Attorney at Law
Hawaii has a very large military community because of its strategic presence. In fact, Mr. Burge grew up in Hawaii as a "military brat" and attended local high school at Radford High. As one can imagine, because there are so many military living in the islands, they often get into trouble here just like everyone else. Mr. Burge has represented numerous military members, from Colonels to Privates (or Captains to Seaman for the Navy), in cases ranging from traffic offenses to felonies. This sections contains some of the more common questions from past military clients.
1. WILL THE COMMAND FIND OUT?
This can be a difficult question to answer. The military has assigned a special HASP officer to the police department. If this person gets wind of a military member being arrested, the command is usually notified by HASP of the soldier arrested, along with a brief synopsis of what occurred. However, just as often the command does not find out so there is no perfect answer here. Local athorities and the military have tried to coordinate so the military does find out. One example is in a DUI case. If you are arrested for DUI, and it is listed in the reports that you are in the military, the local authorities will require that you get the required DUI classes through the military, not the regularly scheduled civilian classes.
2. HOW DOES ABUSE OF A HOUSEHOLD OR FELONY CASES AFFECT MILITARY MEMBERS?
If a military member is convicted for Abuse of a Household Member or a felony they are usually discharged from the Military. That is because such a conviction forever bars you from owning or possessing a firearm. However, Mr. Burge has had cases where soldiers were reassigned to somewhere where firearms are not necessary. When that occurs, it is definitely the exception to the rule though.
3. IS THERE SPECIAL BAIL CONSIDERATION FOR THE MILITARY?
This depends on the police who are working at the time of arrest. Mr. Burge has seen military members having to pay the full bail amount and he has seen soldiers released to their command with no bail being posted.
4. WHAT HAPPENS IF MILITARY MEMBERS ARE RELOCATED WHILE THE CASE IS STILL PENDING?
The courts tend to understand if soldiers move to the mainland, or are activated to a war zone. Generally speaking the courts will continue a case, sometimes for over a year, until the soldier can return. In some circumstances plea's by mail are also available.
5. HOW DO LOCAL JURIES TREAT MILITARY MEMBERS?
Mr. Burge has represented a number of military personnel in jury trials. So far, there does not seem to be any bias one way or the other towards military members. Juries find military members not-guilty just as easily as anyone else.
6. DOES THE LOCAL CASE HAVE A BEARING ON WHAT THE MILITARY DOES TO A SOLDIER CHARGED WITH A CRIME?
This depends on the command. Mr. Burge has seen cases where the command waits until the civilian case is completed to determine what if any punishment to provide on the military side. In other cases, even if the civilian case is won the command has pursued action against the soldier involved. This seems to be the case for higher ranking members and officers especially.