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Military

Civilian Charges

If you were arrested out in the civilian community in Hawaii, you are in need of immediate legal assistance. The way the military defense sections are organized, the uniformed defense counsel are prevented from representing you or even answering questions about the civilian criminal justice process. Not having an attorney to answer simple questions about what to expect in the civilian court system and the associated problems that may materialize in the service puts you at a great disadvantage. Making the wrong decision can have drastic and permanent effects. A simple misdemeanor conviction can force you out of the country if you are not a US citizen, result in you losing your security clearance and possibly getting separated from the service with an other than honorable characterization of service.

Criminal cases in the Hawaii civilian courts are frequently resolved with a guilty plea of some type and deferred adjudication or acceptance. A typical civilian attorney will push you in that direction without knowing how this can effect your military career. The Uniform Code of Military Justice treats this type of adjudication as a conviction for military purposes and subjects you to potential harm.

Having extensive knowledge of both the civilian and military systems, I can help you navigate the waters between the two and make sure that you do not take the easy way out in the state matter only to find yourself in even more trouble with the armed forces.

The Civilian Prosecuting Attorneys Office and the local military installation section will often make arrangements for the other jurisdiction to try the case and this can happen even after you have been arraigned in one court. If the civilian attorney you hire is not familiar with the military justice system you will find yourself in a distinct disadvantage if he is forced into defending you at a court-martial. Some attorneys' fee agreements will treat this type of dismissal or transferring the case so that the offense can be tried in the other jurisdiction as a completed action and will not represent you in the other jurisdiction without paying more money. An attorney that is unfamiliar with the military community and the military justice system can adversely effect your chance to win.

You need an experienced attorney who understands both systems and can effectively advocate your position in either forum. Email or Call me to see how I can help you: 235-3363.

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