Although it is common knowledge that there are lawyers in the civilian world, fewer people are aware that there are lawyers in the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force as well. So the first basic question is, what are attorneys called in the military? The Judge Advocate General’s Corps, sometimes known as the JAG Corps, comprises these lawyers, who are referred to as JAG officers. JAG officers graduate from a civilian law school with a law degree. They will join their preferred military service branch after graduating.
How do you choose your military attorney?
It might be frightening to be accused of doing something illegal in the military. No matter if you have been a military officer for two years or twenty, your life is in jeopardy if you are facing a court martial. You must have faith that your military attorney will defend you when the stakes are that high.
Choosing your military solicitor is frequently out of your control. You receive a free defence attorney from the military. But depending on where you are and who is available, the barrister chosen for your case is frequently a matter of chance. Sometimes they are brand-new attorneys, and other times they have a few years of experience.
Questions to Ask Your Military Attorney
You need a reliable, capable, and accessible lawyer to defend you in a court-martial or other serious military disciplinary proceeding. You won’t likely have an option for an attorney who defends you if you are assigned a military attorney. Even though the solicitor is free, you should clarify a few things with them initially. This can help you gauge their expertise and, in turn, how confident you are in their ability to manage your case successfully.
Among them are the following:
How long have you been practising law?
You frequently end up being one of your assigned military attorney’s initial cases. Military attorneys typically don’t focus on criminal defence work because of their many obligations. However, a competent criminal defence lawyer is crucial to have on your side when your future and freedom are at stake. The other team usually has years of expertise, so they could exploit any inexperience on your side to persuade you to enter a guilty plea. In addition, they can try to talk you out of asking for a court martial in favour of accepting a discharge from the military.
You should ask your lawyer how many trials they have participated in and how long they have been working in military court. Although civil and military law hascertain parallels, there are also significant variances that must be taken into consideration as your case moves forward.
Did you perform any other kind of service in the military?
An attorney in the military needs to have legal knowledge, but it’s also critical that they have a military background outside of JAG. Commanders must be spoken to by their lawyer, either in private or in front of a jury. They must have some comprehension of how military commanders and leaders think. For lawyers who did not serve, there is training that can assist in closing the gap, but it is rarely as successful as regularly interacting with them.
How can I be certain that you are supporting me?
Their behaviour while they chat with you and handle your case-related worries, will give you some insight into how they feel about it. A military attorney might not want to endanger their relationship with military prosecutors by contesting the prosecution’s case or vigorously representing you in court. The prosecuting team’s far superior experience can be intimidating for a JAG. As a result, they could be hesitant to take your case to trial. So make sure your case is well represented by clarifying everything beforehand.