Anyone who enlists in any branch of the United States Military undergoes intense physical training. This makes them strong, it makes them smart, and it teaches them how to take a life with a swift move. It’s not always easy for civilians to understand this level of violence, but it’s mandatory in the military. These are the men and women we trust to keep Americans safe and alive, and that sometimes means they’re required to take the lives of those who want to do just the opposite. Military personnel are strong and savvy, and they are taught to kill.
What happens with a military man or woman is charged and arrested for murder that has nothing to do with keeping the country safe? What happens if a man comes home from the military and gets into a bar fight that results in the death of someone else? It’s a slippery slope when someone is highly trained and skilled to take lives when necessary, and it means military murder charges are filed. Since military law and civilian law work differently, most people have no idea what happens next.
Murder in the Military
Murder in the military is quite simple. It’s defined as an instance in which the death of another person was premeditated. This means you walked into that bar that night looking for a fight with that person so you could take their life. You didn’t have any desire to go home until that person was dead. In other words, you planned ahead of time to kill someone.
By contacting a military attorney, we can help you figure out what happened and prove you didn’t murder anyone. The court martial must prove you had every intent on taking someone’s life when the death occurred, and it’s our job to prove you did not. We can, if possible, have your charges either dropped or reduced to manslaughter.
Sometimes there are reasons you take a life without intending to take a life. You don’t want to go to jail when an accident happens, and that’s why we work with numerous defenses.
Self-Defense – If the deceased party was threatening you or harming you in any way and you were merely defending yourself, you can claim it was self-defense. For example, you went into a bar for some drinks with friends upon returning home and another man slammed a bottle over your head before punching you and then attacking you with the help of his friends. You didn’t do anything but defend yourself when you punched him back and it killed him.
Lack of Intent – If you can prove you did not intend to kill anyone, you can have murder charges dropped to manslaughter. For example, if you went into a bar to have a drink and a fight erupted, you didn’t mean to kill anyone when you were fighting back and trying to escape the madhouse.
Negligence – This is not an ideal defense, but it’s a better solution than murder. This might be something you can claim if you were guilty of drinking and driving and killed someone in an accident. You didn’t intend to harm anyone, but you did make a careless mistake that cost someone their life. You’ll be found guilty, but you won’t be found guilty of murder.
Calling an attorney is the best thing you can do if you’re in the military and have been charged with murder. The worst thing you can do is work on the case without proper representation or attempt to represent yourself. You need the help of an attorney who knows not only the law but military law. It’s not the same as the law for everyone else, and this is when hiring a military attorney is most useful.
The decision a court martial comes to could affect the rest of your life, your ability to get a job, and even your ability to stay a member of the military. This is not the time to try and save yourself. You put your life on the line for us, and we want to repay you by trying to make sure you are not charged with murder.