Pretrial confinement is the detainment of a suspect for a criminal offense. Pretrial confinement in the military shares some similarities to that in the civilian system. However, there are also marked differences.
Similar to civilian law, there must be probable cause in order for you to be restrained in the military. Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a service member has committed an offense.
Service members who are apprehended are turned over to a member of command authority. Then the command decides whether to hold the apprehended in military jail (also called the brig, stockade, or confinement). The command also has the option of imposing pretrial restrictions, such as confining a soldier to his post or base, instead of confinement.
Any military officer can order enlisted military personnel to be confined. The decision to confine a person is subject to review. The review of the decision must be made within 48 hours of confinement. Within 72 hours, the apprehended serviceman is entitled to have his commanding officer review whether his confinement is appropriate.
In order for confinement to stand, a "commander review" must confirm in writing:
Also, a "magistrate review" must find in writing:
Consequences under military law are just as serious as they are under civilian law. You are entitled to have a military attorney appointed to represent you in any criminal or administrative action which has been initiated against you. Although it can be denied, you also have a right to request a specific military attorney in a Court-Martial. In some cases, you may be able to hire a civilian attorney with military law experience. Consulting with a military law lawyer would be prudent. An experienced lawyer could help explain defenses and resolve the claim against you.
Last Modified: 05-06-2011 02:10 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.