Does misconduct always escalate into a court-martial proceeding? | Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
Law Offices of David P. Sheldon
Worldwide Representation

Does misconduct always escalate into a court-martial proceeding?

There are parallels that can be drawn between the military courts-martial process and a criminal proceeding in the civilian context. Just as civilian police forward their investigation to a district attorney who makes the decision of whether to press charges, so do military commanders make a decision after conducting a preliminary inquiry. Not every inquiry may progress to a court-marital proceeding under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 

For example, a commander might decide that the allegations were unsubstantiated and take no further action in the case. Administrative punishments are also available, such as a reprimand or even an adverse performance evaluation. A commander also has non-judicial punishment authority. 

An overview of the U.S. Army's courts-martial results for a recent month reveals how potentially serious the consequences of this military process can be. As context, out of the 36 cases, the accused solder was released in less than one-third of the cases. Punishments included both financial and conduct-related penalties, such as a forfeit of pay and allowances, a reduction in pay grade, confinement and/or dishonorable or bad-conduct discharges.

My law firm focuses on a broad spectrum of military justice issues. I have represented service members facing investigations, courts-martial and/or administrative hearings. The investigative period that precedes a court-martial proceeding may take months or even years before it culminates in charges. During this time, an attorney can work diligently to develop an accused's case and perhaps even avoid court-martial proceedings in the first place.

If you are facing preliminary and subsequent proceedings related to general courts-martial, special courts-martial and summary courts-martial, I can offer assistance and strong legal advocacy. Check out my firm's website to learn more about the types of charges I have helped service members defend against.

Source: Army Times, "Army releases results from July courts-martial," Aug. 21, 2015

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