What is a Special Court-Martial?

A special court-martial is the intermediate court level. It consists of a military judge, trial counsel (prosecutor), defense counsel, and a minimum of three officers sitting as a panel of court members or jury. An enlisted accused may request a court composed of at least one-third enlisted personnel. An accused, officer or enlisted, may also request trial by judge alone. Regardless of the offenses involved, a special court-martial sentence is limited to no more than one year confinement, forfeiture of two-third's basic pay per month for one year, a bad-conduct discharge (for enlisted personnel), and certain lesser punishments. An officer accused in a special court-martial cannot be dismissed from the service or confined.

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

Recent Accomplishments

UCMJ

UCMJ Changes JAG Review for Courts-Martial

By William Cassara | October 10, 2020

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) underwent several significant changes as a result of the 2016 Military Justice Act. Those changes went into effect on January 1, 2019 and include a new approach to Judge Advocate General (JAG) review of cases that do not qualify for appellate review. Pre-2019 […]

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ABCMR Upgrades a Discharge from 1984!

By William Cassara | October 5, 2020

We are thrilled to report that the Army Board for Corrections of Military Records (ABCMR) upgraded a former Army private’s Other Than Honorable Discharge from 1984!  Our client endured a lot of racism during his short enlistment in the Army.  One day, he borrowed a VCR from the breakroom, as […]

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Air Force Court Reverses Military Judge’s Dismissal of Sexual Assault Charge

By William Cassara | September 3, 2020

In January 2016, Senior Airman Harrington was at a party with several individuals. SSgt FC, LB, and TSgt KW were at the party as well. The group played several drinking games, including an “adult” version of Jenga. The game required individuals to perform tasks, such as removing articles of clothing […]

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