Appeals Process- Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long will it take to get my case heard?

    1. There is no clear answer to this. In some cases, it can take years before all of the appeals are over.
  2. What else might happen?

    1. In some cases, the court can order a “DuBay” hearing, in order to gather more facts about the issues raised on appeal. Or, the court can take action on your case without the filing of briefs or the hearing of oral argument.
  3. What relief can the Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces grant?

    1. Courts of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces can overturn a court-martial conviction in whole or in part. They can dismiss some or all of the charges. They can order a re-hearing, or “re-assess” the sentence of a trial court. An attorney with experience in court-martial appeals can best advise you as to the remedies that might be available to you in a particular case.
  4. What should I do if I or a loved one has been convicted at court-martial?

    1. You will be contacted by an attorney from the Defense Appellate Division for your service. If you are in confinement, the counselors can advise you as to how to contact that attorney.You should consider whether you want to retain a civilian attorney to represent you. Every case is different, and some lawyers are more experienced at certain types of cases than others. Military defense counsels tend to carry heavier case loads than civilians, and it may be in your best interest to consult with civilian defense counsel. In addition, military defense counsel tend to leave their assignment before an appeal is completed, and you may find yourself with several different attorneys for your court-martial appeal.

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William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

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