Have Military Law Questions? Ask a Military Lawyer.
Are you active duty?
yes i am. active duty. e-5 sergeant.
Have you reported this to your command yet?
and when is the hearing set for?
yes they are fully aware of my situation.
my civilian court hearing is on sept 17 2010
If your convicted of a felony its not likely you would remain in the service
A misdemeanor, perhaps...but not a felony
if your convicted of a felony the military will start the process to separate you administratively
Sorry to have to bear bad news.
do you have more questions
well...yes. i keep hearing that since its my first offence. i have a good chance of dropping it down to a misdemeanor. i have served honorably for the last 6 years with no stain. this is my first brush in with the law
what do you think they would factor in my decision?
What do you mean by
who, the military?
are you Air Force?
yes the military...no sir. army
what has your command said, if anything?
what i am trying to say is...would they factor that in their decision that i am a first time offender?
they have kept me out in the dark with the whole situation
The real question is the punishment
i am at my wits end trying to guess their next move...
i am desperate to be honest...
if you get punished, like probation, the Army is not going to allow you to remain on active duty
SO you need to resolve this with no felony and no probation
What is your attorney telling you?
What is your civilian attorney telling you? Do you have a plea deal?
i have a public defender. but hes not very helpful at all. he keeps telling me that he is going to find a way to bring down my felony to a misdemeanor but he has not told me on how hes about to do this...
Like I said, if you get tagged with a felony the Army will chapter you.
no we havent talked about any plea deal. just the hope of bringing it down to a misdeameanor
If you can get it reduced to a misdemeanor, and do not to have to report for probation, then you stand a chance
ok...but what can i advise my attorney to say to the judge to see things more positively from my side??
Is there anyone in your command who will speak up for you?
to be honest...my chain of command left me high and dry. due to the fact that i am new to their company. i havent established enough rapport or trust with them to make them see that i am not a bad nco...that i just did this one mistake...
Well, if you can find some to speak of for you that can help the judge to give you less punishment
may be time to ask they assist
like i said...they kept me in the dark and they havent tried to help me. i have a battle buddy here whos helping me seek medical advise due to the stressful nature of my situation...
OK, well as I said, if you get tagged with a felony they will chapter you
and if you get reporting probation they will chapter you
so it may be time to ask your command for help
i was wondering...could someone like you represent me? what would i do to acquire your services?
i will do what you ask of me. to seek help from them.
Someone like me could...but I can not...that is because the terms of service of this website prevent personal representation
but yes, you can hire an attorney to help
but frankly your better off saving your money and going to your SNCO yourself
and asking for help
you will get more luck then hiring someone to do it for you
ok. you are right. i will talk to them first thing tomorrow morning. now...what do you think of my chances thus far? does it really fall on the judge whos sentencing me? am i really under his or hers judgement now???
No, it does not go to the judge until the trial...and if you get a plea deal, that will limit your punishment.
if you can not get a plea deal, then you may need to go to trial
if you want to spend money on something, hiring a lawyer to fight the civilian case may be a good idea
what exactly is a plea deal?? how do i get about doing that? and how would i know i would get something positive from it?
Its an agreement between you and the prosecutor to limit the sentence in your case...you need to work with you attorney to negotiate one.
ok. so i talk to my lawyer. tell him or her to submit a plea deal. for example in my case. that the charge be dropped off to a misdeamenor and no probation. is that correct?
you would ask the lawyer to try and negotiate a plea deal that reduces the felony
and does not require you to have reporting probation
now of course the prosecution will not just agree to this without something in return right? what kind of terms would i be looking at??
The prosecution wants to resolve the case and ensure justice is served...so you need to get your lawyer to work with the prosecutor to understand that this case is best resolved with you staying in the Army.
okay. so if i present to the prosecution that im willing to pay for the damaged car. nobody was injured luckily. and when i mean pay...i mean pay the expense for the car out of pocket or let my insurance pay for the totaled car. would this be a good bargaining chip? or would i do something a little bit more extra?
Yes, that is a very good start
and like I said, if your command will support you, that will help even more
okay. at least im a liitle bit relieved. now that i know i have a very slim chance of coming out of this alive. thank you so much for your time and valuable advice.
and thank you for your service.
Welcome. Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).