Courts-Martial

Court-Martial Defense Lawyer

Courts-martial are a unique court system, established to prosecute criminal cases involving service members. Many people are unaware of the drastic differences between civilian and military courts. Unless an attorney is familiar with the military court system, he or she might not be aware of all of these differences. Mr. Cassara has successfully defended accused service members in military courts of all services. He has represented service members across the country and in Europe, achieving favorable results in a number of complicated cases, including those cases involving:

Military Defense Attorney

The differences between the court-martial system and the civilian court systems are substantial. For example, in a court-martial, the "jurors" are other service members, who are specifically picked by the base commander to sit on courts-martial. In addition, the Article 32 (b) investigation, which occurs prior to a court-martial, has no real counterpart in the civilian world. Therefore, if you are pending court-martial it is important for you to have a lawyer who is familiar with these differences.

Types Of Courts-Martial

There are three levels of court-martial available to a command to utilize for disciplinary action, a summary court-martial, a special court-martial and a general court-martial. The distinction between the levels of court-martial is, essentially, a question of how much punishment one can receive at the various levels.

  • Summary court-martial: In a summary court-martial, the maximum punishment that may be imposed depends upon the rank of the accused. For an enlisted accused in the pay grade of E5-E7, the accused may be reduced one pay grade, be restricted for a period of 60 days, and face a forfeiture of two-thirds of basic pay for one month. For an accused in the rank of E4 and below, the accused may be sentenced to confinement for up to 30 days, hard labor without confinement for a period of 45 days, restriction for a period of 60 days, reduction to the pay grade of E1 and forfeiture of two-thirds of basic pay for one month.
  • Special court-martial: A special court-martial is the midlevel court-martial. The maximum punishment that can be imposed is a bad conduct discharge, confinement for up to 12 months, reduction in pay grade to E1 (enlisted members only) and forfeiture of two-thirds of base pay per month for a period of 12 months and/or an equivalent fine.
  • General court-martial: A general court-martial is the most serious criminal proceeding that can be brought against an accused in the military. A general court-martial can only be convened after the charges are first investigated at an Article 32 investigation. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice most criminal offenses that are designated have a maximum punishment listed that may be imposed and the court has the power to sentence the accused to any sentence from no punishment to that maximum punishment set forth in the UCMJ and rules for court-martial.

While all courts-martial are governed by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, there are differences between how each branch operates at court-martial. At William E. Cassara, PC, we know these differences and can build an effective strategy for your defense.

Contact A Georgia Court-Martial Defense Attorney

If you have further questions regarding military law or defense, contact William E. Cassara, PC. We provide representation to clients throughout Georgia and nationwide in a wide range of matters. We can be reached by phone at 800-511-9293 or through our easy online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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  • Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

Recent Accomplishments

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Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Limits the Use of Prior Statements at Trial

By William Cassara | July 14, 2020

Military rules of evidence generally do not allow hearsay statements to be admitted at trial. Hearsay statements are statements made outside of court that are offered as proof of the substance of that statement. There are several exceptions to the hearsay rule, such as statements included in regular business records. […]

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Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Finds That Government Did Not Prove Sexual Assault Offenses Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

By William Cassara | June 25, 2020

In 2018, the Marine Corps tried Cpl Lewis on several sexual assault charges. The panel convicted him of attempted sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, and sexual assault. The Government charged that these offenses occurred when the alleged victim, Cpl Alpha, was incapable of consenting due to impairment by alcohol. The […]

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Army Court of Criminal Appeals Affirms Trial Judge’s Decision Excluding Hearsay Statements Made By Alleged Victim and Son

By William Cassara | June 15, 2020

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) recently decided the case of United States v. Henry. The case concerns the Government’s appeal of a military judge’s decision not to allow certain statements made by the alleged victim and her son at trial. Hearsay Rules of evidence generally do not allow […]

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