court martialIf you are called to military court or general court-martial, you may not know what to expect. This can make the process even more stressful. The Uniform Code of Military justice governs the court-martial process, which begins with a charge being pressed against you. Once those charges have been initiated, this is what you can reasonably expect to occur.

Right to Counsel

As in the civilian world, you have a right to defense counsel, called a Judge Advocate. This person will be assigned to you by a trial defense service or you can request a specific attorney. If you would prefer to pay for your own lawyer, you can hire a civilian attorney of your choosing.

Level of Court-Martial

Once you have secured legal representation, the next step is either a determination of the level of court-martial, a reduction of the charge or a dismissal of the charge. Before your commander can have a court-martial go to trial, an investigation must be initiated.

Article 32

This is a probable cause hearing. An Article 32 hearing officer will conduct an investigation to be sure that there is probable cause for your charges. Your attorney will be able to challenge evidence and cross-examine any witnesses that have been located. Your attorney will also be able to present evidence on your behalf.

Pre-Trial

Just before the trial, the lawyers will prepare evidence and witnesses. They will file any remaining motions necessary, and they will inform one another of their case.

Court-Martial Trial

Your trial will be held before a jury or a just a judge. It is almost always in your best interest to request a trial by jury. These people will determine your guilt or innocence after all evidence has been presented, just like in a civilian trial.

Sentencing

If you are found guilty, both lawyers will present evidence to determine a fair sentence. You may choose to testify or you may choose to stay quiet and accept the hand you are dealt.

If you have the need for military crime defense in Florida, call our office. A member of our staff will review the details of your case at no cost to you. Do not face the power of the military alone, we are here to help you.