If a member of the United States military is accused of a crime, he or she will ultimately face reprimand hearings that are known as court martials. These are military court proceedings convened by commanders who uphold the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Whatever the branch of service that the accused has served in, they will be notified of the date of the court martial through an official order from the chain of command. Although the accused will be provided with a free military lawyer, he or she also has the right to hire a civilian lawyer for defense.
A number of different kinds of court martials exist, including the following:
- General Court Martial – This is the most serious type of court-martial; at least five commanding officers are present to determine the outcoming. While the accused enjoys more rights, the penalties are often more severe.
- Special Court Martial – Accused individuals may face penalties such as forfeiture of pay, imprisonment up to one year, reduction of pay grade, and bad conduct discharges.
- Article 32 Hearings – While less formal than a general court martial, Article 32 hearings are still a form of disciplinary action, often led by a commanding branch officer.
- Summary Court Martial – Considered to be the lowest level of court martial, it exists in order to make rapid resolutions of legal situations. The accused, however, generally has fewer rights compared to a general court martial.
- NJP/Article 15 – A non-judicial proceeding (NJP), also known as an Article 15, captain’s mast, or office hours, is a form of punishment that requires discipline but without the necessity of a court martial proceeding.
If you’re a service member that is being investigated or has been accused of a crime, contact the Law Office of Warren D. Price. With decades of combined experience and a passion for providing a rigorous defense, Attorney Price and his staff stand ready to defend you.