Experienced in criminal defense Attorney Dilley
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David E. Dilley
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Attorney Dilley is a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer in the US Army Reserve. He understands the particular issues faced by military servicemembers and retired military personnel.







Why should you hire your own civilian defense attorney?


Experience.

"I have over 17 years of hard hitting experience as a military Judge Advocate. I am currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and have been assigned to military defense units where I successfully defended military service members. I also have years of experience serving as the legal advisor to commanders at various levels, which means I can analyze your case from the other side and anticipate the Government’s tactics and strategy. When it comes to military defense, experience counts. Just like with any professional service, from medicine to auto mechanics, you should look for a military defense lawyer with experience. In many cases in all services, free Government lawyers are young lawyers.  If you chose me as your military defense lawyer, you will have my training and experience in your corner.  Also keep in mind that many civilian attorneys who practice military defense either have no military experience or are no longer involved in the military.  If you chose me as your military defense attorney, you are getting the right balance of past and current military defense experience.


Time.

In my experience, the key to having a good outcome to your pending military problem is preparation. Unfortunately, many free Government lawyers don’t have the time to thoroughly prepare an excellent defense. In addition to your case, they likely have hundreds of other clients facing courts-martial, Article 15s, demotions, discharges, and other actions. Your case is just one hundreds or even thousands and due to budget cuts, Government lawyers are over burdened with too few resources and too many cases.

If you choose me as your private military attorney, I will dedicate my time and attention to your case. My goal is to provide my clients with the best defense possible— the type of defense I would want for my own brother or sister.  To ensure each client receives the best defense, I manage the number of clients I accept so that I have the time I need to thoroughly prepare each defense.

Independence.

Your free Government lawyer works for the Government.  The Government pays their salary. They report to and receive orders through their chain-of-command. They are subject to the policies of the military. During training, military lawyers are taught that they are military officers (or riflemen) first and attorneys second.   Many free military lawyers spend a year or so as a defense lawyer before moving on to become advisors to commanders. While many free Government lawyers advertise an independent chain-of-command, I have no chain-of-command. As your military defense lawyer, I work for you.  As a civilian military defense attorney, I do not report to or receive orders through a chain-of-command.  No Staff Judge Advocate or commander can call my supervisors through back channels if they are unhappy with my aggressive defense. I am not worried about holding anything back.  

Finally, if you choose a civilian court-martial lawyer, you don’t need to fire your free Government lawyer. Your assigned military lawyer can remain a trusted member of the defense team.

In the end, your choice of attorney is your choice, and it remains your choice throughout your pending case. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation.


What areas of military defense do I handle?

Court-Martial Defense

If you are facing a court-martial, you are experiencing one of the most stressful and uncertain times in your life. You are likely feeling anxious, confused, and may not know where to turn. Many of my clients experience shock, anger, and depression just as though they were facing the death of a loved one. Your feelings are normal. I have helped many people go through what you’re going through. If you choose me as your lawyer, I can help you.

The Government has charged you with a crime.  If you are found guilty, you will have a Federal conviction. This can mark your record for life. You may also be facing months or years of jail and a dishonorable discharge which can strip you of your veteran’s benefits.  A court-martial can affect you, your family, and your entire life. You owe it to yourself and your family to find the right court-martial defense attorney to present the best court-martial defense possible.

The Government has more money, manpower, and legal authority than anyone you have ever faced. The Government has a literal army at its disposal and will spend its vast resources prosecuting you. The Government chooses your charges.  The Government chooses the time, the place, the jury, the judge, and even your assigned military defense lawyer.  The only choice you have is who you want to defend you.

As an experienced court-martial lawyer, I can answer your questions about what you can expect during the court-martial process. I can analyze the law and evidence as it applies to your case. I can give you the advice you need so that you can make smart choices and we can build the best court-martial defense possible. I can take the time to explain your case to you until I am certain that you understand your choices and risks.

As a military member, the Government will assign a free Government lawyer to defend you. Your free Government lawyer may or may not have the experience, time, or independence to provide you a complete court-martial defense. 


Military Discharge, Separation, & Chapter Boards 

As a military member facing discharge or separation, your entire career is at stake.  If you are discharged, you may not receive your retirement pay or veteran’s benefits.  You may walk away from the military with nothing even after many years of faithful military service.

Military Defense LawyerBased on your rank or years of service, you may be entitled to a hearing.  A military discharge or chapter board hearing is like a court-martial with less rules.  Just like a court-martial, you are typically allowed to present evidence, question witnesses, and argue for your career.  Your hearing records may also be reviewed by high level commanders, including your service Secretary’s office, and the Board of Corrections for Military Records.  It is extremely important to present the right evidence and the right arguments at your discharge hearing.

I give military discharge and chapter board hearings the same time and attention as I do a court-martial.

While a military discharge or chapter board is certainly a priority in your life, it typically takes a second level priority in your free Government lawyer’s office.  Your free Government lawyer’s office may be processing 40-60 discharges and Article 15s in a week. This is in addition to what is likely to be a busy court-martial defense caseload and military administrative work.

If you believe your discharge/chapter board is a top priority, then you may want to consider hiring a civilian military defense lawyer. I give military discharge and chapter board hearings the same time and attention as I do a court-martial. I give each of my clients the full time and attention their cases deserve


Article 15s

An Article 15 is nonjudicial punishment (NJP). The term “Article 15″ comes from the fact that Article 15 of the UCMJ gives commanders the power to offer nonjudicial punishment. An Article 15 or NJP is a choice of forum.  You have the right to turn down the offer and demand trial by court-martial. You also have the right to accept the Article 15 and present your case to your commander.

NJPs are called “nonjudicial punishment” because they don’t impact your criminal record. However, NJPs can cost you your rank, money, additional duty time and leave a permanent mark on your military record. Your NJP may appear on your evaluation or performance report and cost you a promotion. In addition, a nonjudicial punishment may, by itself or with other paperwork, lead to your separation from the military.

It is a little known fact that if you are within a few years of retirement, losing rank can cause you to retire at the demoted rank and take away your High-3 retirement calculation. This can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in retirement income over the course of your life.

If you are an officer, a senior NCO, or are considering turning down your nonjudicial punishment to demand trial by court-martial, then you may want to consider talking to a civilian military lawyer.

Despite the stakes, it is not uncommon for your free Government lawyer to spend very little time on Article 15s and NJPs. If you are an officer, a senior NCO, or if you are considering turning down your Article 15 to demand trial by court-martial, then you may want to consider talking to a civilian military defense lawyer. As a civilian military defense lawyer, I can give your Article 15 or NJP the time and attention it needs. I can help you investigate your case, assemble a strong package, and present your best case possible. However, your time to respond is limited. If you are going to hire a civilian military defense lawyer, you need to act quickly.


Administrative Demotions & Reductions   Civilian Lawyer

A demotion or reduction is a loss of rank.  A demotion action can hurt your career and significantly reduce your retirement.  If you are within a few years of retirement, a demotion can force you to retire at the demoted rank and take away your High-3 retirement calculation.  For example, an E-6 demoted to an E-5 at 18 years would retire at E-5 if he/she did not earn their E-6 stripe back.  Final retirement pay would then be based on E-5 pay. This can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime. In some cases, you may even be entitled to a hearing.

If you are being demoted or reduced in rank, you may wish to consider hiring a civilian military defense lawyer. I can help you fight your case and put your best defense forward. 


Reprimands

Reprimands are formal actions taken against you that do not involve loss or rank or pay. Some reprimands are more serious than others. For E-1 through E-4s, reprimands are typically something you can overcome. For officers and senior NCOs, a formal reprimand could harm your career and your chances at future promotions.

It is important to seek the advice of a military defense lawyer before responding or choosing not to respond to you reprimand. In the very least, you should contact your local defense office for help in creating your response. I personally believe that you will not need a civilian military defense lawyer in most cases.


False Sexual Assault & Sex Assault Survival Guide

There has been quite a lot of attention given to how the military handles accusations of sexual assault.  What has been less reported is the fact that there are false accusations of sexual assault in the military.  If you’ve been falsely accused of military sexual assault, you may be confused and uncertain about what to do. Your friends and chain-of-command may treat you as though you’re already guilty. You may feel alone and scared about your future. Follow these steps and learn how to survive a false sexual assault claim.

  1. Get a military defense lawyer as soon as possible. Do this before you call your parents, your spouse, or your significant other. You can talk freely with your lawyer and it will be privileged and confidential. 
  2. Do not talk to the person making the false sexual assault accusation. I don’t care if she is your spouse, significant other or your friend. Do not talk to her/him. Don’t look at her. Don’t talk, text, or email her. Leave her alone. Anything you say will be used against you in ways you can’t imagine. 
  3. Keep all messages that she/he has sent you or that is posted anywhere.  Every email, text message, email, letter, and Facebook (or other social media) post. Keep it together for your lawyer. Have someone you trust make copies of facebook/instagrams postings by the person accusing you as it may reveal a lot about their personality.  This is evidence and it can be extremely helpful to your attorney. Also gather up your calendars and other things that you need to create a timeline. 
  4. Do not talk to law enforcement without a lawyer. Law enforcement won’t care that you’re telling the truth. They will try to poke holes in your side of events and prove the sexual assault happened. If you need to make a statement, do it through your attorney. I have helped many military clients write statements that have helped to clear their name. However, this is NOT something to do on your own. 
  5. Do not talk to your chain-of-command or anyone else about the case or your feelings. They will assume you’re guilty. Fine. Let them. Anything you say can and will likely be twisted by law enforcement and Government attorneys. 
  6. Keep a positive attitude. Pray, meditate or work out to handle the stress. Try to stay positive. Despite the military’s take no prisoner’s approach to military sexual assault, all is not lost. I have successfully defended military members just like you. These cases can be won. 
  7. Know what to expect. You will likely be charged under Article 120, UCMJ and taken to a general court-martial. This is a difficult and stressful process. Remember, a court-martial is about the campaign, not the battle. The fight can be long and hard. Prepare yourself mentally and physically.
 

If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (210) 733-4669.
 
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