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Defense Lawyer For Court-Martial COURT-MARTIAL
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Civilian Court-Martial Defense Attorney

Defense for Court-Martial Summons, Article 32 Investigation Hearings & Trials

Did you recently receive an official Article 32 Investigation Hearing summons? Were you charged with a crime and served a notice of general, summary, or special court-martial? Our military law firm handles court-martial cases, defending service men and women across Texas, California, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, and the USA. Our military lawyers defend people deployed or stationed overseas globally including middle east locations like Afghanistan and Iraq; locations in Asia like Japan and South Korea; and in Europe.

Don't Get Pushed Into a Plea Deal if You Are Not Guilty!

Your chain of command or others may all be putting pressure on you to accept a plea bargain in a court-martial proceeding. It may even make sense for some servicemen and servicewomen who want out and don't care about the lifelong consequences of a court-martial conviction. I urge you to contact a court-martial lawyer who can defend you aggressively. I have decades of experience defending clients facing courts martial, in addition to experience as a Court-Martial Judge Advocate and member of the US Marine Corps.

Our clients are hard chargers — they are willing to fight for their military careers and their futures in civilian life. If you prefer, you can also send us an email online and we will get back to you asap.

 If you are facing court-martial charges and you know you need an independent advocate with the experience, skill, and dedication to fight by your side, call the office of attorney Patrick J. McLain today at (888) 606-3385 now to schedule an initial consultation.

Cases Eligible for Court-Martial

In general, just about any violation of UCMJ code, or allegation thereof, is eligible for prosecution via court martial. Some of the charges heard in a court martial that you will need a defense attorney for are below.

  • Fraud and Larceny: fraud and larceny charges in the military include robbery, theft of government property, theft by deceit, conspiracy to defraud the military, etc.
  • Sex Offenses: rape, sexual assault, solicitation, child pornography, etc.
  • Drug Crimes: drug charges defended in court martial include possession, distribution or sale of marijuana, meth, cocaine or other illegal substances as well as refusing or failing mandatory urinalysis (UA) testing
  • Conduct Offenses: insubordination,

Court-Martial Investigations

Like in any criminal trial, the court-martial process begins with an investigation of the accused to gather evidence. The military member's commander typically conducts these investigations. They can be as simple as reviewing a report or extensive as working with law enforcement agencies to uncover case information.

Once the investigation is complete, the commander may decide to prefer charges, which ultimately leads to a court-martial. In the preferral stage, the commander will sign under oath an official charge sheet.

One of three levels of court-martial then handles the crime:

  • Summary: handles misdemeanor offenses
  • Special: handles crimes warranting no more than a bad-content discharge
  • General court-martial: handles serious criminal charges, such as sexual offenses

Article 32 Investigations

If a military criminal case is referred to a general court-martial, a hearing, as outlined in Article 32 of the UCMJ, precedes the actual trial. This hearing is referred to as an Article 32 investigation. During the hearing, the investigating officer and the accused's lawyer can ask questions and cross-examine witnesses in order to get more information before the actual trial starts. We can represent clients during this hearing and sensitive discovery phase. You will be given a choice of whether to waive your Article 32 rights. Do not waive your Article 32 rights, but make sure you have a civilian military lawyer like Patrick McLain on your side so that the government cannot use unfair or unreliable evidence against you.

Experienced Court-Martial Defense

Military criminal attorney Patrick J. McLain has skillfully handled hundreds of officer misconduct court-martial, positive UAs, drug charges, and court-martial appeal cases in his career. Our commitment is to fight with honor for your acquittal and to minimize the negative consequences to your future in all types of summary, special and general courts martial defense cases.

A Court-Martial Panel

The next stage is the selection of the court-martial panel, or jury. The accused and his or her attorney may select members to be on the court-martial panel.

Court-Martial Pleas

The accused may decide to enter a plea in agreement to a lesser offense, or enter a guilty plea for some of the charges. Entering a plea must be voluntary and done in good faith. A service member is not eligible to enter a plea in a capital offense case.

Convictions and Review

If a plea is not entered and the military trial results in a conviction, a convening authority reviews the result. In many cases involving a general court-martial the Service Judge Advocate General reviews the case. The Army Court of Appeals or a similar body will review the case if the conviction results in a dishonorable discharge or more than one year in confinement. The reviewing bodies will determine if the case was conducted in good order and make sure the punishment is appropriate for the crime.

Representing All Members of the Uniformed Services & Employees of Federal Executive Agencies


    "I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law."

    I cannot recommend Patrick highly enough. I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law. Had I proceeded on my own, I would have lost, for the process was simply too complex. When working with Patrick, there was never a time when I felt left in the dark on my case, nor a time when his assessments and instructions were unclear. Should you be in any difficult circumstance, Patrick will work his tail off for you and keep you clearly informed on the status of your case. Again, I highly recommend the services of Patrick McLain.

    - Dan C.
    "I was entirely impressed with mclain’s work on my case."

    I called McLain when the military charged me with some B.S., McLain immediately jumped into action and made things happen in my favor. Don't do it alone … your military chain of command will try to make you think that your cooperation will help you, it will NOT. I was entirely impressed with McLain's work on my 

    - Chris C.
    "He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!"

    My husband hired Patrick for his summary court martial and Patrick and his team were there every step of the way. They communicated everything they needed and were even there when either me or my husband had any questions. He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!

    - Angela
    "Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life."

    It took some time to make it happen, but it did just like Patrick said, he is a hard charging guy that can help you get what you deserve, Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life.

    - Chip
    "Amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law."

    I have found my lawyer Patrick McLain, to be honest, right to the point, consistently giving me realistic outcomes through the whole process of my case. He's definitely no nonsense, cut to the chase. As a client…I've never been left hanging; he makes sure all my correspondence is returned. He's got amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law. He stands behind his words and expects the same in return. I say my blessings every day for him taking my case. With him as my attorney, I've achieved best possible outcomes.

    - Gina F.
    "Amazing lawyer who fights for you!"
    A tremendous lawyer in a time of need. After being accused of conduct unbecoming an officer for personal conduct while off duty, I hired Mr. McLain to help me through the process. He diligently worked behind the scenes to make sure my voice was being heard. Despite my inability to listen to his direction early on, Mr. Mclain was patient and continued to fight on my behalf. Mr. McLain helped me win at a board of inquiry with no other disciplinary action. A sincere man, who is dedicated to his clients. Would strongly recommend and is a great asset to military clients everywhere.
    - Former Client
    "Great lawyer and better person"
    Mr. McLain helped me through the most difficult experience in my life. As a Marine Officer facing an upcoming board of inquiry for conduct issues, I was fearful of losing a career that I deeply cherished. Mr. McLain not only gave me perfect legal advice throughout the process, but also reached out many times to see how I was doing on a personal level. A great lawyer and better person, Mr. McLain helped me become successful in my board of inquiry and keep moving forward in my career. His knowledge and experience are top notch, and his military experience and personal qualities make him the best lawyer out there to defend military personnel. Would highly recommend to anyone.
    - Jonathan
    "Always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects."

    He completely cared, took my case personally, always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects. I give him the highest rating possible and totally recommend him to anyone who is 

    - Mike

The Court-Martial Process

Are you a service member accused of violations under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice Act (UCMJ)? You will be required to attend a special military criminal trial called a court-martial. Court-Martial are serious and could end your military career as well as have significant impacts on your civilian life after you leave the military. It is important to have an experienced military law attorney who can protect your interests and your future.

Patrick J. McLain is a civilian military attorney with extensive experience defending military personnel against UCMJ violations. As a former marine and retired court-martial judge, he understands the court-martial process and the steps required to obtain a successful outcome. If you are facing a court-martial, contact our Dallas law office to schedule an initial consultation.

Three Types of Court-Martial in All Branches of the Military

There are three types of court-martial in every branch of the military. Each are comprised of a different combination of members, each distinguished by the severity of the case they try.

The three main types of court-martial according to UCMJ Code 816 Article 16 court-martial classified include:

  1. General Court-Martial
  2. Special Court-Martial
  3. Summary Court-Martial
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Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled


  • Plea Deal Accepted

    Navy Chief Avoids Both a Special Court-Martial and an Other-Than-Honorable Discharge

  • Charges Dismissed

    Navy Commander Saves Her Career at a Board of Inquiry

  • Charges Dismissed

    Navy Commander Wins Case Before Board of Inquiry

  • Plea Deal Accepted

    Navy Senior Chief Saves Retirement in a “To Catch a Predator” Case

  • Case Dismissed

    Rape Case Against US Air Force Staff Sergeant

  • Client Acquitted

    Army First Lieutenant Avoids Sex Offense Convictions and Confinement

Contact an Experienced Court-Martial Lawyer

For more information regarding the court-martial process, please contact our military law office to speak with experienced lawyer Patrick J. McLain.

In serving your country, you are held to a higher standard of ethics than many civilians. You deserve the same high standard on your defense team. As a retired military law judge, court-martial defense attorney Patrick J. McLain understands the system and what is necessary to acquit individuals facing court-martial charges.

To schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and dedicated defense lawyer for court-martial, contact Patrick J. McLain today.

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Proudly Serving All 6 Branches of the Military Worldwide PUT EXPERIENCE ON YOUR SIDE


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