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

William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Navy Discharge Review Board Gives Navy NCO Great Result

By William Cassara | January 11, 2021

The Navy Discharge Review Board recently amended our client’s DD-214 to allow him to reenlist and continue his 16 year career.

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CAAF

CAAF Argument- November 17, 2020

By William Cassara | November 29, 2020

On 17 November 2020 I was privileged to argue before the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (C.A.A.F.) for the 42nd time.

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UCMJ

CAAF Excludes Evidence From Faulty Search and Seizure

By William Cassara | November 19, 2020

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) released its first opinion of the October 2020 term. In United States v. White, the Court upheld a military judge’s ruling excluding evidence discovered during a search.

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