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Why Hire a Civilian Attorney?

If you are pending charges in the military system you do not rate a military attorney until you are charged. This could occur several months after the investigation has commenced placing you at a disadvantage. You have the ability to hire civilian counsel anytime to be proactive in your defense. Eric M. Kopka specializes in military law and can assist you through this uncertain time. If you are the subject of a either a command or law enforcement investigation or facing adjudication at an administrative discharge hearing or have been charged at a Court-Martial, call us for a free consultation.

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Summary Court-Martial

Summary Court-Martial is convened by the servicemember’s Commanding Officer. That same Commanding Officer will select a company or field grade officer to act as the judge, jury, prosecution and defense counsel at the Summary Court-Martial hearing. A hearing which exposes the servicemember to the following punishment:

   E5 and Above: Restriction for 2 months or less, Forfeiture of 2/3 pay per month for one month or less, and reduction to the lowest enlisted grade (one pay grade only).

   E4 and Below: Confinement for 1 month or less, hard labor without confinement for 45 days or less, restriction for two months or less, forfeiture of 2/3 pay per month for one month or less, and reduction to the lowest enlisted grade.

In addition to the potential punishment, a finding of guilty will have a drastic impact on that servicemember’s career, specifically, it could be used a part of a basis for administrative separation or it could prevent that servicemember from re-enlisting. That is why it is imperative that you consult the law firm of Eric M. Kopka prior to making any decisions related to Summary Court-Martial. Our experienced attorneys can advise and assist you throughout the Summary Court-Martial process.

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Special Court-Martial

Special Court-Martial is convened by a Commanding Officer for more serious offenses. A servicemember who is charged at Special Court-Martial, which is federal court, faces a jurisdictional maximum punishment of up to twelve (12) months of confinement, forfeiture of 2/3 of pay and allowances for a period of up to twelve months, reduction to E-1, fines, other lawful punishment, and a Bad Conduct Discharge. A servicemember who is charged a Special Court-Martial needs the assistance of an experienced military attorney.

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Article 32/General Court-Martial

General Court-Martial is reserved for the most serious violations of the U.C.M.J. Prior to facing charges at a General Court-Martial servicemembers are afforded the opportunity to exploit the allegations at an Article 32, UCMJ, investigative hearing. It is crucial that if you are facing an Article 32, UCMJ, hearing that you seek the advice of an experienced counsel. If charges are referred to a General Court-Martial a servicemember faces severe punishments. The maximum punishment a service member faces at a GCM is the total years associated with the alleged charges that have been preferred against that service member. In addition to confinement, a servicemember at a General Court-Martial is also subject to forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1, fines, other lawful punishment, and the possibility of a dishonorable discharge. Similar to Special Court-Martial a General Court-Martial is federal court and could result in a federal conviction and severe punishment. If you are facing an Article 32, UCMJ, investigative hearing or a General Court-Martial contact the law office of Eric M. Kopka. 

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Article 15/Non-Judicial Punishment

Article 15, UCMJ, is also known as Non-Judicial Punishment, Captain’s Mast or Office Hours. If you are facing charges at an Article 15, hearing you have rights and should consult with an experienced military attorney prior to deciding if you want to “accept” adjudication at an Article 15 hearing.  If you are facing allegations of misconduct at Article 15, call the law firm of Eric M. Kopka.

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Administrative Separation Hearings

If a servicemember has been provided notification of an involuntary separation hearing that servicemember could be separated from the service, lose their job, and may be separated with an “other than honorable characterization of service.” An “OTH” will impose a life-long stigma and expose the servicemember to the potential loss of many service related benefits. If you are facing an involuntary separation, your career and benefits are at stake, contact our experienced military attorneys so we can assist you.

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Board of Inquiry

Commissioned Officers may face involuntary separation from the service at a Board of Inquiry, “BOI.” Similar to an involuntary administrative separation hearing for enlisted servicemembers, a commissioned officer faces the loss of his career, benefits, and livelihood at a BOI. It is critical that an Officer facing a BOI consult with an experienced military attorney contact the law office of Eric M. Kopka. 

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Medical Retirement Evaluation Board

Due to today’s operational requirements many servicemembers have sacrificed their own personnel safety to accomplish the mission and, as a result of their sacrifice, sustained serious injuries. If you are facing medical separation, medical retirement, or a performance evaluation review board, we can help. You have paid a heavy toll for defending our nation and you need someone who will fight for the benefits you may be entitled to. Contact the law office of Eric M. Kopka.

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Clemency

Servicemembers are permitted to submit post trial matters. If you feel that the result of your court-martial was unfair, unjust, or that your punishment was excessive you should consider seeking civilian counsel to assist with your with clemency request. Contact the Law Office of Eric M. Kopka.

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Correction to Military Record/Upgrade Characterization of Service


If your service record book contains adverse material such as a negative counseling, adverse fitness report, a non-judicial punishment, or summary court-martial that you believe was unjust or unfair you can file a petition to attempt to remove the  adverse material from your service record book. If you were involuntarily separated from the service with “bad paper” such as an other than honorable characterization of service you can attempt to upgrade your characterization of service. If you are considering requesting the removal of adverse material or attempting to upgrade your characterization of service, an experienced counsel can be vital to your success. Contact the Law Office of Eric M. Kopka.

 

*The information on this website is for general information purposes only.  Nothing on this website, associated pages, documents, answers, emails or other communications should be used as legal advice for any individual case or situation.  The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.