By Hampton & Pigott
Posted on 4-8-2022
When you join the military, you fight every day to protect the rights of your fellow citizens. But are there specific rights that you should know about as a member of the military? The answer is yes, and it is important that you are aware of them.
If you have been accused of a crime, before the military investigator can interrogate you, they must make sure that you are advised of your Article 31 Rights of UCMJ. Under Article 31 you have the right to (a) be informed of the area of suspicion as well as the circumstances surrounding the event and (b) remain silent.
If someone is reading your rights to you, then you can be confident that you are suspected of a crime. It's crucial at this moment that you know that you have the right to counsel. Regardless of if you were involved in an offense or not, do not speak with investigators alone. A common mistake that people make is to not reserve their right to counsel because they know they are innocent. But you must remember that investigators are highly trained in obtaining confessions from subjects, and they are used to people claiming innocence when they are not. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to their tactics. As soon as you are advised of your rights, ask for a defense attorney.
You have the right to refuse consent when being asked for bodily fluid for tests or when they ask to search through your personal belongings. You may exercise this right until presented with a warrant.
Being accused of misconduct can be scary and downright infuriating. Don’t face these types of charges alone. Specifically seek out the help of an experienced military attorney. Our military attorneys here at Hampton & Pigott have all served. We know the sacrifices you have made. We know what you are up against. And we want to help.