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San Diego & El Centro Military Criminal Defense

As an experienced San Diego military criminal defense attorney I am well versed in the military justice system and encourage military personnel to seek outside counsel if they think they are in violation of any military criminal statute. This includes minor offenses that may result in a captain's mast, to more serious felony offenses such as murder, aggravated assault or absence without leave.

In the military justice system, discipline or punishment is applied through what is called courts-martial or captain's mast. There are two types of courts-martial, special and general. Special and general courts-martial are judicial proceedings that could lead to felony or misdemeanor criminal convictions resulting in incarceration and/or dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, separation from the service, loss of rank and/or pay, and/or loss of benefits. The captain's mast is a non-judicial proceeding mainly used for minor offenses or infractions such as disciplinary violations.

Military Criminal Law and Justice in San Diego and El Centro, California

Military criminal law is governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In the military what might be considered a minor offense such as insubordination can result in severe consequences such as a cut in pay, demotion in rank or outright separation/discharge from the military.

All defendants are entitled to an appointed military lawyer in all special or general court-martial proceedings; however, you can and should seek non-military outside counsel. Whereas military lawyers are bound by the military code of justice and have more restrictions placed on them, a private attorney has more leeway to fight the case without repercussions from military command. For example, if a military lawyer attempts to impugn the integrity of an officer, he or she can be disciplined for insubordination in his or her own court-martial or have it noted on their military personnel file, which may affect their ability to get promoted.

Many of the decisions a military prosecutor or military appointed defense lawyer make in your case are based on command decisions, not necessarily the guilt or innocence of the person charged. I represent the client, not the military. Invoking your constitutional rights to obtain legal counsel before you speak to command or a military-prosecutor can mean the difference between being charged at all, or a misdemeanor or a felony charge or conviction.

Contact the Law Office of Jack J. Boltax for a confidential, no-obligation initial consultation. Any violation of uniform code of justice can have severe consequences for service members. Consult a competent military criminal law attorney to protect your rights while you fight for ours.