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What is a Military Lawyer, and How Can One Help Me?

It is the responsibility of the military to defend our country. Because of the unique nature of military service, there are special laws and rules that govern how the military should behave. Therefore, there are significant differences between a military lawyer and civilian lawyer and the law they practice. If you serve in the military, then you may need the assistance of a civilian military defense attorney with military law experience. That way, you can place your case in the best position to be successful. 

An Overview of a Military Lawyer

The job of a military defense attorney is similar to that of a civilian defense attorney; however, a civilian military defense attorney specializes in representing someone under the jurisdiction of military courts, and must be qualified and certified to practice in the military system under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A civilian military defense attorney is able to represent servicemembers in any branch of the military, including both officers and enlisted personnel. A servicemember is entitled to a strong defense, which is why they need to reach out to an experienced civilian military defense attorney who can help them. 


Servicemembers accused of crimes are provided a free uniformed defense counsel, often referred to as Judge Advocate Generals or JAGs. JAGs are active-duty military attorneys who either prosecute or defend servicemembers in courts-martial, administrative separation hearings, or boards of inquiry.  While this, a Military Court of Inquiry, and even the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Military attorneys need to make sure they understand military law backward and forwards to best represent their clients. 

Looking at the Educational Requirements

The training required to become a civilian military defense attorney is similar to that of a civilian lawyer. Both must graduate from an undergraduate institution, successfully graduate from an American Bar Association accredited law school, and pass the bar.  Then, after law school, many civilian military defense counsel start their career by serving as active-duty JAGs in a branch of the military.  This way they can learn, firsthand, about the life in the military, the military justice system, the courts-martial process, and administrative disciplinary hearings. After this active-duty experience they have learned how to navigate the military justice system, which allows them to best serve their clients. 

How Can a Greenville Civilian Military Defense Attorney Can Help You

There are several ways a civilian military defense attorney may be able to help a servicemember accused of a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. These include: 

  • Work with military law enforcement and the servicemember’s command during the investigative stage to possibly prevent charges in the fist place
  • Help the servicemember understand the charges against him and possible options
  • Work with the servicemember’s command to try and dispose of the charges outside of a court-martial criminal proceeding
  • File motions and come up with strategies to limit the prosecution’s ability to move forward with the charges
  • Evaluate the evidence and prepare for trial

Clearly, there are a lot of duties involved in being a military lawyer. Because this area of law is so specialized, it is important for anyone facing legal military disciplinary action to rely on an experienced civilian military defense counsel. That is where our office can assist you.

Call Whalen Montalvo Law for a Military Assault Attorney

It would be our honor to assist you if you are in any branch of the military looking for a civilian military defense counsel to assist in your situation. We are Whalen Montalvo Law, and we have a tremendous amount of experience with military criminal investigations, courts-martial, non-judicial punishment, Article 15s, administrative separation hearings, and boards of inquiry. Our civilian military defense attorneys will listen to you without judgment or reservation. There are a lot of differences between military law and civilian law, which is why you need to work with someone who is familiar with and is comfortable practicing in this area. That way, you can place your case in the best position to be successful. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today. We appreciate your service, and would like to serve you. 

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