The Army releases some specific details about courts-martial activity that occurs within that service branch each month, and it is always revealing.
For starters, the information that emerges readily demonstrates the wide-ranging variety of military offenses that are considered in courts-martial proceedings, along with charges brought against servicemembers that are deemed punishable.
Another point of interest that notably surfaces is the variance in outcomes that are seen, with markedly different results sometimes ensuing in differing judicial circuits for offenses that facially seem to be at least somewhat similar.
That reality in turn reasonably points to the fundamentally important role that knowledgeable and aggressive legal counsel can play in promoting optimal outcomes for accused parties. Conversely, of course, lack of studied assistance from a proven military defense attorney can certainly militate against a favorable outcome.
The Army's released information applies to both special and general courts-martial proceedings, respectively. We noted in a January 6 blog entry the primary distinctions between those types of proceedings, noting that the former is similar to a misdemeanor court, with the latter being reserved for felony-type offenses.
As such, the potential outcomes in general courts-martial hearings can be much more severe than is the case with special courts-martial proceedings. Both types of courts-martial can result in a servicemember receiving a bad-conduct or dishonorable discharge, but only a general court-martial can bring a decades-long prison term or even the death penalty.
A servicemember facing criminal charges in any type of military hearing can potentially suffer adverse consequences of significant proportions. Aggressive representation from an experienced military defense attorney can seek to mitigate those consequences to the fullest extent possible.