Skip to Content
Fighting For You, No Matter Where You're Stationed! 843-773-5501
Top
Defending Those Who Defend Us ®

Court-Martial Appeals

Justice is not always served at a trial. For many service members, vindication can be achieved through the appellate review process. Each military branch has a Court of Criminal Appeals to review and consider the decisions meted out by military courts-martial. Overseeing these courts is the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which sits as the military’s highest court and may be a service member’s first opportunity to have his or her case reviewed by civilian judges not subject to military authorities.

United States Courts of Criminal Appeals (CCAs)

Established under Article 66, UCMJ, 10. U.S.C. § 866, by the Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) of each branch, are military’s CCAs:

What cases do the CCAs review? 

The CCAs are empowered to review and act on court-martial records by affirming, reversing, or modifying the findings and sentence in cases in which the sentence, as approved, includes:

  • death;
  • dismissal of a commissioned officer, cadet or midshipman;
  • dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge; or
  • confinement for 2 years or more.

In other words, if you were prosecuted at a General or Special Court-Martial and received a punitive discharge (dismissal, DD, or BCD) OR at least two years of confinement, a CCA will automatically review your case.

Who are the judges?

The CCAs are composed of several three-judge panels. These judges may be commissioned officers or civilians.

What relief can the CCAs grant?

The CCAs have broad authority to grant relief on appeal, including:

  • Dismissing one or more findings of guilt;
  • Setting aside a finding of guilt for a lesser offense;
  • Reducing a sentence or punishment; or
  • Ordering a rehearing to reexamine any charge or sentence.

One of the greatest advantages in military appeals is the CCA’s ability to evaluate the factual sufficiency of a case. Article 66 authorizes the CCAs to “weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses, and determine controverted questions of fact,” even though the judges were present at trial to hear the witnesses testify. If a CCA is not convinced of a service member’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then the conviction and sentence can be set aside.

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF)

If a service member does not obtain relief from the CCA, he or she can petition the military’s highest appellate court: the United States Courts of Appeals of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). CAAF exercises worldwide jurisdiction over military service members and is composed of five civilian judges appointed for 15-year terms by the President of the United States. CAAF deals with a wide-range of legal issues including constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, evidence, administrative law, and national security law.

Other Avenues For Relief

If you were convicted at court-martial but do not rate an automatic review of your case, there are other avenues of appeal. Article 69, UCMJ, empowers the respective JAGs, upon application by the accused, to “modify or set aside, in whole or in part, the findings and sentence in a court-martial” that is not reviewed by the CCAs.

To qualify for consideration, an application generally must be submitted to the JAG no later than one year after the completion of final review. This period may be extended up to three years for good cause. 

Contact MJA Today

If you or a loved one was convicted at court-martial, there is still hope to obtain relief during the appellate process. Contact one of our military justice attorneys today for a free consultation.

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.

  • FULL ACQUITTAL

    Camp Pendleton, CA. Marine charged with sexually assaulting a dependent spouse was found not guilty after MJA obtained DNA testing.

  • FULL ACQUITTAL FULL ACQUITTAL

    Fort Stewart, GA. Army Staff Sergeant fully acquitted of larceny and solicitation to commit larceny of government property.

  • CHARGES DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE CHARGES DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE

    Fort Campbell, KY. Sexual assault charges dismissed with prejudice after MJA exposed government discovery violations.

  • FULL ACQUITTAL FULL ACQUITTAL

    Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Senior Airman falsely accused of committing rape and sexual assault against a fellow service member. Not guilty verdict was returned with 30 minutes of deliberation.

  • FULL ACQUITTAL FULL ACQUITTAL

    Kings Bay, GA. Navy Master-at-Arms found not guilty of allegedly unholstering firearm and pointing it at another Sailor.

  • CHARGES DISMISSED CHARGES DISMISSED

    Fort Johnson, LA. Army Specialist charged with multiple sexual assaults released from confinement and had charges dismissed due to false allegations.

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

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter where are you stationed.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy