Can You Appeal a Court-Martial?

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Military court-martial convictions are able to be appealed. Depending upon the sentence that is announced in your case, there would be two separate avenues for appeal. If the sentence includes a punitive discharge – meaning a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge – or if you receive an excess of six months of confinement – so 181 days or more – you have an automatic appeal that goes to the intermediary military criminal court of appeals for your particular branch.

Each one is separate, for the Army, the Navy-Marine Corps has one together, the Air Force has another, and the Coast Guard has its own. From there, the appeals may run directly to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which is sort of the equivalent for the Supreme Court for military case decisions. And finally, your case could theoretically be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court; they review all cases and have the ability to review cases that come out of military appellate courts as well.

For questions about court-martial appeals, contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 1­-888-252-0927.

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