Should I hire an attorney to represent me at my Article 32 hearing? What is going to happen there? Is it important?
If you have been ordered to an Article 32 investigation, then you have had charges read to you and your command is looking at sending you to a general court-martial. Obviously, you are confused and overwhelmed at this point and probably don’t know where to turn. What is an Article 32 hearing? The Article 32 investigation is a hearing in which a military officer is going to listen to the evidence that the governments presents against you and listen to anything your counsel presents on your behalf. That military officer will then recommend to your General Court-Martial Convening Authority (GCMCA) what specifically he believes should happen. The officer could recommend that you face a general court-martial, but he or she could also recommend that you face something less severe or nothing at all. In my opinion, the Article 32 hearing is very important. Some people believe it to be insignificant and that the GCMCA already has his or her mind made up and will send your charges to a general court-martial no matter what happens at the Article 32 investigation. I disagree. I have represented several servicemembers at their Article 32 investigations. Often times, I am able to convince the presiding officer to recommend that charges be dropped or that those servicemembers face something less severe than a general court-martial. I have also seen GCMCAs agree with that recommendation and not go forward with the general court-martial. Obviously, this is an ideal result. If you want to have the best opportunity to better your situation before it gets to the general court-martial stage, you need an experienced attorney representing you at your Article 32 investigation. Don’t wait, call now. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.