A JAG lawyer is someone who is one of a kind, in that they understand the civilian and military sides of the law. They have experienced law in a different way than most attorneys, which gives them another perspective in cases. This means that you are getting a lawyer who thinks like no other. They have a very tactical way of thinking and can foresee certain blocks that most cannot.
What is JAG?
The Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or JAG Corps, is the branch of military service that acts as the legal representation for military members. They are lawyers for military personnel who cannot afford attorneys or need a special focus from their lawyer. Sometimes that this might be necessary is with UCMJ or the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This is the form of the law that military personnel have to abide by. While these laws are most strictly enacted on military bases, they still apply off base and are always actionable. This brings forth the belief that the military is held to a higher standard, being held accountable to two sets of laws.
How is UCMJ Different From Civilian Law?
There are some laws that only apply to military members, which may bring forth charges. Additionally, there are some actions which are considered “conduct unbecoming” and may bring discharge form the military, sometimes in conjunction with prison time. There are others that might end in restrictions for a length of time. These are all dependent on the infraction and what the details of the case are. While many of the laws are the same, there tend to be different sentences, and the classifications might vary. For example, drug possession in civilian law may have a lighter sentence than UCMJ. But, there may also be more than just jail time that comes with that charge. In some cases, docking rank or pay is a byproduct; as well.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Former JAG Lawyer?
The first and foremost is a deep understanding of both judicial systems. This means that you are getting two lawyers for the price of one. You will have a lawyer who understands the civilian law and how it works, but also a JAG lawyer who is familiar with UCMJ and how those laws are enacted. Instead of having two lawyers working together for you, your case will have one lawyer with both of those facets interwoven into one. It is almost like having two lawyers working together on your case, for the price of one. This is extremely beneficial for the strategy of your case since there will be tactics that work in UCMJ that will transfer into civilian law.
How Are Court Martial Sentences Different?
Besides the thousands of dollars lost every month in wages, while serving jail time, there are other consequences that come with a conviction. You may lose your bonus eligibility and might have to pay back parts of your bonus. There is also a loss or retirement pay and benefits. That also includes your VA benefits, such as medical insurance, loan assistance, and disability payouts. Losing something like medical and dental insurance will not only mean that you don’t have them available, but that you will have to pay more money to get them replaced. This could mean thousands of dollars a year that you already didn’t have.
You may also have a federal felony conviction on your record. This will restrict your access to high paying jobs in the future. With that federal felony also comes the loss of voting rights, unions, federal contracts and programs and potential for government positions. If you are convicted of a sex crime, you will have to register as an offender, in the Sex Offender Registry. This will mean that you have to stay away from schools, libraries, parks, daycares and swimming pools in your area. You can read more about what is at stake here.
A New York JAG Lawyer That Will Fight For You
This is not the time for you to take a chance with an average defense lawyer. You need someone who knows the ins and outs of the military law, as well as civilian law. This is not the time for you to go with the cheapest possible lawyer. You need a JAG lawyer who is going to give you the best defense possible. While you might think that you cannot afford it, you surely cannot afford a conviction. You will lose more than just your freedom. You’ll come back to a life that has nothing to offer you. There won’t be a job or any money for you to live on and you will have problems finding either of them. It is better for you to invest that money in your future now than to have to pay the price for the rest of your life. You can start your search here.