Strong Court-Martial Defense Under Difficult Circumstances

When members of the Armed Forces need legal guidance, our firm is here to provide relentless and experienced advocacy. Zachary A. Vandyke, P.A., has more than 20 years of military experience, and has served as a National Guard Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps Officer. That makes our firm uniquely suited to helping military personnel in need of court-martial defense in Panama City.

When facing preferred charges from their command, members of the Armed Forces have to make a choice between military counsel or a civilian lawyer. While military counsel is hardworking and often qualified to handle your case, there are situations where a civilian lawyer may better serve you.

With attorney Zachary A. Vandyke, you receive the best of both worlds: a civilian lawyer who can devote the time and resources it will take to effectively handle your case, with the requisite military experience needed to handle court-martial proceedings. From the Article 32 to the "findings" phase of your court-martial, our Panama City court-martial defense lawyer can guide you through the process while passionately advocating for your rights.

Understanding The Levels Of Court-Martial

Depending on the severity of your charges, you may be subject to one of three court-martial types: Summary Court-Martial, Bad Conduct Discharge Court-Martial, or General Court-Martial. Each type of proceeding comes with different maximum penalties for your charges. Serious crimes, such as murder or aggravated assault, are handled in a General Court-Martial.

An Article 32 will precede a General Court-Martial in order to investigate the charges preferred against you. Like a grand jury hearing for serious civilian trials, this provides an opportunity for you and your attorney to prove allegations against you are groundless or not worth pursuing. In some cases, an experienced defense lawyer can get the charges against you dropped in the Article 32. If the trial proceeds, however, the court-martial will have two phases: findings phase and the sentencing phase.

The findings phase is like a civilian case, where both attorneys will present their arguments regarding your innocence or guilt. Both sides call witnesses, present evidence to a jury and conduct a trial much like you'd expect. Unlike civilian trials, both prosecutors and defense attorneys are expected to prepare for sentencing, regardless of the outcome. The sentencing phase will include more arguments regarding your charges — as a defense attorney, I would utilize your service history, the impact of your actions on your unit and other circumstances in order to fight for as lenient a sentence as possible.

With more than 10 years' experience in law and 20 years' experience in the military, our Panama City court-martial defense lawyer is equipped to handle your charges. Call us today for a free case consultation. We can answer your questions and begin developing your defense.

Contact our firm today online or by calling 850-851-0864 . We have the experience, the skill and the relentless dedication to justice that you need. Se Habla Español!