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How Do Arrests Differ Between Civilians & Service Members? December 11, 2019

Downtown Honolulu, Honolulu
How Do Arrests Differ Between Civilians & Service Members? , Honolulu, Hawaii

If you’ve been arrested while enlisted in the military, you’re subject to different legal processes and punishments than civilians. Service members are held to higher standards and are expected to behave in an honorable manner at all times. As such, criminal charges can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life. It’s important to speak with an attorney right away to learn what to expect. Here’s some insight into how arrests differ between soldiers and civilians.

What Happens When You’re Arrested While Active Military?

Miranda Rights 

In many circumstances, law enforcement is required to advise civilians of their Miranda rights once they’re taken into custody and questioned. On the other hand, service members must be read their rights before being officially questioned by another military member acting in a law enforcement capacity. The difference is that soldiers don’t have to be in custody when advised of their rights. 

Legal Assistance 

When you’re enlisted in the military, you may qualify to seek advice from the legal assistance office if you’re married and in the E-4 grade or below or single and in E-3 or below. This can be helpful if you’re not able to afford a civilian attorney. You’ll still receive counsel to ensure you’re properly informed on your case.

Court Appearances 

attorneysBeing on active duty can make it difficult to attend scheduled court appearances, particularly during deployment. Although it’s rare for civilians to be excused from court dates, judges are more likely to grant a delay if your military commitments prevent you from showing up. To be eligible, you or your attorney will need to apply for the shortest delay available.

Career Consequences

Criminal charges commonly cause soldiers to lose their security clearance. Getting arrested can be enough for the military to deem you an undue risk. This can place serious limitations on your eligibility for certain job activities. Additionally, if you’re convicted and sentenced to jail time, you may suffer a reduction in pay grade or rank. 


It’s crucial for active military members to clear their name quickly after being arrested. The professionals at 24 Hour Bail Bonds Oahu in Honolulu, HI, will work closely with you and your attorney to secure the funds you need to post bail as fast as possible. Over the years, they’ve proudly provided clients across Honolulu with reliable and affordable bail bonds. Call (808) 699-8760 to discuss your options, or visit them online to learn more about their services.

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