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USAF Civilian Defense

Experienced USAF Lawyer

In the United States Air Force, you will find some of the most aggressive work in the field of military justice by both trial counsel (prosecutors) and ADCs (defense attorneys).  Some of the most interesting developments of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) have come from litigation by US Air Force appellate counsel (court-martial appeals attorneys) and civilian counsel before the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals and the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Every year, thousands of members of the Air Force face some type of disciplinary proceeding. According to statistics compiled by the Department of Defense, the Air Force conducts more court-martial, second in numbers only to the Army, and the Air Force is a smaller force in personnel.

In the Air Force, a court-martial is the most serious disciplinary action you can face.  A criminal proceeding, your court-martial could result in a conviction that will remain on your permanent record if found guilty.  The consequences of a conviction not only could cost you your career and your freedom; it will likely have an adverse effect upon your chance for future good employment.  

Punishments include confinement, as well as forfeitures of pay, loss of paygrade, or worse yet, a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge.  A court-martial conviction can mean the loss of retirement pay, including the loss of a medical retirement, if you have a case pending in the disability evaluation system, even if you have a disability rating from a physical evaluation board.

To be clear, facing a court-martial does not mean you will be convicted.  Far from it!  The Law Office of Patrick J McLain PLLC has won many acquittals at trials by court-martial.

You can and should fight the charges against you, and you should find an attorney to fight for you.  You can be defended by the military attorney who will be appointed for you, or you can hire a private defense attorney to represent you at your own cost, who will work with your active duty attorney to give you an even more powerful team.  There are many skilled appointed military attorneys, but you will represent just one part of a typically large caseload which includes many other military duties, as well.

As a former trial counsel, defense counsel, and military judge on active duty, Patrick J. McLain is very familiar with the challenges young military defense counsel have to give you the effective representation you need.  With an experienced civilian defense counsel, you can rest assured that your case will be treated as a priority.  

To discuss the benefits of hiring a civilian defense counsel at your Air Force court-martial, contact the Law Office of Attorney Patrick J. McLain right away at (888) 606-3385.

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Your Rights at Your Air Force Court-Martial 

At an Air Force court-martial, you are guaranteed certain rights by both the United States Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  The end result is that you enjoy all of the protections afforded during a civilian criminal trial, plus some additional rights guaranteed under the UCMJ that civilians do not have.

The rights you are guaranteed by the Constitution may be familiar to you. They include:

  • The right to avoid 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.

In addition to your constitutional rights described above, you will also have additional protections compared to a civilian trial.  One right is the assignment of an active duty attorney for your defense team.  Even more essential is your greater right to access to evidence (discovery), protection against use of your statements against you (Article 31b UCMJ), and your right to have witnesses and experts produced for your case at government expense.  These are all rights that, by and large, are denied a civilian in a criminal court.  

When you hire a civilian attorney, make sure that counsel knows these unique aspects of court-martial practice.  Experience counts.  Patrick J. McLain has been in the practice of military law for over thirty years.  

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WHY CHOOSE THE LAW OFFICE OF PATRICK J. MCLAIN?

  • 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

Collateral Consequences of a Court-Martial

The direct penalties prescribed under the UCMJ are only part of the potential consequences you may face in a court-martial proceeding.  There are also collateral consequences to you that will likely outlast any court-martial sentence.  That is why it is often wiser to plead Not Guilty and fight charges, since that may positively affect what sentence you may be facing.  

Some court-martial convictions are treated as felonies in the civilian world.  Every state views court-martial convictions under their own laws, but it is common for crimes that would be a felony under civilian law to be viewed as a felony when the conviction is in a military court.  A felony on your record can impact your life by making it difficult to get a job, maintain housing, own firearms, or vote.

Another consequence of a conviction is potentially being required to pay back any bonus money or educational benefits that you have received from the Air Force.  This could come well after bonus money has been spent, a collateral consequence that will put you in a major bind financially.  If you received financial aid to go to school from the Air Force, you will likely be ordered to pay that money back as well.  The end result is the possibility of suddenly owing the Air Force tens of thousands of dollars, in some cases over one hundred thousand dollars or more.  

How a Civilian Defense Counsel Can Help You During an Air Force Court-Martial

The consequences described above are serious, but you should seek to avoid a conviction entirely.  Patrick J. McLain is a civilian defense attorney who has been fighting for military personnel for over thirty years.  A former Marine Corps military judge, Patrick J. McLain has the skills and knowledge to provide you with a strong defense.  

Contact military defense lawyer Patrick J. McLain today for a free phone consultation.

OUR CLIENTS SAY IT BEST

    "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
    "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.
    "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
    "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.
    "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
    "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
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