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Court-Martial Defense

A Veteran Court-Martial Lawyer Representing You!

Facing a court-martial can have significant implications for a service member, affecting not only their military career but also their civilian life. The consequences of a court-martial may include demotion, forfeiture of pay, dishonorable discharge, and even incarceration, depending on the severity of the offense. These repercussions can hinder future employment prospects, tarnish one's reputation, and result in the loss of military benefits and honors. However, a seasoned military defense attorney can provide the essential guidance and advocacy needed during such challenging times.

By leveraging their comprehensive understanding of military law and the unique procedure of military courts, a court-martial defense attorney can scrutinize the evidence, identify procedural errors, and construct a robust defense strategy. Ultimately, their expertise can significantly impact the outcome, potentially mitigating penalties or even achieving acquittal, thereby safeguarding the service member's career and future.

If you are under investigation or have recently been served a preferred charge sheet for a court-martial or Article 32 preliminary hearing, you need an experienced court-martial military lawyer by your side to protect your rights and defend your integrity. The Military Justice Attorneys are ready to stand next to you when you face charges sent down by command.

We are ready to fight and win for you. Call (843) 773-5501 or contact our firm online.

What Is a Court-Martial?

A court-martial is a federal court convened by a Commanding Officer/General to adjudicate the alleged criminal misconduct of a military service member. A court-martial is the military’s version of a criminal trial, in which other members of the military render a finding on a service member’s guilt or innocence, and any ensuing punishment. Depending on the severity of the charges, a court-martial will take one of the following three forms:

  • General Court-Martial: General courts-martial are reserved for the most serious crimes including murder, sexual assault, and high-dollar larceny and/or fraud. Officer misconduct is also often adjudicated at a general court-martial to ensure dismissal is a potential punishment. A Commanding Officer/General may refer such charges to a general court-martial because this type of proceeding has no maximum jurisdictional limitations on punishment. The jury at a general court-martial can punish as much as the criminal statute allows—and many criminal statutes calculate duration of confinement in decades rather than in years. A pretrial Article 32 hearing is required before charges can be referred to a general court-martial.
  • Special Court-Martial: Special courts-martial usually handle criminal matters of a misdemeanor-type nature such as a drug offense, simple assault, orders violations, or unlawful absence. Punishment may not include confinement longer than one year. Though less grave than general courts-martial convictions, a special court-martial conviction will result in a criminal record for the military member and could have serious adverse effects on service member’s career, benefits, and future.
  • Summary Court-Martial: Summary courts-martial are generally uncontested administrative hearings, rarely offered unless the service member acknowledges misconduct. There is no judge or jury present at a summary court-martial; instead, a sole officer chosen by the Commanding Officer/General hears the matter and renders a decision on punishment. Outcomes can include confinement up to 30 days, but neither criminal conviction nor punitive discharge is permissible. Nonetheless, consequences of a summary court-martial decision can be serious, and a service member considering pleading guilty to one should seek a court-martial attorney.

How Can a Court-Martial Attorney Help?

An active-duty service member needs the assistance of a dedicated court-martial lawyer because the military justice system is inherently complex and differs significantly from civilian legal proceedings. Navigating this unique system requires not only a deep understanding of military law but also expertise in defense strategies that are effective within the military's judicial framework. A court-martial lawyer brings these crucial skills to the table, ensuring that the service member's rights are vigorously defended throughout the process. These attorneys understand the high stakes involved and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome, whether that involves dismissal of charges, acquittal, or reduction of sentences.

Services provided by court-martial lawyers to their clients include:

  • Legal advice and consultation regarding the specifics of the military justice process.
  • Representation during all stages of the court-martial proceeding, including pre-trial, trial, and post-trial.
  • Preparation and submission of legal documents and motions on behalf of the service member.
  • Comprehensive investigation and evidence gathering to build a strong defense strategy.
  • Expert cross-examination of witnesses and challenging of prosecution evidence.
  • Negotiation of plea agreements where appropriate to minimize penalties.
  • Appeals of court-martial convictions and sentences if grounds exist.

Why You Should Contact MJA

Seeking the aid of a veteran-owned military law firm like Military Justice Attorneys offers a unique advantage to service members facing court-martial. Such firms are intimately familiar with the nuances of military culture and the specifics of military law, having lived and operated within that system themselves. This firsthand experience allows them to relate to their clients on a profound level, understanding not just the legal battle but also the personal and career-related implications of their situation.

Additionally, veteran-owned firms are deeply committed to the values and well-being of military personnel, providing not only rigorous legal defense but also a sense of camaraderie and support throughout what can be an intensely challenging time. Military Justice Attorneys leverages this unique perspective and commitment to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients, combining legal expertise with an insider's understanding of military service.

If you are involved in military court-martial proceedings, it is critical that you speak with an experienced court-martial attorney right away. Contact our court-martial lawyers now to learn more.

What Our Clients Say

  • "Best Experience-Best Outcome-Best Service."

    The relief we felt when we received that phone call from Joshua Hill was something I cannot even describe. If you want someone who will communicate with you and for you, fight for you, and extremely professional, hire Joshua Hill.

    - Lori
  • "Recommending, advising and informing!"

    If you are looking for an attorney who will listen to your concerns and feel that he is personally and professionally invested in results, Joshua Hill is your attorney. I was astonished by the level of knowledge Mr. Hill possesses while proving he is strat

    - Kerri
  • "Experienced, responsive, and knowledgeable."

    mmediately upon my retaining Mr. Healy he was there, accessible, through phone and text, explaining to me all the answers of the questions I had about the intimidating arena I had just been forced into. He replied to all of my concerns thoroughly and speci

    - Tyler
  • "Honest and Amazing Attorney."

    I called Mr.Hill and talking with him, he was very respectful, professional and most of all honest. Whenever I had a question, Mr. Hill was very accurate and informative during the whole process.

    - Rodney
  • "An Excellent Lawyer!"

    Gerald Healy represented my son in a very serious court martial case. He walked with us each step of the way from the beginning to the end. He put in numerous hours and left no stone overturned when working on my son’s case.

    - Anonymous

Our Battles Won

Results Matter. When your career, reputation, and freedom are on the line, you need an experienced law firm in your corner. With more than 75 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at MJA know how to fight and win. Our results speak for themselves.


    Quantico, Virginia. Marine Corporal (E-4) Acquitted at Court-Martial of Wrongful Drug Use After Positive Urinalysis.

    Drug Use

  • "NOT GUILTY" Fort Cavazos, Texas

    Fort Hood, Texas. Army Private Second Class (E-2) Acquitted of Rape and Sexual Assault Charges After Week-Long Trial.

    Sexual Assault

  • "NOT GUILTY" Parris Island, South Carolina

    Parris Island, South Carolina. Marine Staff Sergeant (E-6) Acquitted at Court-Martial of Hazing, Blood Striping, and Pinning.


  • "NOT GUILTY" Kings Bay, Georgia

    Kings Bay, Georgia. Master-at-Arms Third Class (E-4) Acquitted by Jury of Dereliction of Duty Involving Firearm.


  • "NOT GUILTY" Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

    Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Senior Airman (E-4) Accused of Rape and Abusive Sexual Contact Acquitted by Military Judge.

    Sexual Assault

When Your Career Is On The Line

Our decentralized approach to military defense ensures that we can represent service members from any branch of the military, of any rank, at any military base or installation stateside or abroad.

For A Free Consultation Contact Us Today

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