If you are a member of the military and have been charged with a criminal offense, you might have to deal with an issue involving joint jurisdiction, so it is important that you understand what it is, how the process works and how it can impact you and your future. Make sure you are working with an experienced military defense attorney who can help guide you and fight back against your charges.
What is joint jurisdiction?
In some cases, an offense could fall under multiple jurisdictions. In those cases, the offense could be tried, prosecuted or pursued by the local government, the state, the federal government, or the military. In these cases, it can be somewhat complicated because service members can be subject to multiple different laws and could ultimately be tried in different jurisdictions. Most states will not try you for a crime that the military has already tried the service member for, but it can occur in some cases.
What is the process of deciding which jurisdiction will prosecute a case?
Usually, representatives from the government will be in close contact with the civilian jurisdiction that also has jurisdiction over you, and often those parties will decide who is going to handle the case. If the case is one involving sexual assault, the military must also consult with the alleged victim to get their input on which jurisdiction they would like to handle the case. Once the decision is made, that’s when the case will move forward and proceed in the way a normal court-martial or civilian trial would. Each case is unique, so the process will depend upon your individual circumstance.
How We Can Help
Facing any kind of criminal offense can be stressful, especially if you don’t know which jurisdiction will preside over your case, or whether you will be tried in two different jurisdictions. Garrison Wood specializes in military defense law and knows how to handle joint jurisdiction cases just like yours. To discuss what your options are, give us a call today.
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