Military Law

Military and uniform service members can face a wide variety of complex legal challenges. We can find solutions and help you navigate challenging legal issues. 

From court-martials and administrative boards to Physical Evaluation Boards and non-judicial punishment proceedings, service members need customized help for very specific problems. With more than 25 years’ of experience serving those who serve and their dependents, Larry Burch represents service members from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard as well as the Public Health Service, NOAA, and Reservists in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Military legal matters could have a profound impact on a service member’s career and future employment and requires experience and independence. Military and uniformed service members face greater scrutiny than most people in the workforce. Seemingly minor infractions can become the basis for an investigation or even charges. An accused service member who is the target of a command investigation or disciplinary proceeding can feel abandoned and alone despite having given many years of honorable service. It’s important for that service member to protect his or her career by getting an experienced attorney involved early in any legal process.  

Having served in the military (as a JAG Corps officer), Mr. Burch effectively represents his clients with the knowledge that comes from having been part of the military justice system.  He also understands the pressure a service member experiences when facing an investigation or military discipline and helps you navigate the military justice or administrative system. Larry Burch’s experience and knowledge of military law and the military legal system is a powerful weapon on the side of military service members facing charges or under investigation. We help protect service members when things are at their worst and it seems like their command has turned against them. Please call us at (301) 251-1180 or submit an online inquiry so we can assist you.

What should I do if I am told that I am under investigation by the military?

The short answer is – don’t make any statements and contact an attorney. If you are in the military and you are notified that you are under investigation (or that you are suspected of an offense), you should not do anything to try and get ahead of the investigation. This may be counter-intuitive, but you are more likely to do more to harm yourself than help if you try to take pre-emptive action to head off an investigation. You cannot talk your way out of an investigation and you are more likely to give the investigator information to use against you. If you are read your rights, elect to remain silent and contact an attorney to assist you.

Do I have to talk to the Investigator if I am being investigated by the military?

This depends on the type of investigation. If you are under investigation for a potential criminal offense, you will be read your UCMJ, Article 31(b) rights which include the right to remain silent. You should elect to remain silent and contact an attorney to help you. If the investigation is administrative (like an Inspector General’s investigation), you will not be read your rights and will be required to make a statement – however, the statement cannot be used against you at a court-martial or non-judicial punishment proceeding. Again, you should ask to speak to an attorney before answering any questions or providing a statement to avoid saying something that may be used against you at a Board of Inquiry or Administrative Discharge Board.

What should I do if my command sends me to the investigator’ office?

Often a commanding officer or senior enlisted leader will instruct a service member to report to NCIS, CID, or OSI to provide a statement. While you can be ordered to report to the investigator’s office, you cannot be required to provide a statement. If you are read your Article 31(b) rights, you should always elect to remain silent and ask to speak to an attorney. The investigator is not asking for your statement to help you. Instead, the investigator is looking for evidence to use against you! The best response is to ask to speak to an attorney and then all questions will stop.

Do I have any rights if I am being investigated by the military?

Yes, you have the same rights to an attorney, to remain silent, and to have an attorney appointed to represent you that a civilian has. In fact, military service members have greater rights than civilians suspected of a crime. UCMJ, Article 31(b) requires that service members are to be informed of their rights as soon as they are suspected of a crime – civilians may be questioned without being read their rights until they are taken into custody. By that point, a suspect may already have made incriminating statements without being aware they have the right to remain silent. If you are read your Article 31(B) rights, it is always best to wait until you have spoken with an attorney before making any statement.