defense lawyers are not part of the military. Thus, they are not subject to the bureaucracy of the military. So, they are in a position to conduct a more thorough investigation to help your case without the fear of antagonizing a superior officer.
Furthermore, they don't have to follow a chain of command when conducting their work or investigation. Hence, civilian military defense lawyers can use any means they deem fit to achieve their goals.
3. Two Lawyers for the Price of One
When you hire a civilian military defense lawyer, your JAG-appointed lawyer remains on the case. Hence, you can have two lawyers working on your case, but you only have to pay one of them.
Having two lawyers defending you in a court-martial is better than one. Besides, it makes it easier for the two lawyers to share ideas and the workload to achieve the best defense possible.
For more information, contact a military defense attorney near you.Share