Military deserter

What Happens to Military Deserters?

Failing to report for military duty is a serious offense carrying severe penalties up to and including capital punishment (the death penalty) for desertion during wartime. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers three charges relating to failure to report for duty—desertion, absence without leave (AWOL), and missing movement. Being absent without leave for … Read more

Marine Corps

Settlement to Review Thousands of Navy and Marine Corps Discharges

Military service members often experience more than their fair share of trauma while serving their country. Unfortunately, the resulting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), and other behavioral and mental health conditions can lead to misconduct that garners wrongful military discharges. This is the argument Iraq War veteran Tyson … Read more

Close up of a hand of a military man writing or signing a document on a desk in the military academy

What is the Most Common Type of Military Discipline?

All military service members are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Specific crimes and their corresponding punishments are defined in the 146 articles of the UCMJ. Notably, the articles also provide procedural protections for members, including the right to a military defense attorney and the option to appeal courts-martial convictions. Military Crime … Read more

Signing a plea agreement.

Can Military Members Take a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement, also called a plea bargain or pretrial agreement, is when a defendant agrees to plead guilty to some or all the charges in exchange for a lesser punishment. This may include lowering the charge to something less severe or reducing the sentence. Plea agreements also sometimes require the defendant to testify against … Read more

Bronze Eagle in front of American Flag

How Does Pretrial Confinement Work for Military Members?

When a person is charged with a crime, the judge may order pretrial confinement. The military version of pretrial confinement shares some similarities to civilian rules, but there are some notable differences. By understanding how pretrial confinement works for military members, you’ll know what to expect if this has been imposed on you. How Pretrial … Read more

Navy SEAL trident rests atop a folded American flag in remembrance of the brotherhood

Judge Rules in Favor of Navy Seals Challenging COVID Vaccine

Following FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in August 2021, President Joe Biden asked the Department of Defense (DoD) to explore adding it to the list of required vaccinations for service members. It wasn’t long before the military began mandating the COVID vaccine. In fact, the Navy set a deadline for all sailors to … Read more

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Unprecedented Unaminous Verdict Order Enacted in Military Court during Sexual Assult Trial

An army judge rules to require a unanimous guilty verdict during a sexual assault case, sparking discussion of requiring unanimous verdicts in military court. Military and civilian court cases operate under different sets of laws, processes, and sentencings. These differences include court proceedings and regulations where military courts do not always align with the standard … Read more

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Can Military Members Face Double Jeopardy?

Military service members have different rights than civilians. Still, they are protected under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, which states: “No person shall…be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” This means no one can be charged more than once for the same crime. However, … Read more

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Why Is Adultery a Crime in the Military?

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) defines a long list of expectations, rules, and regulations regarding the conduct and duty of U.S. military service members. In many cases, the prohibited behaviors outlined in the UCMJ align with civilian law. For instance, crimes such as rape, drug use, and drunken operation of a vehicle are … Read more

South Korean Army Soldier Using Smartphones.

Do Military Members Have First Amendment Rights?

U.S. military service members have always operated under different rules than civilians. The military’s special system of laws—known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)—employs its own regulations for prosecuting and punishing violators, which often includes a court-martial. Many military crimes are not punishable under civilian law, and the rights of military service members … Read more


Joseph L. Jordan: Military Defense Attorney with a Global Perspective

Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, is based out of Killeen, Texas, with a strong presence at Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood). Even so, our military defense attorneys represent brave men and women from all five branches of the military, no matter where they’re stationed around the world. So whether you’re a Soldier, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, … Read more

Judge ruling on UCMJ.

Can You be Charged Under the UCMJ After Discharge?

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) has defined and punished military crimes since its inception in 1950. It’s usually reserved for charging active-duty service members, but the code also allows certain retirees to be court-martialed. Now, certain legal cases are challenging the longstanding rules, which could have significant ramifications for military veterans. Who Does … Read more

Photo of military discharge.

What are the Different Types of Military Discharge?

Most people are familiar with the two main types of military discharges—honorable and dishonorable—but there are numerous others as well. Most discharges are administrative, while others are punitive, related to medical conditions, or for the government’s convenience. Understanding the nature of your specific discharge can help you understand how it might complicate your ability to … Read more

Photo of a court room.

What are the Differences in Military and Civilian Court Cases?

Are you a military service member who has been accused of committing a crime? While certain activities are illegal under both martial and civilian law, the military has a different set of codes, processes, and penalties for dealing with crimes. If you’re facing a military trial, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the differences in … Read more

Person being interrogated.

What are Your Rights When Investigated by CID or NCIS?

Have you been contacted by CID, NCIS, or another military investigative organization? As soon as you learn you are being investigated for a crime while serving in the military, you should contact an attorney to defend your rights and guide you through the legal process. In the meantime, learn more about your rights as a … Read more

Nurse vaccinates a soldier with COVID-19 vaccine. Prevention and immunization from coronavirus infection

Do Military Personnel Need to Follow the COVID Vaccination Order?

Our brave men and women in uniform have dedicated themselves to protecting the country against grave threats to national defense. The question on everyone’s minds is whether military personnel should be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine to guard against a microscopic threat to their personal health. And once a full mandate is in place, … Read more

Arrested male crumpling contract paper, refusing to cooperate with investigator

An Officer’s Guide to AR 15-6 Investigations

Investigating officers are appointed under the provisions of Army Regulation (AR) 15-6 to conduct timely, thorough, and legally sound inquiries. AR 15-6 investigations are specifically designed to be informal, though some provisions are also applicable to formal investigations. For the purposes of this guide, only informal investigations will be discussed. Who Can Serve as an … Read more

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Recommended Changes to Sexual Assault Prosecutions for 2023

The military justice system isn’t set up to effectively handle sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and other sensitive cases. That’s why an Independent Review Commission (IRC) out of the Pentagon has recommended 28 main changes and 54 sub-recommendations to fix the way sexual assault and related crimes are prosecuted in the military. While the … Read more


Facing Court-Martial after Dealing with CPS

The Killeen Daily Herald has reported the story of Staff Sgt. Sandy Marquis, who is now facing a court-martial over an old Child Protective Services (CPS) case.  The article gives the years-long background to the current case and explains that Marquis believes she is being targeted for reporting instances of sexual misconduct to the authorities … Read more

Military Mission at twilight

What Could Passing the Military Sexual Assault Reform Bill Mean for the Accused?

After eight years of attempting to pass a military sexual assault reform bill, it appears the legislation finally has enough support to pass in the Senate. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) co-authored the bill, which is backed by 61 senators on both sides of the aisle. This level of support means … Read more

Cropped shot of a frightened young woman being targeted by a thief

Breaking Down Article 134 – Kidnapping

Does the military suspect you of seizing and confining someone against their will? Perhaps law enforcement has even insinuated that they have all the evidence they need to put you behind bars. If you’re being accused of kidnapping under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you need experienced legal representation to … Read more

Bronze Eagle in front of American Flag

Navigating the Types of Court Martial

If you’re a service member in the US Armed Forces, chances are you’re familiar with the term “court martial.” This is the military’s court of law, which hears cases against service members charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The three types of courts martial—summary court martial, special court martial, and general … Read more

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What is an Article 119 Charge?

Article 119 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is one of the most violent crimes a person can be charged with while serving in the military. If you have been accused of manslaughter, this means the prosecution has already had time to gather evidence and testimony supporting their claims. Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney … Read more

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Defending Against Accusations of Self-Harm

It is not surprising that many military troops return from lengthy overseas deployments with mental health challenges, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental illnesses are strongly linked to suicidal behavior and can predicate the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide attempts. According to the University of Massachusetts Law Review released in 2014, … Read more

Unrecognizable military soldier gestures in frustration while describing his physical or mental condition with an unrecognizable doctor.

What a Mental Health Discharge Upgrade for Vets Means for Active Members

In April 2017, Iraq War veteran Stephen Kennedy filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of about 50,000 soldiers. The settlement class includes members and former members of the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and who: Were less-than-honorably discharged; Have not received a discharge upgrade; and … Read more

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Why You Need a UCMJ Lawyer

Have you been accused of a crime while serving in the military? You may seek representation from a free UCMJ lawyer if your case is referred to a general court martial or special court martial. Knowing this, why would you seek other legal representation on your own? There are plenty of reasons to secure the … Read more

A police officer finds drugs during the search of drug dealers

Understanding Article 112a

Drug offenses in the military fall under Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). If you have been accused of dealing, distributing, or abusing drugs, it’s important to understand what punishments you may be facing. With a knowledgeable military lawyer by your side, you’ll have what you need to defend yourself against … Read more

Handcuffed man standing in courtroom

What Constitutes a Conspiracy Charge?

Article 81 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers the topic of conspiracy. If you have been accused of this crime, it’s important to understand what constitutes a conspiracy charge so you can begin building your defense. Elements of Conspiracy Conspiracy is a serious crime with potentially long-term ramifications. The UCMJ recognizes two … Read more

Judge holding gavel in courtroom

Breaking Down “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”

When a legal case is brought forward, the outcome of that case depends on the prosecution’s ability to prove the defendant’s guilt. Different standards of proof may apply, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of legal action taking place. The three primary standards of proof include preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence, … Read more

Young man

Why Service Members Should Stay Silent When Arrested

If you have been arrested while serving in the Armed Forces, your military career and livelihood may be on the line. How well you know your rights and even how you conduct yourself immediately following your arrest could greatly impact how your case plays out. That’s why you should know about your right to remain … Read more

Military Mission

The Lack of Convictable Evidence in Military Sexual Assault Cases

Sexual assault in the military has been a problem for years. The Pentagon recently announced 6,236 reports of sexual assault in 2019, up 3 percent from 6,053 in 2018. It is also estimated that only one in four sexually assaulted service members report the crime. At the same time, the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, … Read more

Statute of limitations (SOL) on a court desk.

Military Rape Cases Have No Statute of Limitations

On December 10, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that military rape cases occurring between 1986 and 2006 are no longer subject to a statute of limitations. This 20-year legal gray area has fluctuated between having and not having legal time limits for rape cases several times in recent years. What is a Statute of … Read more

Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood) Review

Reviewing the Report of the Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood) Independent Review Board Findings

Under the direction of the Secretary of the Army, the Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood) Independent Review Committee (FHIRC) recently conducted a comprehensive assessment of the “Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood) command climate and culture and its impact, if any, on the safety, welfare, and readiness of our soldiers and units.” The committee’s report focuses largely on … Read more

Military Justice

The Military Justice System: Innocent Until Proven Guilty

The Air Force made history this November when it charged Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley with sexual assault, making him the first active Air Force general ever to be charged with a military justice crime. He could also become the first Air Force general to face a court martial if the preliminary hearing, scheduled for … Read more

DUI Article 111

How a DUI Affects Your Military Career

Military service members often spend much of their days operating vehicles, aircraft, and vessels. They are expected to control these machines responsibly and safely. Failure to do so could result in a criminal charge. Drinking and driving—whether on base in a military craft or off base in a personal vehicle—is a violation of Article 111 … Read more

High Angle View Of Judge Gavel And

What to Expect: Military Legal Defense in Sexual Assault Cases

Rape and sexual assault charges can be serious and life-changing for anyone, especially if you’re in the military. You risk losing your career, ranking, allowances, and pay if you are convicted. You may even have to register as a sex offender or end up in prison. Unlike civilians who are tried in civilian court, on-duty … Read more

US ARMY Corporal rank patch,  special forces tab, flag patch and dog tag

Incidents at Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood)

2020 has been a year marked by bloodshed and heartache for military service members stationed at Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood) Army Base in the central Texas city of Killeen. A slew of homicides, suicides, fatal accidents, and criminal activities has left family members, friends, and residents of the base feeling shocked and baffled. Fort Cavazos … Read more

Unrecognizable police officer puts handcuffs on a man for drunk driving. The man is standing next to the car.

Understanding the MINOR Act

If a juvenile commits sexual assault against another minor on a military installation, who has the jurisdiction to prosecute? The federal government has exclusive legislative jurisdiction on many military installations because these are considered federal properties. As a result, local prosecutors lack the legal authority to apply state juvenile delinquency laws to minors living on … Read more

Decorative Scales of Justice with blurred National flag of different countries, concept of International Law and Order, focus on the scales

NATO SOFA Agreement: between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty regarding the Status of their Forces

Understanding the Foreign Military Investigation Process Overseas deployment can be an opportunity to sightsee while abroad. If you’re stationed in a friendly country, you may decide to take leave and travel for a bit. However, as soon as you step foot off the military installation, you could be subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign … Read more

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Understanding Manslaughter Charges

When serving on the front lines, military servicemen and women may face the difficult responsibility of killing enemy soldiers on the battlefield. This type of killing is lawful because it is done against a hostile force during a war. However, when done without legal justification or excuse, killing a fellow human being is against the … Read more

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FAQs About Special Court Martial

Have you been arrested for committing a crime while serving in the military? If so, you are subject to military law, also known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ. Depending on the severity of the allegations, you may now be facing a court martial. Don’t go it alone! With representation from an … Read more

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What are the Different Types of Administrative Investigations?

In the military, Commanding Officers and Generals are tasked with maintaining good order and discipline within their ranks. If a service member has allegedly participated in an unlawful incident or event, administrative investigations are a useful tool that commanders and Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers can use to discover the facts regarding the service member’s … Read more

A law book with a gavel - Military law

FAQs About Courts Martial

Have you or a loved one been accused of or charged with a crime while serving in the military? If so, you may now be facing a criminal hearing called a court martial. These proceedings are conducted under military law, also known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ. Because military law differs … Read more

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CBD in the Military

Have you noticed that hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD), are becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country? You can now find hemp products ranging from coffee additives and vaping liquids to supplements and candies to ointments and creams. Many product labels claim that CBD is a pain reliever and sleep aid, able to treat numerous ailments … Read more

Drug dealer under arrest confined with handcuffs and hands at his back, standing next to a wall. Focus on the handcuffs chain

What Will a Drug Charge Do to Your Military Career?

A drug charge is a serious offense for anyone, but if you’re in the military, the sentence may be especially harsh. After all, military service members are held to a high standard and may be punished severely if found guilty. If you recently tested positive for illegal drugs or have been implicated in the possession … Read more

A man being arrested and handcuffed by the military police. Law enforcement, detention, crime concept.

Understanding the Court Martial Process

If you are a military service member who has been accused of or arrested for a crime, you may now be facing a court martial. These criminal proceedings are reserved for members of the military. As such, military law applies, not the federal criminal code. While the two are similar-including the fact that the accused … Read more

Close up of mature army soldier writing a letter.

How Our Team Can Assist with a Discharge Upgrade

The general public is familiar with only two types of military discharges: Honorable and Dishonorable. However, there are many others, which may be punitive or administrative in nature, related to medical conditions, or for the convenience of the government. Your discharge may matter very little to a civilian employer, but your eligibility for state and … Read more


Could the Former Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Face Charges?

The Navy’s top admiral, Mike Gilday, will soon decide the fate of Navy Captain Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Then-acting Navy Secretary, Thomas Modly, fired Crozier on April 2 after Crozier emailed more than 20 people outside his chain of command explaining the dire situation regarding his … Read more


Could the Former Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Face Charges?

The Navy’s top admiral, Mike Gilday, will soon decide the fate of Navy Captain Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Then-acting Navy Secretary, Thomas Modly, fired Crozier on April 2 after Crozier emailed more than 20 people outside his chain of command explaining the dire situation regarding his … Read more

Court room with American flag in the corner

Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts Are Still Allowed in Courts-Martial Cases

Americans place a strong emphasis on their constitutional rights and the importance of a fair legal system. In 48 states and federal court, the vote from a single juror to acquit a defendant is enough to prevent a conviction. But in Louisiana and Oregon, people have been punished on a 10-to-2 or 11-to-1 verdict since … Read more