When you are a member of the US military and were convicted of committing a crime in a military court, you may feel like this is the end of the road. Especially with how strict the military court system is, it can feel like you have run out of options and should accept your conviction. When this happens, it can mean that you have a permanent criminal record, are unable to support your family, and are dishonorably discharged from the military, just to name a few punishments. Instead of accepting this conviction, however, you may be wondering if it is possible to fight it. A military defense attorney, like a military attorney in Camp Pendleton from The Federal Practice Group, has helped many members of the military in the past appeal their sentences. This can ensure you keep your military status and can support yourself and your family.

What are the common reasons the court’s decision was made in error?

While there should be a certain amount of trust in the justice system, mistakes can be made. Even minor errors can lead to a person’s entire life being ruined because they were unfairly convicted. Some of the most common mistakes or abuses that can happen in a court-martial proceeding are:

  • Clerical Errors
  • Judgment Errors
  • An Abuse of Authority
  • Mistakes With Gathering Evidence
  • Misinterpreting the Uniform Code of Military Justice

How can a military defense lawyer help me?

We know that you are in a precarious position and likely feel that all hope is lost. However, just because a decision was made does not mean it is the final step. That said, you should not attempt to appeal on your own. Not only can this be an expensive process but it can also be emotionally exhausting. A military defense attorney can ensure that when they appeal your case it is done with all of the necessary information. With an attorney’s help, you can:

  • Determine if there are grounds for an appeal.
  • Petition appellate courts regarding your appeal.
  • Represent you in court and argue your appeal.

Why not just use an attorney the military provides?

We do not recommend using a military-provided attorney for a few reasons. First, military attorneys have heavy caseloads in addition to their daily duties. This means your appeal will likely not get the attention it deserves. Second, the attorney provided might not have the experience necessary for appealing your case. Third, because military-provided attorneys are often transferred, you may work with multiple attorneys on your appeal, meaning you must keep refreshing a new attorney on the details of your case. For these reasons, it is not in your best interest to use a military-appointed attorney. 

If you were convicted of a crime through the court-martial process and would like to appeal your court-martial, you should speak with a military defense attorney to see how they can help you.