Criminal Defense Lawyers Representing U.S. Army Members Stationed in Vilseck, Germany
Founded by a former U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) lawyer who has represented soldiers and officers around the world, Crisp and Associates Military Law is a criminal defense law firm that is dedicated to protecting the careers and freedom of America’s servicemen and women. If you are facing criminal charges or military discipline while stationed in Vilseck, Germany, contact us for a free and confidential consultation today.
Facing criminal charges takes on additional importance for members of the military. In addition to the potential criminal penalties – which may include fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and other forms of punishment – U.S. Army officers and other servicemen and women can face military discipline, up to and including dishonorable discharge, life imprisonment, and even death in the most serious of cases.
At Crisp and Associates Military Law, we are committed to representing active-duty military personnel in court-martial and military proceedings in Vilseck, Germany and worldwide. Our attorneys bring more than 75 years of combined legal experience to the table, including the experience of firm founder Jonathan Crisp. Jonathan Crisp is a former U.S. Army JAG lawyer who has represented clients in criminal and military proceedings around the globe, and whose experience includes handling charges of abuse against detainees at Abu Ghraib.
If you are facing criminal charges as a member of the U.S. military in Vilseck, Germany, it is critical that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 to speak with you in confidence, so contact us for your free initial consultation now.
Cases We Handle
Aggressive Criminal Defense Representation
Our firm has earned a reputation for providing strategic and aggressive legal representation tailored to each client’s unique individual circumstances. From alleged drunk driving to accusations of violent crimes and other serious offenses, our attorneys approach each case with the same commitment and determination to securing the best possible outcome in light of the facts at hand. We can assist you if you are under investigation or facing charges for any of the following types of offenses in Vilseck, Germany:
- Drug Crimes – Cultivation, possession, trafficking, or illegal sale of controlled substances, including marijuana crimes and prescription drug fraud.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Drunk driving on base or on public roads in Vilseck, or driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs.
- Theft Crimes – Felony theft crimes, including burglary, car theft, check fraud, computer theft, credit card theft, identity theft, robbery, shoplifting, and various other forms of fraud.
- Sex Crimes – Rape, sexual assault, and other sex-related offenses.
- Violent Crimes – Assault, battery, homicide, manslaughter, and other violent offenses.
Learn more about the types of criminal cases we handle.
Experienced Representation for Military Disciplinary Proceedings
Our attorneys also have significant experience representing enlisted soldiers and officers in military disciplinary proceedings, including courts martial, non-judicial procedures, Qualitative Management Program (QMP) appeals, and administrative separation board hearings. This distinguishes Crisp and Associates Military Law from the vast majority of other criminal defense law firms. You need to have a coordinated strategy for your criminal and military defenses, and this makes it critical to choose a law firm that can simultaneously represent you in both aspects of your case.
Court Martial Proceedings
Court martial proceedings are governed by military laws that are vastly different from those that apply in the civilian criminal courts. In addition, depending upon the severity of the charges against you, you could be facing any of three different types of courts martial. Each requires a strategic, measured approach, and your defense must take into consideration all of the relevant factors – from the rights that are available to the judge and officer(s) involved:
- Summary Court Martial – A summary court martial is a simplified procedure that is reserved for enlistees and officers accused of relatively minor offenses. You have the right to choose whether or not to consent to a summary court martial, and there may be both benefits and drawbacks depending upon the circumstances at hand. Dependent upon the accused’s rank, potential punishments in summary courts martial include confinement, hard labor, restriction to specified limits, forfeiture of pay, and reduction in pay grade.
- Special Court Martial – In a special court martial, the proceedings are overseen by a military judge and the facts are determined by a panel of at least three officers (similar to a jury). However, the accused may request a trial-by-judge only, and may also request that at least one third of the panel be comprised of enlisted personnel. Special courts martial can lead to confinement of up to 12 months, forfeiture of pay, bad-conduct discharge, and other penalties for enlistees, but officers are not subject to confinement and discharge in special court martial proceedings.
- General Court Martial – General courts martial can generally be equated to felony court trials, though, once again, there are numerous important differences. In a general court-martial, the fact-finding panel consists of at least five members, though the accused can elect for a judge-only trial in all cases except those carrying the possibility of a death sentence. Accused enlisted personnel and officers are also entitled to a pretrial investigation in general court martial proceedings, unless they choose to waive this right. Potential punishments in general courts martial include confinement, dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, dismissal, death, and various other penalties.
Service members have the right to legal representation in special and general courts martial, and in these proceedings the military appoints a trial lawyer to pursue a conviction and argue for maximum sentencing. While service members do not have the right to military counsel in summary courts martial (though they do have the right to hire civilian counsel), the rights to cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, testify, and remain silent apply at all three levels.
Administrative Separation Boards
An administrative separation results in termination of a service member’s position within the military. In most cases, prior to an administrative separation, the enlistee or officer will have the opportunity to defend himself or herself in front of a board of officers. With the severity of what is at stake and the complexity of the laws and processes involved, if you are facing an administrative separation hearing it is strongly in your best interests to seek representation from an experienced military defense attorney.
At Crisp and Associates Military Law, we are available to defend members of the U.S. military stationed in Vilseck, Germany in administrative separation hearings involving:
- Commission of serious military and civilian offenses
- Negative evaluations
- Patterns of misconduct
- Other potential grounds for administrative separation
About Our Firm
Firm Founder Jonathan W. Crisp
Jonathan W. Crisp, founder of the law firm of Crisp and Associates Military Law, is a former U.S. Army JAG lawyer who was stationed in Germany during his time on active duty. He relies upon the principles of strength, training, and dedication ingrained in him during his time in the military to aggressively pursue justice for his clients, and he uses his insights as a former military lawyer to develop effective case strategies for defending his clients in both civilian and military tribunals.
After beginning his career as a public defender, Mr. Crisp joined U.S. Army JAG as a Legal Assistance Attorney. However, he quickly progressed through the ranks during his seven-year military career, serving as Chief of Legal Assistance at Patton Barracks in Germany, earning the Patton Barracks’ Legal Assistance Office its first Army Chief of Staff Award for Excellence in Legal Assistance in its 30-year history. Mr. Crisp subsequently transitioned into serving as Defense Counsel, and later as Senior Defense Counsel, during which time he represented soldiers in courts martial and also trained other military attorneys. He ended his military career as the first Command Judge Advocate for the newly formed 20th Support Command (SUPCOM).
Learn more about founding attorney Jonathan W. Crisp.
The Military Criminal Defense Team at Crisp and Associates Military Law
Along with Mr. Crisp, the military criminal defense team at Crisp and Associates Military Law includes distinguished attorneys whose past experience includes serving as police officers and public defenders. Click to read more about our firm’s other defense lawyers’ backgrounds and experience:Meet our criminal defense lawyers:
- Jonathan W. Crisp, Founder and Former U.S. Army JAG Lawyer
- Bryan DePowell, Criminal Defense Attorney and Former Police Officer
- Donald Gordon, Of Counsel
- Christopher Nuneviller, Of Counsel
FAQs about Facing Criminal Charges as a U.S. Military Service Member
Q: Can I be charged in civilian court and face a court martial?
Yes, technically, this is a possibility depending upon the charges involved. For example, if you are being accused of a German Law offense, you could potentially face civilian criminal penalties under state law while also being subject to military law in a court martial proceeding. In addition, many serious offenses will involve violations of state, federal, and military laws, raising the possibility for multiple prosecutions in multiple jurisdictions.
In many cases, however, Staff Advocate Judges, United States Attorneys, and District Attorneys will coordinate for one jurisdiction to prosecute the case exclusively. Your attorney may be able to influence this decision, and as a result it is critical that you seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Q: If I am arrested in Vilseck, Germany, can I face criminal penalties under German law?
Potentially, yes. If you commit a crime in a foreign country, generally speaking, that country has the authority to prosecute the offense. However, the U.S. military has entered into agreements with host nations around the world that specify whether the host nation or the military will have jurisdiction with regard to certain specified offenses.
Q: What is the Uniform Code of Military Justice?
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the federal law that establishes the military justice system and the offenses that constitute violations of military law. The UCMJ applies to all military servicemen and women worldwide, in addition to the state and federal laws that apply with regard to civilian criminal offenses.
Q: What are the first steps I should take after being arrested for a crime?
If you have been arrested in Vilseck, Germany two of the most important things you can do are: (i) exercise your right to remain silent, and (ii) contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.
After an arrest, the arresting officer will use a number of different tactics to try to get you to confess to the crime alleged. But, the truth of the matter is that the law is extremely complex, and at this point you do not know whether you are guilty of a crime or not. Law enforcement officers are trained to solicit damaging statements from individuals accused of crimes, and the best way to avoid saying something that could harm your defense is to avoid saying anything at all. You should seek advice from an experienced attorney and then let your attorney do the talking on your behalf.
Q: If I committed a crime, is it still worth it to hire a defense lawyer?
Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that they only need a lawyer if they are innocent of the offense alleged. If they are guilty, they assume, then there is nothing that a lawyer can do to help them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
First of all, as we just mentioned, due to the complexities of civilian and criminal law, there is a good chance that you do not actually know whether you have committed a crime, even if you think you have. From state of mind to all of the step-by-step actions required to commit the offense, the government and military have a heavy burden to establish that you are guilty.
Second, even if you did commit a criminal offense, you could still have defenses that justify a not-guilty verdict at trial. Lack of evidence, violations of your Constitutional rights, and other issues can all present strong and complete defenses even when the facts appear to clearly establish a violation of the law.
Q: How do I choose the right defense lawyer to represent me?
Not all defense lawyers are alike, and your choice of legal representation could have a major impact on the outcome of your civilian trial, court martial, or administrative separation hearing. When evaluating your choices, we recommend that you look into each attorney’s:
- Background – Does he or she have a military background? Has he or she been practicing law for a decade or longer?
- Focus – Does the attorney focus exclusively on criminal and military defense? Or, does he or she also spend time on a wide range of non-criminal and non-military matters?
- Experience – Does the attorney have a track record of success, both in plea negotiations and at trial?
- Client Satisfaction – What do the attorney’s past clients think about their representation? Are they pleased with their results, or do they feel that they were inadequately represented?
In addition, we believe it is important that criminal defense attorneys offer free initial consultations. Your choice of legal representation should be made based upon trust and confidence, not the fact that you have already invested in an initial consultation. The consultation should be a free, no-pressure opportunity for you to ask questions about your case and get to know the attorney so that you can make an informed decision about your legal representation.
Q: When is it Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you think you might need an attorney, the time to hire a defense lawyer is likely now. The prosecutors or military trial attorneys may already be building their case against you, and this means that you may already be at a disadvantage.
U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Bavaria in Vilseck, Germany
The Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Hohenfels, and Garmisch are part of the U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Bavaria, which also includes the Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, Germany. While the Rose Barracks have a population of roughly 12,500, Vilseck’s population is less than half of that, sitting at roughly 6,000 inhabitants. In the words of the Department of Defense (DOD), “Tower and Rose Barracks command, control, support, operate and enable mission and readiness of stationed and rotational units while caring for people and providing the highest quality training environment for the European theater of operations.”
U.S. military combat units stationed at the Rose Barracks in Vilseck include:
- 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron
- 2nd Cavalry Regiment Reed Museum
- 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- 39th Transportation Battalion
- 102nd Signal Battalion
- D Company, Warrior Transition Battalion
- Fires Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- Regimental Engineer Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- Regimental Support Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
Units in the Hohenfels and Garmisch Rose Barracks, which share various resources and facilities with service members stationed in Vilseck, include:
- 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment
- 4th Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment
- 527th MP Company
- George C. Marshall European Center
Get the Help You Need – Schedule a Free Consultation with an Attorney at Crisp and Associates Military Law Today
For more information about your case and to find out what defenses you may have available, schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at Crisp and Associates Military Law. You can call us from Vilseck, Germany 24/7 at (888) 811-6416, or submit our online contact form and a member of our legal team will contact you as soon as possible.