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I was convicted of desertion in a special court martial and

sentenced to 6 months confinement...
I was convicted of desertion in a special court martial and sentenced to 6 months confinement and a bad and a bad conduct discharge. My appeals lawyer tells me that special court martial is equivelant to misdemeanor court and crimes with no civilian equivelant are considered misdemeanors in the civilian world but he's not positive. I would like clarification.
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
12/11/2014
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,254
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.
Your lawyer is right..that is, while the ucmj does not break out the crimes into felony and misdemeanor offenses (like states do and federal criminal law does) the procedural rules in the ucmj treat a special court like a misdemeanor and a general court like a felony. Specifically the Max confinement at a special court is 1 year (this is the same for misdemeanor crimes under federal law) and to bring a soldier to a general court. Where more confinement is possible. The commander must go through the article 32 ucmj process. This is similar to the grand jury required by federal and state law for a felony charge.
Because of this a conviction at general court will cause the soldier the loss of the right to possess a weapon.
So your conviction at special court is considered a federal misdemeanor conviction.
Please let me know if you have more questions
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
That doesn't vary by state? Staff at Ft Leavenworth said states can view it differently. And yes I'm a hunter and firearm possession is why I'm asking.
There is nothing to view differently. Since you did not go through an art 32 the max punishment you could have received was not more than a year of confinement. This will not impact your right to possess a firearm for that reason.
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,254
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you. I was honorably discharged by the Marines and made the mistake of going Army and obviously didn't go so well. Appreciate the help. Semper Fi!
Thanks Marine. Semper Fi
Phil
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P. Simmons
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