Military Court System
What is a military court?A military court will consist of a judge, prosecutor and defense counsel. Each are lawyers who are certified by their respective states. A military court may also have jurors which are selected by the commander who creates the court. Military courts are formed by Commanding Officers when there are allegations of criminal misconduct which require prosecution. A court is created when a commander signs an order to convene. Once court has been convened, all military rules of evidence and court martial listed in the manual for courts-martial will then apply.
How can a person access pleadings records of a military court?Usually, the best way to obtain military court records would be to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The FOIA request has to be specific and must state the record of trial. You must also state that you are willing to pay for any fees for the copies. Once a trial is finished along with any appeals that follow, the record of trial will be available as long as you have a FOIA request. Just submit the request at the base where the court took place and you should be able to receive a copy.
Do military court rooms have observers, or are the proceedings closed?Military courts have an open forum, much like civilian courts. However, in order to enter the military court, you must be eligible to enter a military installation. Aside from the one limitation of who has access, anyone not participating as a witness may be an observer in the trial.
If a person is found not guilty in a military court, can the prosecutor say that he wants to try the person on another charge since he didn’t get the conviction?If the prosecutor has new evidence that could win the case, the prosecutor may want to try a new case. In many ways, the military system is similar to the civilian counterpart. In some ways, the military system is better, in others, not so much from the perspective of the accused. The military manual states that all known charges should be collected in one court hearing. However, it is possible for another trial to take place. If the charges are tried for a second time and were known in the first trial, there is a good opportunity for the person accused to appeal.
Can a civilian investigation be turned over to the military for further investigation and formal charges by the military if the crime was committed in a civilian jurisdiction?Technically, the military can maintain jurisdiction over any action. Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers any soldier regardless of where the offense is committed. The state will usually take action against the soldier, but may decide that they don’t have the time or don’t want to make the effort to proceed and will turn everything over to the military authorities. . It will really depend upon how much the civilian court wants to try the case. There have been situations where a soldier is charged by civilian and military authorities for the same crime.
If you find yourself in a situation that requires knowledge of the military court system, you may be in need of someone with military law experience. You are going to need more than friendly advice from family and friends. You can ask a Military Expert for military law insight and solutions to your individual situation. Experts handle a wide range of questions and offer efficient and knowledgeable answers to any military court questions that you may have.