Military Criminal Defense Attorney in Tacoma
The basis for a separate criminal justice system for the military comes from Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution which granted Congress the power to “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” Accordingly, in 1950, Congress enacted the Uniform Code for Military Justice or UCMJ.
This code has gone through significant revisions over the years and it is important for a Tacoma military justice practitioner to be familiar with the most recent version.
What Is the UCMJ?
Within the UCMJ itself, Article 36 provides the President of the United States with the power to prescribe pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures. Article 56 gives the President the authority to set maximum punishments for violations of the UCMJ. It is through this power that the Manual for Courts Martial or MCM which is actually an executive order of the President was created.
The MCM contains the Rules for court martial, including:
- The Military Rules of Evidence
- Punitive Articles
- Non-Judicial Punishment provisions
The separate services have their own rules and regulations such as the Army AR 27-10 which set forth policies and procedures for the administration of military justice. Local commands may have their own versions of regulations or rules such as the Navy and Marine Corp Trial Judiciary Guide for Western Judicial Circuit. In interpreting the law, the military justice system draws from both military and federal court decisions.
Hire Experienced Counsel
If you are seeking civilian counsel from a Tacoma criminal defense attorney to represent you in a military justice matter, it is important that you hire counsel who understands how UCMJ, MCM, and rules and regulations work.
Counsel should also have a firm grounding in federal and military criminal case law. Steven Krupa has many years of experience working in military courts. He is a graduate of the United States Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia and he has had extensive training in military justice matters. He strives to keep current on military decisions in appellate courts.
Our Tacoma military criminal defense lawyer is available for a free consultation by contacting our office at (253) 345-4506.