“When We Assumed The Soldier, We Did Not Lay Aside The Rights Of The Citizen.” — General George Washington
You have many of the same rights during a military criminal investigation as civilians, including protections from illegal search and seizure, self-incrimination and the right to counsel. In fact, in some areas, military personnel have greater rights.
If you are a U.S. service member under investigation for a criminal or disciplinary offense, and you have already made a statement implicating yourself, don’t give up hope. All is not lost, and any statement that was made in violation of Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) may be ruled inadmissible.
More Than 20 Years Of Experience As Military Lawyer
Phillip Stackhouse, Attorney, has more than 20 years of experience representing members of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilian contractors under investigation for criminal offenses. In 2006, he retired as a Marine JAG officer and opened a law firm serving military members facing courts-martial or administrative separation hearings for a violation of UCMJ regulations.
Were You Coerced To Make A Statement?
Commanders have a lot of power in the military system. It is not unusual for enlisted men and women or commissioned officers to feel compelled to admit guilt or involvement, when being questioned by their commanding officer. You may feel compelled to answer incriminating questions without fully understanding the coercion.
Greater Protections Than Civilians
As a member of the military, you have many of the same constitutional protections of any citizen, but in some circumstances, service members have more protections under military law. When you are on a military installation, you do lose the right to refuse some searches and inspections, but when it comes to making a statement about a charge or allegation, have more protection from self-incrimination than your civilian counterparts.
The Power Of Article 31
For civilians, the Fifth Amendment and “miranda rights” protect against self-incrimination, but normally don’t attach until after arrest. Under Article 31, UCMJ, you have protection from the moment a command investigation has begun, and you are suspected of an offense under the UCMJ. By contacting our attorney as soon as you can, you can fully protect your rights and your career.
Free Initial Consultation
If you have made any statements during an investigation of any kind, you need the help of an experienced military lawyer immediately. Our initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. We represent clients from the bases in California and worldwide. Call our San Diego office at 760-456-5386 or use our online contact form.