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Military crime stats point to need for strong defense counsel

Officials from the United States Coast Guard recently released so-called “discipline statistics” related to courts-martial verdicts and other forms of administered punishment handed out to members of that military service branch during the second half of last year.

We believe that many of our readers in the Washington, D.C. area and elsewhere will find the statistics to be both interesting and relevant, and centrally underscoring this central consideration: Any military member facing a courts-martial or other form of military punishment -- whether administrative separation, Academy or ROTC disenrollment, loss of a security clearance, less-than-honorable discharge or other potentially adverse outcome -- should promptly secure the assistance of a proven military defense attorney.

The need for knowledgeable and aggressive legal counsel is obviously apparent for persons facing criminal charges in the civilian world, as well. Military law and justice encompasses singular components, though, that can make it flatly critical for any person facing military discipline to have learned counsel on board.

One fundamental takeaway that is immediately evident from the USCG statistics is that military justice can be harsh and uncompromising. Although the Coast Guard is a comparatively small branch of the military, it still secured 21 courts-martial convictions during the latter half of 2013. It also discharged 200 individuals following convictions on various charges and handed down more than 400 nonjudicial punishments.

Some civilians might be surprised regarding the subject matter that was at issue in some proceedings. Romantic relationships between certain military members are taboo, and several Coast Guard members were punished for this offense.

Drug possession and use is also routinely punished comparatively harshly in the military, even when the drug is marijuana. Notwithstanding a liberalizing trend in many American states toward recreational pot use, the use of that drug in any amount is deemed illegal in the military.

Military members facing any type of criminal or administrative sanctions can secure candid advice and strong legal representation from a proven military defense lawyer.

Source: Navy Times, "21 Coasties convicted in 2nd half of 2013," Meghann Myers, April 5, 2014

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