Protecting those who protect us through military law experience.
Military members accused of criminal offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) require experienced representation in all aspects of a uniquely complex criminal and administrative legal system. As a former JAG, Doug Hansen offers over a decade of litigation experience in military matters. He has litigated a wide variety of criminal offenses as either a JAG or civilian attorney. This allows him to have a unique perspective to protect you in either jurisdiction.
As a JAG, he advised hundreds of commanders and military members regarding criminal and administrative matters. Paladin Law is available for worldwide representation and consultations are available through a virtual platform. We will travel and come to you when needed the most.
Service members are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The UCMJ applies to service members worldwide. The UCMJ is a federal law explicitly enacted by congress to apply to active-duty service members and National Guard and Reserve members while on active orders. An experienced attorney is highly recommended when you are charged with a military criminal offense. Paladin Law represents service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in all aspects of litigation, including the investigation, initial charges, Article 32 Preliminary Hearing, motions practice, the criminal trial, and appellate review. We represent service members against several UCMJ criminal allegations, including:
- Absent Without Leave (AWOL)
- Computer Crimes
- Dereliction of Duty
- Drug Crimes
- Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation
- Fraternization and Adultery
- Fraud and Larceny (i.e., Housing Allowance)
Serious consequences can result when service members face administrative action. It is essential to have experienced legal representation during all phases of any administrative action by the government. Paladin Law represents military members in the following matters:
- Enlisted and Officer Discharges
- Nonjudicial Punishment (Article 15 of the UCMJ)
- Adverse Performance Evaluations
- Inspector General (IG) Investigations
- Equal Opportunity (EO) Investigations
- Grade Determination
- Security Clearance Determination and Denials
- Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) Claims
Discharge/Separations/Boards of Inquiry
Military members are entitled to due process before they can be discharged from military service. Several factors, including the length of service and the rank of the individual, determine the amount of due process required. Service members can be discharged for any of the following reasons:
- Criminal Conduct under the UCMJ
- Drug Abuse
- Pattern of Minor Misconduct
- Poor Duty Performance
- Failure to Meet Standards
- Medical Discharge
Nonjudicial Punishment/Article 15
Article 15 of the UCMJ gives military commanders the authority to accuse a military member of a criminal offense in a manner that will not result in a criminal conviction. Commanders can resolve allegations of minor misconduct against a military member without resorting to a court-martial.
After the commander offers an Article 15, the military member can accept or decline the Article 15. This is essentially a choice of forum. The member can accept the Article 15 and allow the commander to determine guilt or innocence without the threat of a conviction and confinement in prison. Alternatively, the military member can elect to decline the Article 15 and request the alleged misconduct be handled with a military court-martial, where there is a possibility for a federal criminal conviction and confinement in prison. The military member makes this decision.
Service members should not make this decision without discussing the facts and circumstances with an experienced lawyer. An Article 15 can seriously affect the service member’s ability to promote or retire. It can result in demotion action and effectively end the career of any military member, regardless of rank or years in service. Paladin Law can represent you in all aspects of an Article 15, including the initial offer, the member’s decision, the written response, the personal presentation, and the appeal process.
Reprimands, Investigations, Performance Evaluations, and Grade Determinations
The military performs investigations and issues various levels of reprimands to service members for alleged misconduct. These reprimands impact promotion eligibility and can result in demotion action or other significant consequences. Administrative action can result in military discharge if not appropriately addressed by the military member. Paladin Law assists with the entire process to ensure the best possible outcome for the military member and to avoid the devastating consequences to their military career.
The Board of Corrections for Military Records (BCMR)
The BCMR can prevent injustices from improper information and documentation in a military record. There is a strict 3-year time limit to file from the date of the injury. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance correcting your military records. The BCMR can assist with the following corrections:
- Discharge Characterization
- Change in Reason for Separation
- Reinstatement to Service
- Disability Evaluation System
- Name or Gender Change
- Awards and Medals
- Performance Evaluations
- Any Injustice that needs correction
Having an attorney who has served in the military can provide a unique perspective and understanding of military culture and procedures, which can be invaluable when navigating military criminal or legal issues. They can provide compassionate representation while fighting for your rights and interests. Contact Paladin Law today.