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Courts-Martial

What should I do if I am facing a court-martial?

Contact your base defense counsel. In the Army, it is the Trial Defense Service. In the Air Force, it is the Area Defense Counsel. In the Navy it is the Legal Services Office. Do not speak to anyone except your attorney about the substance of your case. In particular, do not speak to co-workers, military […]

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What are the differences between courts-martial and civilian trials?

The differences are numerous. The military requires an Article 32 investigation, in which the accused is present, and his or her counsel may ask questions of the witnesses. In addition, at a court-martial, the verdict does not have to be unanimous (except in order to impose the death penalty) and the “convening authority” (usually the […]

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What is a General Court Martial?

A general court-martial is the most serious level of military courts. It consists of a military judge, trial counsel, defense counsel, and at least five court members. In capitol cases, there must be at least twelve members on the court. Again, an enlisted accused may request a court composed of at least one-third enlisted personnel. […]

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What is a Special Court-Martial?

A special court-martial is the intermediate court level. It consists of a military judge, trial counsel (prosecutor), defense counsel, and a minimum of three officers sitting as a panel of court members or jury. An enlisted accused may request a court composed of at least one-third enlisted personnel. An accused, officer or enlisted, may also […]

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What is a Summary Court-Martial?

Trial by summary court-martial provides a simplified procedure for the resolution of charges involving minor incidents of misconduct. The summary court-martial consists of one officer who is not required to be an attorney or judge. It is frequently a line officer from within the command. The maximum punishment a summary court-martial may impose is considerably […]

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What are the different types of courts-martial?

There are three types of courts-martial – summary court-martial, special court-martial, and general court-martial. Summary Court Martial Trial by summary court-martial provides a simplified procedure for the resolution of charges involving minor incidents of misconduct. The summary court-martial consists of one officer who is not required to be an attorney or judge. It is frequently […]

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Army NCO accused of attempted murder and other charges acquitted of all charges.

Mr. Cassara represented an Army Sergeant accused at a court-martial of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and numerous other charges arising out of a shooting in Germany.  His co-accused went to trial before him and was convicted of several charges and sentenced to two years confinement and a bad-conduct discharge. One of the main […]

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