Military Justice Processes
Learn how the legal process works for military members, including a comparison of the different types of courts-martial: summary, special and general.
Courts-martial decisions may be appealed, and in some cases, the appeal happens automatically. In cases that involve the death penalty, appeal is mandatory.
In certain cases, a commanding officer (Army and Air Force) or officer in charge (Navy and Marine Corps) can impose a lighter penalty for minor offenses.
An administrative separation is not a punitive measure, but rather a measure taken in order to determine whether a service member will continue in his or her official role, and if not, how he or she will be discharged.
A former military member or his or her representative may petition for his or her discharge to be reviewed for up to fifteen years after the original decision.
Learn how to apply to have errors or misrepresentations in a military record corrected.
Has your security clearance been suspended, downgraded or revoked? You can protect your potential for career advancement by appealing the decision.
Regular and reserve military officers go through a specific process when facing administrative separation proceedings for misconduct or other reasons.
Drug And Alcohol Testing
Since 2012, service members have been tested for the prescription drugs hydrocodone and benzodiazepine.
In response to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report stating that military drug and alcohol abuse is a public health crisis, the Marines instituted a program in 2013 requiring random alcohol tests for its members at least twice a year.
The court-martial for Nadal Hasan, accused of killing 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009, occurred in August 2013.
A shooting in a Navy Yard in 2013 has resulted in the military reviewing its military security clearance process.
Sexual Assault In The Military
In an effort to address the low rate of sexual assault reporting in the military, the government is considering changing key elements of the reporting process. At issue is the role of military commanders when a victim comes forward.
Elements of the passed bill include prohibiting military commanders from overturning convictions and allowing alleged victims to pursue a case in civilian court for assaults that took place off base.
Those accused of a sex crime are often assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. A conviction can consequences that last a lifetime, even for crimes committed as a minor.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces recently conducted a hearing to decide whether a cadet was working as a confidential informant before testifying against a fellow cadet.
Military divorces can be complicated, especially when it comes to matters involving children.
Those who are serving in the military and going through a divorce can face unique hurdles.
Rules for property division in a military divorce are different than those that apply for civilian divorces.
The length of the marriage, the length of military service, and the amount of time these two durations overlapped play a role in how retirement benefits get divided in a military divorce.
Adultery And Military Justice
Adultery is still a viable offense in military law, even though it has been largely decriminalized for U.S. civilians.