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What are the Types of Military Court-Martial

The courts-martial have 3 types of courts: Summary, Special, and General.

Summary Court Martial: Resolution for Minor Misconduct

A summary court-martial offers a simplified procedure to address minor misconduct charges. Typically presided over by a judge advocate, this court comprises a single officer. It is important to understand that the accused must consent to be tried in this manner. In a summary court-martial, the maximum punishment is considerably less severe than that of special or general courts-martial.

Special Court Martial: Intermediate level with variations

The special court-martial serves as an intermediate level within military justice and comes in two variations. The first type involves a military judge, a trial counsel (prosecutor), a defense counsel, and, if chosen by the accused, a four-member panel acting as a jury. Alternatively, the accused may opt for trial solely by the military judge without a panel. In the second type, the convening authority can assign only a military judge to determine guilt, innocence, and the potential sentence. Special court-martial punishments are limited, including confinement up to twelve months, forfeiture of pay, bad-conduct discharge, reduction in rank for enlisted personnel, and other lesser penalties.

General Court Martial: The Highest Level of military courts

The general court-martial represents the most serious level within military courts. It comprises a military judge, trial counsel, defense counsel, and a court panel consisting of six to eight members. Unless a death sentence is possible, an officer or enlisted accused can request trial by the military judge alone. General court-martial punishments vary depending on the offense and can be severe, encompassing death for certain crimes, confinement, dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, reduction in rank for enlisted personnel, dismissal for officers, and other forms of punishment. Prior to a general court-martial, a preliminary hearing known as Article 32, UCMJ must be conducted, unless waived by the accused.

Looking for a Military Lawyer?
If you are facing military charges and require experienced legal representation, contact R. Davis Younts today. With a deep understanding of military law and court-martial proceedings, R. Davis Younts is dedicated to protecting your rights and providing effective defense strategies. Don’t navigate the complexities of military justice alone.

If necessary, he can appeal your case to a U.S. District Court or the U.S. Court of Claims. To learn more, contact attorney R. Davis Younts at (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. He is ready to help you and work on your behalf.

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