What is a Summary Court-Martial?

Trial by summary court-martial provides a simplified procedure for the resolution of charges involving minor incidents of misconduct. The summary court-martial consists of one officer who is not required to be an attorney or judge. It is frequently a line officer from within the command. The maximum punishment a summary court-martial may impose is considerably less than a special or general court-martial. The accused must consent to be tried by a summary court-martial, and the service member can request trial by a "regular" court-martial. Of particular importance is the fact that conviction by Summary Court-Martial does not count as a "conviction" in the civilian world.

William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

Recent Accomplishments

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Reverses Navy-Marine Corps Court on Hazing Case

By William Cassara | May 14, 2021

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) recently published its opinion in United States v. Mader reversing a Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals decision in a case involving an NCO’s charged hazing of junior Marines. A Sergeant with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines was executing orders out of […]

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air force drug conviction

CAAF Reverses Army Court on Hearsay Ruling

By William Cassara | April 30, 2021

In June 2020, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals issued an opinion in United States v. Henry affirming the military judge’s decision to exclude four hearsay statements made by the alleged victim and her son. We discussed that opinion here. The government appealed the Army Court decision to the Court […]

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William E. Cassara, Military Law Attorney

Army Court Reverses Conviction – ACCA Opinion U.S. v. Hannah

By William Cassara | April 24, 2021

We are thrilled to report that the Army Court of Criminal Appeals set aside and dismissed our client’s convictions for two specifications of sexual assault.  We argued that the military judge improperly created the appearance of bias in favor of the government because of her inappropriate conduct toward our client’s […]

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