The Uniform Code of Military Justice is a code of laws and regulations that form the basis of the legal system in the military. Under the UCMJ, people serving in the military can be court-martialed for a variety of offenses. Special courts-martial handle offenses that are typically deemed misdemeanors in the legal system.
Special Court-Martials Explained
In the military, the legal system follows a different process than it does when handling civilian matters. Special courts-martial deal with offenses that go beyond minor infractions but are not on the level of felonies.
A special court-martial will typically include a three members and a military judge, though the accused can request to be tried solely by a judge. Consequences vary depending on the particulars of the case.
- A bad conduct discharge can be assigned from a special court-martial.
- Confinement cannot exceed one year.
- Hard labor cannot exceed three months.
- Up to two thirds pay can be docked each month for a year.
As with all courts, these maximums are not often assigned, and the punishment will fit the nature of the crime.
Legal Counsel for Special Courts-Martial
Legal counsel is essential for when dealing with special courts-martial. There are many procedural options available to people facing charges, and good legal counsel will help their clients explore all viable options.
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