Joining the military may have been a dream of yours from a young age. You may even have had family members who served and caused you to have a strong respect and admiration for military service members. Whatever the reason, you chose to make the military a significant part of your life.
However, like many people, you may have experienced unexpected scenarios that put your spotless military record at risk. In fact, you may have recently found yourself facing a court-martial. You understand the seriousness of this type of situation for a military member, and you want to do what you can to keep your reputation and record intact.
What type of court-martial will you face?
The Uniform Code of Military Justice has three types of courts-martial. These separate proceedings range in severity depending on the nature of the offense that led to the court-martial. Those three types include the following:
- Summary court-martial: The summary court-martial involves relatively minor offenses and is the least severe of the courts-martial. One commissioned officer handles the proceedings, and any necessary punishment will depend on the rank or grade of the accused military personnel.
- Special court-martial: A special court-martial is more severe than a summary court-martial and involves at least three officers and a military trial judge. It is possible for up to 12 months of confinement to result as the maximum punishment, depending on the circumstances.
- General court-martial: The general court-martial is the most serious level of the courts-martial, involving at least five jury members and a military judge, and only the president, secretary of defense, a general or flag officer, or commanding officer of a major military installation can call such proceedings to convene.
You will certainly want to understand the type of court-martial proceedings your case will involve and the potential consequences at stake. In order to obtain an evaluation of your case and to fully understand your defense options, you may want to contact a California attorney experienced in such military matters.
Protecting your reputation
You certainly do not want to face confinement or other, possibly more serious, punishments from the outcomes of a court-martial. You also undoubtedly do not want anything to tarnish your military reputation. Fully understanding what the process will entail and how it could affect your military career may help you prepare for your case.