2023 How to Find the Best Military Defense Attorney in Colorado

Military law may look somewhat like civilian law to the untrained eye, but the reality is that it can be incredibly complex, nuanced, and very different from civilian law. If you’re in the military and find yourself in need of legal help, it’s important that you work with someone who has a solid background in military law. While you will be provided a military lawyer, there are real advantages to working with a civilian military lawyer who isn’t hampered by the military hierarchy and burdened by a significant caseload. If you’ve realized, though, that you need a civilian military lawyer to help defend you, then you may be wondering how to find the right option. There are some characteristics that you’ll want to look for in particular.

What to Look for in a Military Defense Attorney

When you are looking for a Denver, CO, Military Defense Attorney, some of the characteristics that you may want to look for include:

  • Understanding of Military Law – Because military law is so unique and different from civilian law, you want to make sure that you are working with someone who has a very clear understanding of the UCMJ and military law.
  • Experience – While reading and taking in knowledge can be useful, experience is also a tremendous teacher. It’s important to work with someone who has this kind of experience with military law. You want someone who understands it because they’ve seen it firsthand.
  • Detail-Oriented – Law is nuanced. It’s that nuance that can often make all the difference in a case. It’s important to have a lawyer who can recognize and work with that nuance because they pay close attention to the details involved. If your case hinges on small details, then you want a lawyer who knows how to watch for that.
  • Aggressive – This doesn’t mean that you need a lawyer who is loud, brash, and rude. It means that you need a lawyer who isn’t going to be intimidated by authority figures and who is relentless in the pursuit of the most important elements of the case.
  • Trustworthy – More than anything else, you need to have confidence in your lawyer. This is a crucial time, and it’s important that you aren’t left second-guessing yourself. This means that you need to find a lawyer who you trust in such a serious situation and who you believe has your interests as their goal.

The Three Kinds of Courts-Martial

The military has three courts-martial that address different kinds of crimes and violations of military law, with differing maximum punishments at each of the different levels. The three kinds of courts-martial are:

  • Summary Court-Martial – Minor violations are handled by this court-martial. Here, a commissioned officer acts as judge, jury, and prosecutor. The maximum punishments include:
    • 30 days in confinement
    • 45 days of hard labor
    • For one month, forfeiture of two-thirds pay
    • Reduction to the lowest pay grade
    • For E5 and above, confinement and hard labor cannot be imposed, and pay grade may be reduced only by one level
  • Special Court-Martial – This addresses misdemeanor crimes and consists of a military judge presiding over a minimum of three enlisted members as jury. The accused may request to be tried by the judge alone. Maximum punishments include:
    • One year of confinement
    • Three months of hard labor
    • One year of two-thirds pay forfeiture
    • Reduction to the lowest pay grade
    • Bad-conduct discharge
  • General Court-Martial – This is used for the most serious of crimes, which would be felonies in civilian courts. Punishments here could be anything as long as it is not prohibited by the UCMJ. Some of these include pay forfeitures, confinement, dishonorable discharge, confinement for life without parole, or the death penalty.


Q: Does the Military Have Its Own Lawyers?

A: The military does have its own lawyers. However, there can be some disadvantages to working with them alone and not with a civilian attorney as well. A military lawyer is like a public defender. Like public defenders, it’s possible that they may be overworked and not be able to give your case the attention that it deserves. Also, they are subject to the military’s chain of command. Respect for this structure may make them hesitant to aggressively question higher-ranking officials if that’s what the case requires. A civilian lawyer may be much more comfortable with that process.

Q: What Are the Three Kinds of Courts-Martial?

A: There are three courts-martial that handle different levels of violations and offenses in the military.  These are:

  • Summary Court-Martial – A commissioned officer presides and decides over cases involving minor violations and offenses.
  • Special Court-Martial – A military judge, along with at least three enlisted members, oversees misdemeanor crimes and offenses. The accused may ask for the case to be handled by the judge alone.
  • General Court-Martial – Felony-level offenses are processed through this type of court-martial. Punishments range widely and can even include the death penalty.  However, penalties cannot be something that is banned by the UCMJ.

Q: What Is Military Law?

A: Military Law is a separate category of law, working almost in parallel to civilian law. It is spelled out in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ. Because it is its own unique system of law, it’s important to work with a lawyer who has an understanding of its laws and judicial processes.

Q: Why Hire a Civilian Military Defense Attorney and Not Whoever Is Provided?

A: Working with a civilian military defense attorney may prove to be beneficial to your case in a number of different ways. One reason is that they are going to be able to give your case the attention that it deserves. Like public defenders in the civilian system, many military defense attorneys are overworked. You may be better off having both attorneys (your free military defender can stay on the case) managing your defense.

It can be particularly helpful to have a civilian lawyer who is outside the chain of command. Your free military lawyer is a part of the military and the hierarchy that comes with it. This can lead to hesitancy to take an aggressive approach against higher-ranking officers. A civilian military attorney isn’t burdened by those concerns and etiquette. They may end up taking a much more aggressive approach to defending you as a result.

Get Your Case the Defense It Deserves

Military law is extremely specialized and nuanced. While there are some similarities to civilian law, there are also some critical differences. When looking for someone to defend your case, you want to find a legal team with a deep understanding of military law and its processes. You need someone with experience handling the different kinds of court-martial that can be used. At The Law Center P.C., our team has a strong background in military law and is ready to defend your case with the passion and aggression that you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your situation.

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