Material aspects of a general court-martial sexual assault case | Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
Worldwide Representation

Material aspects of a general court-martial sexual assault case

A recent article on military law presents some germane and interesting information concerning the singular aspects of a general court-martial case focused on sexual assault, and we pass along some central considerations for readers in today's blog post.

An initial point to note is the role played by a so-called "Special Victim's Counsel" (SVC) who is available to represent alleged sexual assault victims. The SVC -- who must be an active-duty military lawyer -- often advises his or her client during all phases of a sexual assault investigation and court-martial. The SVC program was inaugurated in 2013.

As compared with a special court-martial, a general court-martial is a comparatively serious affair, with either a judge or jury considering allegations that would typically comprise a felony in a civilian court.

And the consequences of a general court-martial, including in a sexual assault case, can be dire indeed for a convicted servicemember. They include these potential sentencing possibilities, either singly or in some combination:

  • Imprisonment, including the potential for a life sentence
  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Rank reduction and forfeiture of pay
  • Death

There are several distinct differences between a general court-martial and a civilian felony trial. One involves the jury pool. In a civilian case, jurors are sometimes randomly selected from within a community. In a general court-martial, names of servicemembers deemed well qualified by commanders are forwarded to the court-martial convening authority.

And sentencing proceeds in a different manner. In civilian trials, there is often a time gap -- sometimes many months -- between a case outcome and a sentencing announcement. With a general court-martial, sentencing is pronounced immediately after a verdict is returned in the case.

Military law applicable to courts-martial proceedings is specialized and singular. A proven military defense attorney can respond to the questions and concerns of any person accused of a military crime and facing a court-martial or other disciplinary hearing.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

David P. Sheldon | International Military Law Attorney

For more information, or a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of David P. Sheldon, online or call us at 202-552-0018 or 877-314-1665 toll free.

Office Location

100 M Street SE, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20003

Toll Free: 877-314-1665
Phone: 202-552-0018
Fax: 202-546-0135
Map & Directions

Take The First Step with
a Free Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response