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USMC Civilian Defense

Formidable USMC Civilian Defense Lawyer

If you are pending court-martial charges, Marine, make no mistake.  You are now in a battle on a different front.  You are facing the possibility of length of confinement, punitive discharge, loss of pay, and loss of paygrade (if you are enlisted).  You could lose the very rights and privileges you have defended as a Marine.  A bad outcome at a court-martial can end your career - if you let it.

Thankfully, you are entitled to an attorney to help you defend yourself against the charges brought against you.  And while you have the right to an appointed attorney provided by the Marine Corps, you are entitled to hire an experienced civilian defense attorney to advocate for you.  Unlike an appointed attorney, your civilian counsel will have the time and resources to focus on you and the outcome of your case.  To learn how a civilian defense attorney can help protect your rights, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain today.

The Value of Having an Experienced Civilian Defense Counsel on Your Side

While you should exercise your right to have an active duty attorney appointed in your case, you will always benefit from having a good, experienced civilian military law attorney on your team.  When you are facing a court-martial in the USMC, there is no better advocate than Attorney Patrick J McLain.

Patrick J. McLain is not just a civilian defense attorney.  Patrick is a former military judge, and he has over thirty years of military justice experience.  He has fought for clients all over the country and the world.  Thanks to his years of experience, he is uniquely situated to understand how the charges you are currently facing affect your life, your career, and your freedom - and how to win.

To learn more about having someone fight for you when the government has gone after you, contact Attorney Patrick J. McLain today at (888) 606-3385.

Where We Work

  • MCAS Yuma
  • 29 Palms Marine Base
  • Camp Pendleton
  • MCB Camp Schwab
  • MCAS Miramar
  • MCLB Barstow
  • MCRD San Diego
  • Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany
  • Marine Corps Base Hawaii
  • Camp Lejeune
  • MCAS Cherry Point
  • MCAS New River
  • MCAS Beaufort
  • MCRD Parris Island
  • Camp Allen
  • Myer - Henderson Hall
  • MCB Quantico
  • Robertson Barracks
  • CATC Camp Fuji
  • MCAS Futenma
  • MCAS Iwakuni
  • MCB Camp Courtney
  • MCB Camp Foster
  • MCB Camp Hansen
  • MCB Camp Kinser
  • MCB Camp Lester
  • Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center

Your Rights During Court-Martial 

You have rights guaranteed to you by both the United States Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  If you are accused of a crime and face trial by court-martial, you will have the same protections afforded to civilian defendants in criminal trials.  However, you have additional rights that do not exist in the civilian criminal justice system.

Like civilian trials, you have certain rights under the Constitution:

  • 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.

But you also have rights to receiving the evidence against you (discovery), funding for witnesses and experts to testify for you (production), and preventing some statements by you from being offered as evidence (Article 31b UCMJ), that go above and beyond those guaranteed in the civilian justice system.  Further, civilians who are defendants in a criminal case are only entitled to an appointed attorney if they cannot afford to hire one on their own.  In court-martial proceedings, you are entitled to an appointed active duty attorney regardless of your financial status.  This attorney then works with your hired civilian defense counsel to allow you to have a team working for you.  Your choice of a military defense attorney is critical and can be a major factor on how your case turns out, conviction or acquittal.

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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 USMC Court-Martial Conviction

There are also collateral consequences to a court-martial conviction. In most cases, a court-martial conviction will be treated as a criminal conviction by civilian authorities, and that conviction goes on your permanent record.  If the state you call home considers your court-martial charge a felony conviction under state law, you could lose a number of rights and privileges.  Every state treats court-martial differently, and it is important to discuss your options with an attorney to better understand your rights.

Effect on Housing and Employment

If you are convicted of a crime that your state recognized as a felony, you can face the same difficulties in everyday life that a convicted felon would.

The result of your background check could prevent you from good employment, whether with the government or in the private sector, and hamper your ability to find decent housing.  A court-martial conviction can affect everything from your credit rating to your ability to hold a security clearance to your ability to obtain a license in many professions.  It is important to run through all these issues with your attorney.  

Forced Bonus and Education Funding Recoupment

One collateral consequence unique to military life is the possibility of having to repay certain bonuses and payments for your education upon your conviction.  For many, receiving a bonus for enlisting, re-enlisting, or extending as an officer was a huge incentive, and already spent!  If you are found guilty at a court-martial, you will probably be required to pay back the bonuses and education expenses you have received from the Marine Corps.  In some cases, this could result in you owing the Marine Corps hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Loss of Rights

If the state that you live in considers the crime you are convicted of a felony, you will face the loss of certain constitutional rights in the private sector.  The first is that you will lose your right to vote.  You could also lose your right to possess a firearm.  While there is a process for petitioning to have these rights restored, there is no guarantee that you will ever get these rights back if you lose them.


    "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.
    "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.
    "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 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.
    "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 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
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