Military Defense Lawyers for Summary Courts-Martial

Worldwide Summary Courts-Martial Assistance

When military enlisted personnel get into trouble involving misdemeanor-level misconduct, a Summary Court-Martial can be convened. These are fairly simple procedures involving only a military officer, often a judge advocate, who presides over both the prosecution and the defense of the accused. The accused must agree to trial by Summary Court-Martial before it can begin; otherwise, the accused may be referred to a Special Court-Martial instead.

The concern with a Summary Court-Martial is that the presiding officer may have no prior legal experience whatsoever, yet he acts as prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge. Although he is bound to follow the Military Rules of Evidence, the officer may not be very familiar with them, if he is familiar with them at all.This being a minor matter, no court appointed defense is provided to the accused, so it may be in your best interests to retain the services of a military criminal defense attorney to represent you or to assist you with your preparation.

International Military Justice Lawyers

Because infractions are minor, punishments for conviction are not as severe in Summary Court-Martial situations. Military personnel with a pay grade of E-4 or below can be sentenced to up to 30 days imprisonment as well as reduction to a grade E-1 pay. If an enlisted member is pay grade E-5 or above, they can only be reduced by one pay grade and are not subject to confinement. However, they would still face restriction for up to 60 days and forfeiture of two-thirds basic pay for one month.

Conviction in a Summary Courts Martial cannot lead to any punitive discharge and is also not considered a federal offense, unless represented by an attorney during the proceeding. Obviously, should you choose to be represented in this type of a courts martial, you want the very best, as losing in this arena means you could have a federal conviction on your record.

Sometimes retaining the services of our legal firm to obtain the best advice regarding your legal circumstances is warranted to avoid a more serious outcome to your case. With our extensive experience in military criminal law, we have the expertise to provide you with the choices you need for the best outcome.

If facing a Summary Courts Martial, contact Military Justice International for aggressive legal counsel.