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Navy Civilian Defense

Experienced Civilian Defense Lawyer in Navy Court-Martial

Each year, there are thousands of reports of alleged criminal conduct by members of the Navy.   According to the Department of the Navy, the overall number of crimes reported has held steady in recent years, with certain crimes like sexual assault, however, seeing a notable increase.

In the United States Navy, the most serious allegations of criminal conduct result in court-martial proceedings.  If you are facing a Navy court-martial, you risk of losing your career, your freedom, and everything that you worked hard to earn.  You be at risk of confinement, and a conviction could also cost you forfeiture of pay, loss of paygrade, and even discharge.  

The good news is that not every court-martial ends in a conviction, especially if you fight hard and smart, with experienced and effective defense counsel at your side.  You are always entitled to a defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges in the Navy.  While the military will appoint you an attorney free of charge regardless of your financial situation, you have the right to hire an attorney at your own cost.

If you are going to hire an attorney to lead your defense team, you want a civilian defense counsel who has the experience and track record for success.  Some of the things you have on the line are priceless, so you do not want to conduct one of the most significant battles in your life on the cheap.  To learn more about how a civilian defense counsel can help you in your Navy court-martial proceedings, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain today.

How a Private Defense Attorney Can Help You During a Court-Martial

Patrick J. McLain is a civilian defense attorney who focuses his practice on defending the rights of accused service members. His roots in the military are strong -- he is a retired Marine Corps officer and former Marine Corps military judge.  

To discuss your case with an attorney dedicated to advocating for active duty and reserve service members, contact Attorney Patrick J. McLain today.  

Where We Work

  • Balboa Naval Hospital
  • Moffett Field
  • NAB Coronado
  • NAF El Centro
  • NAS Lemoore
  • NAS North Island
  • NAS Point Mugu
  • Naval Base San Diego
  • Naval Postgraduate School
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  • NAWS China Lake
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  • NSC Broadway Compound San Diego
  • Port Hueneme Naval Base
  • NSB New London
  • Naval District Washington
  • NAS Jacksonville
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  • NAS Whiting Field
  • NSA Orlando
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  • Kings Bay Naval Base
  • Guam Naval Base
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Great Lakes Naval Base
  • NSA Crane
  • NAS JRB New Orleans
  • NAS Patuxent River
  • Naval Academy
  • NSF Indian Head
  • Walter Reed NMMC-Bethesda Naval Hospital
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
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  • Lakehurst Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
  • Naval Weapons Station Earle
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  • NSA Saratoga Springs
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  • Naval Station Newport
  • NWS Charleston
  • NSA Mid-South
  • NAS Corpus Christi
  • NAS JRB Fort Worth
  • NAS Kingsville
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  • Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
  • Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
  • Naval Station Norfolk
  • Norfolk Naval Shipyard
  • NSA Northwest Annex
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  • SCSC Wallops Island
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  • Naval Base Kitsap
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  • NIOC Sugar Grove
  • NSA Bahrain
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  • Camp Lemonnier
  • NS Rota
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  • NSA Naples
  • Camp Shields
  • NAF Atsugi
  • Sasebo Naval Base
  • White Beach Naval Facility
  • Yokosuka Naval Base
  • COMFLEACTS Chinhae
  • NRC Singapore

Your Rights During Navy Court-Martial

As an accused in a court-martial in the United States Navy, you are protected by the same legal rights that civilians enjoy.  You enjoy the same protections under the United States Constitution as anyone charged with a crime in an American civilian court.  Here are a few of the protections you share with defendants in a civilian proceeding:

  • The right to against self-incrimination
  • The right to face your accuser
  • The right to call witnesses
  • Presumption of your innocence
  • Protection against unlawful search and seizure
  • Right to a fair and speedy trial, and
  • Protection against double jeopardy.

There are additional rights that you will enjoy not available to defendants in a civilian trial.   You have the right to access to evidence (discovery), the right to have funding to bring witnesses and experts to help you in trial (production), and the right to keep certain statements made by you out of evidence (Article 31b UCMJ) that are greater than similar rights in a civilian criminal case.

In a civilian court, the state will only provide a defense attorney to defendants who cannot afford one.  Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you are entitled to an appointed attorney at your court-martial regardless of your income.  You also have the right to hire a civilian defense counsel to lead your team and work with that active duty military defense counsel.  Your choice of an attorney is an important one and could be the deciding factor in the outcome of your case - acquittal or conviction.  

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You Need a Civilian Military Lawyer


  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
  • Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled
  • Our Firm is Top-Rated & Award-Winning
  • Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps

The Collateral Consequences of a Navy Court-Martial Conviction

Besides the penalties permitted by the UCMJ, there are also collateral consequences of a conviction that may last long after your adjudged sentence has been completed.

A conviction by court-martial could result in a criminal conviction on your permanent record.  Court-Martial convictions can result in a felony conviction on your record for the rest of your life, depending on the laws of the state where you live.  An experienced military justice attorney can give you a better understanding of how a conviction might affect you in the future.  Below, we discuss a few of the collateral consequences you may encounter.

Housing and Employment

If your court-martial conviction results in a criminal conviction, you may find it difficult to obtain housing or employment in the future. Most employers and landlords utilize criminal background checks during the vetting process.  A conviction on your record could cost you a job or the opportunity to buy or rent a home.

Forfeiture of Bonus

Upon a conviction, you may be required to pay back certain bonuses or education benefits that you have received. For example, if you are convicted, you may be required to pay back any enlistment or re-enlistment bonuses you may have received.  Education benefits can often add up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which would make for a major financial hardship for you should you have to repay those benefits to the government.  

Loss of Rights

If your conviction is treated as a felony, you will lose other rights, including the right to vote and the right to own firearms.  While there may be a path to have these rights restored eventually, there is no guarantee they will ever be returned to you.


    "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.
    "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
    "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
    "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
    "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.
    "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
    "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.
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