Military Law

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Court Marshal Law

Military law is much different than civilian law. The court marital process is the military’s version of a civilian court. Breaking the law while in the military can lead to a court martial, often bringing many questions to the table regarding court martial law. Experts can answer questions such as these as well as give information about court martial, an officer’s rights and duties concerning a court martial, court martial punishments and court martial proceedings. Listed below are a few top questions about court martial that have been answered by the Experts.

Can a person be sent to court martial a second time for AWOL (Absence without Leave) if he/she was court martialed once already for the same offence?

If a person has had to face a court martial once and the commander feels it appropriate, he/she can be court martialed again for AWOL. However, the individual must be given a chance to go to TDS (Trial Defense Services) and speak to a military lawyer. If the authorities want a special court martial, the individual should be given a military lawyer.

Is there a time limit for a court martial to be appealed?

In most military law, if a person does not get a bad conduct discharge and at least one year confinement, then the person has up to 2 years from the date of trial to appeal a court martial. However, if the person has been given a bad conduct discharge and a minimum of 1 year confinement, then there will be an automatic appeal of the conviction and sentence.

What is a no contact order?

A no contact order is an order from a senior in the armed forces in an individual’s chain of command. This is issued to ensure that an individual does not influence any witness. The officers, after issuing a no contact order do not have to tell the individual about any ongoing investigation.

What happens to accrued leave in case of a court martial?

It is up to the command to take decisions about accrued leave in case of a court martial. The command will decide whether to allow the individual to take leave or not. In some situations, if an individual is a reserve or National Guard and is being released on orders, then it becomes expensive for the command to retain him/her and allow terminal leave. In such cases, they need to give the individual full pay and allowances and also the leave. It is easier for them to ask the individual to sell back the leave. The individual needs to sell back the leave if the command does not allow him/her to take it.

Can a spouse be entitled to financial help if they have been court martialed?

Financial help to the spouse in case of a court martial depends on many different situations. However, in most cases, the prosecution and commanding general can agree to pay the individual’s salary to the spouse for a certain period of time. Also in some cases, there may be a transition assistance program for the family members if they were victims of the crime. If this is approved, the spouse could get the individual’s pay and benefits for a year or two.

Is a summary court martial a criminal conviction?

A summary court martial is not a criminal conviction. It is an administrative decision. There would be no record of this kind of a court martial.

Can a spouse be called as a witness if an individual is being court martialed for domestic violence?

If a person is being court martialed for domestic violence, then the spouse will be called as a witness. No other documentation can be used as a testimony, unless the spouse is unavailable. If the spouse refuses to go, the judge will issue a subpoena. If the spouse further refuses, the judge can order the US Marshalls to arrest the spouse.

Knowing what a court martial is and what an individual’s duties and rights are will help anyone faced with a court martial deal with the situation better. Ask Experts about court martial, military discharge and other topics related to military law.
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