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 base commander) selects the panel members. There is no random jury selection.

At a court-martial, the accused is represented free of charge by a military attorney. In addition, the accused can elect to retain civilian counsel at no expense to the government. If you are considering hiring a civilian attorney, we recommend hiring one with experience in military law and courts-martial.

There are other significant differences between courts-martial and civilian trials. Contact Mr. Cassara by phone or e-mail in order to discuss your case with him in confidence.