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. Unless the case is one in which the death sentence could be adjudged, an officer or enlisted accused may also request trial by judge alone.

In a general court-martial, the maximum punishment is that established for each offense under the Manual for Courts-Martial, and may include death (for certain offenses), confinement, a dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge for enlisted personnel, a dismissal for officers, or a number of other lesser forms of punishment.

A pretrial investigation under Article 32, UCMJ, must be conducted before a case may be referred to a general court-martial, unless waived by the accused. The Article 32 Investigation is the military equivalent of the preliminary hearing or grand jury in the civilian sector.

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

Recent Accomplishments

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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Great result for Army CW3 who received a GOMOR

By William Cassara | June 5, 2020

We represented an Army CW3 who received a GOMOR for allegedly failing to show up for work during COVID 19 and achieved a great result for our client.

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