South Texas has a much larger military presence than most states. No less than 32 military installations in the state represent the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard.
The San Antonio area includes the Lackland Air Force Base, the Fort Sam Houston Army Base, the Camp Bulis Army Base, the Camp Stanley Storage Activity Army Center, and the Martindale Army Base.
With the presence of so many military facilities, there are many military personnel on active duty.
While these members spend most of their time on base, they also spend a significant portion off base. A major problem for servicemen or women can occur if they are arrested for a civilian offense while off base.
The criminal defense of military personnel for civilian criminal offenses is a complex area of the law. Very few law military criminal defense attorneys in San Antonio possess the requisite experience and knowledge of how the various military branches operate.
Immediate contact must be made with the civilian judicial system and the immediate Command of the serviceman or woman. Any mistakes made at this stage can potentially damage the military member.
One of the few law firms possessing this unique, dual knowledge and experience is the military-friendly Austin Hagee Law Firm, PLLC, of San Antonio.
Nationally recognized for our criminal law practice, our firm advises and represents both active service members and military veterans.
If you are a military member and have been arrested for a civilian offense, you will face immediate, serious, and potentially life-changing consequences.
You may face significant civilian legal problems and an uncertain future in the military, including the potential loss of a pension, health care, other benefits, demotion in rank, and discharge.
You will need the skill and knowledge of a San Antonio military criminal defense attorney to confront an immediate, looming challenge—how to report your arrest to your command and what to disclose at this initial, critically important meeting.
Can I Be Arrested While Enlisted?
You will face civilian criminal penalties and consequences with your Military Command, all of which must be addressed promptly.
Steps to Take When Arrested in the Military
You must take immediate steps after your arrest. With their experience and deep knowledge of both the judicial system and the internal operations of the different military branches, the attorneys at the Austin Hagee Law Firm, PLLC, are well-versed in the steps that a member of the military must take following an arrest.
These include the following:
- Being bonded out of jail at the earliest possible time.
- Contacting and retaining our firm.
- Reporting your arrest at once to your Command, with the understanding that the Command is likely to have already received word of your arrest. Nothing can be worse than trying to hide your arrest from your Command. You will almost certainly face strong consequences if you do not report your arrest.
- Scheduling a sit-down meeting with your Command to discuss the facts of your case after consulting with your criminal defense attorney.
- Adhering to and abiding by the Command’s initial decisions. In most cases, the initial orders and/or punishments will be mild, as the Command will generally wait and not make a final decision until it receives the results of your case.
- Cooperating in full with the Austin Hagee Law Firm, PLLC, as we prepare the defense of your case and work to have the charges against you dismissed.
- Having an end of case meeting with your Command to inform them of the results of your case in advance of any final decision that the Command makes.
The encouraging news at the end of your case in the civilian judicial system is that unless you are convicted of an offense, your chances of remaining in the military, and not suffering a loss of either rank or position are good.
What is the Texas Veterans Treatment Court Program?
The Texas Veterans Treatment Court Program is a diversionary program for military veterans who have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense.
The program is specially designed for veterans who suffer from drug, substance abuse, or mental health problems and aims to divert qualified candidates out of the criminal justice system and into rehabilitative programs.
In these programs, they receive treatments in a structured environment to overcome their addictions and mental health issues.
The program seeks the reintegration of participants into society with the hope that they will become productive citizens.
Despite the noble goals of the program, even if a veteran complies with all the many rigorous and inflexible requirements of the program, he or she can nonetheless wind up with an arrest or conviction that cannot be expunged. Thus, we believe the program should only be used by military veterans as a last resort.
Another issue with the program is its inflexibility and rigidness, which resemble the parole or probation that a court might adjudicate.
Veterans in the program must attend weekly or multi-day per week meetings that will inevitably interfere with a veteran’s ability to hold and maintain a job.
In addition to the many meetings, the veteran will likely be required to attend classes, undergo regular urine testing, and perform community service.
For these reasons, we often advise clients to litigate their cases, where they often achieve much better results.
Committing Sexual Violence Crimes in Texas as a Service Member
As defined by Texas Criminal Law, sexual assault is the knowing and intentional touching, contact, or penetration of the sexual organ, mouth, or anus of another person without their consent.
Texas law generally charges sexual assault as a second-degree felony, a criminal charge with serious consequences.
Under Texas law, an individual can be charged with sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and/or indecency with a child by contact if the victim is younger than 17 years of age.
The military career of a service member charged with such offenses will be at risk as the member faces life-changing legal and military consequences.
Contact a trusted Military Criminal Defense Attorney in San Antonio
At the Austin Hagee Law Firm, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys in San Antonio have successfully represented many members of the military, both active duty members and veterans.
We are both military-friendly, with a discount for military members, and knowledgeable, a rare combination in this highly complex field of law. Put your trust in us. We are here to help you. Contact us online or call us at 210-500-3700.