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We aggressively defend Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps cases worldwide. We fight court martial cases throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim (Korea, Hawaii, Guam, Japan).
In a Court Martial, What Am I Up Against?
In the military justice system, the Prosecution has numerous attorneys and paralegals working hard to put you in prison for as long as possible. The accused is often scared, overwhelmed, and feels helpless, and they should be. The deck is stacked against them. That is what the military wants. Defendants believe that they have no choice but to quickly plead guilty.
PLEADING GUILTY SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT! YET, SOME MILITARY & CIVILIAN DEFENSE LAWYERS PLEAD ALL OF THEIR CLIENTS GUILTY, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE OR THEY ARE INNOCENT.
ASK YOUR PROSPECTIVE CIVILIAN OR MILITARY LAWYER TO DESCRIBE THE DETAILS & OUTCOMES OF THE LAST 12 CASES THEY DEFENDED. ASK HOW MANY OF THIER CLIENTS WERE ACQUITTED, HOW MANY WERE NOT DISCHARGED FROM THE MILITARY, & HOW MANY CASES THEY FOUGHT IN FRONT OF A JURY.
Currently, due to political pressure, many servicemembers are being persecuted by overzealous law enforcement, JAGs, and politically correct commands. Many will do whatever it takes to convict you and send you to jail. If you are accused of a sexual offense, then you must hire the best sex assault defense lawyer possible to aggressively fight for your freedom and reputation. Your life depends on it. If you rely on a free military lawyer to save your life, then you are rolling the dice. When you gamble, you usually lose. The house wins. Here, the house is the military. When it comes to military sexual assault and rape cases, our results and experience are unmatched. Contact us to discuss your case!
BEWARE – RED FLAG:
If your free military lawyer DOES NOT want you to hire an experienced civilian lawyer, be very cautious. Your military lawyer should want as much legal firepower as possible on your team. Many military lawyers try to persuade the accused to not hire a civilian because of ego or because they want to force you into a quick and easy guilty plea. The military has a conviction rate over 90% and almost all convicted defendants are discharged from the military and sent to prison. When you plead guilty, you have over a 95% chance of going to jail, getting a punitive discharge from the military, losing your rank, & you are GUARANTEED to be a Federal convict for the rest of your life. If you want to discuss fighting your case, call our military attorneys to discuss your options. Take a look at what you are up against & why you need a hard hitting, fearless civilian defense lawyer fighting for you (these observations are based on Mr. Waddington’s personal experience in court martials worldwide):
- Government prosecution team members usually outnumber your assigned military defense team 5 to 1. They will often manipulate every aspect of the case and fight hard to deprive you of your ability to mount a legal defense. Some will use underhanded tactics to win. You must level the playing field with a battle tested defense lawyer.
- The accused is often denied requested delays and continuances so that they can prepare for courts martial, Article 32’s, and boards.
- Some prosecutors will acquire the testimony of witnesses by offering them immunity, plea deals, and favors, so long as the witnesses help the prosecution win their case & say what they want them to say. You need a lawyer that can destroy lying witnesses and uncover corrupt prosecutors and perjured testimony.
- Almost always, the accused is denied expert assistance, even when the prosecution has numerous expert witnesses in the same area. Commonly, the prosecutor and SJA play a key role in ensuring that the accused is denied expert assistance. The accused is usually forced to beg the judge for the same experts that the Government has and that is often denied as well. The accused must have an attorney with the experience and skill to win a case without defense experts, if necessary.
- Military prosecutors often use the “shotgun approach” to charging. Their strategy is simple, charge a military service member with as many charges as possible, and they will have no choice but to plead guilty. It is not uncommon for a court martial charge sheet to be 3 pages long, usually with the same conduct charged over and over again, in a variety of ways.
- The Government has virtually unlimited financial resources and some prosecutors will try to win at all costs.
- CID, OSI, NCIS, & other military investigators are trained to use lies, trickery, & deceit, & they are good at it. Their official training courses teach them to use “Liars, Trickery, & Deceit” to get the job done. They will get away with as much lying as the defense lawyer will allow. You need a lawyer that can expose their lying, deceptive ways, & turn it to your advantage at trial. NEVER TRUST A CID, OSI, or NCIS AGENT if you are a suspected of a crime or being “interviewed” by an investigator. Don’t trust a military lawyer that claims to be “friends” with OSI, CID, or NCIS. You will live to regret it, after you get out of military prison.
- The Government has its own staff of criminal investigators (CID, NCIS, OSI, MPI, etc.) trying to dig up dirt to use against you. They will almost always overlook, misplace, or hide evidence that helps your case. At trial, they will take innocent facts and twist them to make you look guilty.
- Rank often plays a role in the outcome of your case. Almost always, the Judge, the Chief of Military Justice, the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA), most of the jury, the Convening Authority (the person that picks the jury and decides whether or not you will be court martialed), the Article 32 officer, the chain of command, and virtually every person that makes a decision in your case will outrank you and your assigned Military Lawyer. An aggressive civilian defense lawyer is not subject to rank.
- The Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) is the convening authority’s (CA) legal advisor. The SJA has a duty to be fair, neutral, and impartial when giving advice. The SJA’s role is “justice.” The reality is, to many SJA’s, “justice” means a conviction, hard jail time, and a discharge. The SJA is the boss, senior supervisor, and rater of the prosecutor. They are not looking out for your freedom and your family’s welfare. They are not neutral. Most SJA’s actively strategize with their prosecutors on how to convict the defendant and maximize his jail time. Many SJAs admonish their prosecutors when they lose a case. Some SJAs will put pressure on your military lawyer to get their way
- In the Air Force, the “neutral” SJA will almost always refuse to allow Article 32 testimony to be recorded and/or transcribed, unless it will help their case. They will often stop the Article 32 hearing if the defense lawyers attempt to record the testimony at their own expense, even in cases where the accused faces LIFE in prison. Refusing to record hearings in Felony cases is unheard of in civilian and other military courts. In a recent rape Article 32 at Dover AFB, the defense was forbidden from using a tape recorder to record the hearing and from transcribing the hearing at their own expense. The prosecutor, Captain Andrew Cherkasky and the SJA, fought against the recording. The stated reason was that the defense would use the transcript at trial to impeach the alleged “victim” if she changed her story. Does this sound fair?
- Some SJA offices will proceed to trial on baseless charges even when the Article 32 investigating officer finds that the charges are not supported by the facts.
- In a court martial, the prosecution can call any witnesses they want. They don’t have to tell the accused what the witness will say. On the other hand, the defense, in order to have witnesses brought to court martial, must disclose to the prosecution exactly what the witnesses will say (in writing) and what role that testimony will have in the defense. Some judges require the defense to disclose even more details to the prosecution. This often reveals the entire defense strategy. In the end, after the prosecution learns the defense strategy, they can then pick and choose which defense witnesses will be brought to the court martial.
- In some cases (especially high profile court martial cases), extreme pressure will be put on the military defense lawyer to “not rock the boat” or “burn bridges.”
- Military defense lawyers are forbidden (by the military, not their State Legal Bar Associations) to speak or deal with the media, even if they speak the truth and it will help their client get a fair trial. They must get “permission” from their senior boss, an O-6 in Washington, DC, in order to be able to respond to negative or false press. The prosecution often releases harmful and unfounded information to the media when they file charges. In the Army, defense lawyers are even more restricted. During the high profile Bagram Prison Abuse court martials of 2005-2006, Mr. Waddington (then an Army lawyer) successfully fought false Government accusations in the media. It embarrassed the military, exposed a bogus prosecution, and revealed that the Pentagon sanctioned detainee abuse and then court martialed soldiers for carrying out their orders. In Dec 2005, in the middle of the Bagram trials, Army TDS leadership rewrote their policy and made it nearly impossible for an Army TDS lawyer to defend against negative press.
BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU WANT A FAIR SHAKE IN THE MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM, THEN YOU NEED A FEARLESS LAWYER TO FIGHT FOR IT.
RECENT CASE RESULTS
THESE RECENT CASES SHOW THAT IN THE MILITARY, THE DEFENDANT IS GUILTY UNLESS & UNTIL HE CAN PROVE HIS INNOCENCE, ESPECIALLY IN A SEX ASSAULT CASE.
The accused needs the highest powered defense possible, even if he is innocent. Otherwise, his rights will be trampled and he may end up in jail. To the Government, innocence does not matter. It is not relevant. What matters is winning convictions and statistics. The military must prove to Congress and lobbyists that they take sexual assault seriously. To prove this, they need AS MANY MEN CONVICTED OF SEX CRIMES AS POSSIBLE. Congress and the Military need sex crime convictions in order to justify the more than $100 million a year they now spend prosecuting sex crimes in the military. DON’T BECOME A STATISTIC WITHOUT A FIGHT!