A summary court-martial is presided over by one commissioned officer to “promptly adjudicate minor offenses under a simple procedure”. See RCM 1301. Typically, a person who is subject to a summary court-martial is not represented by an attorney during the proceedings but is entitled to speak to an attorney for guidance and advice prior to the proceedings. Generally, a conviction at a court-martial is not a reportable conviction. Punishment maximums vary by the rank of the accused person but no person can be confined for longer than thirty days. Similar to non-judicial punishment, the accused person does not have to “accept” trial by summary court-martial and may demand trial by court-martial instead. If the accused person elects trial by court-martial, they do not get to choose which type of greater jurisdiction their case will be.
A special court-martial authorized to give a bad conduct discharge (BCD) is composed of a military judge with or without at least three jury members (known as panel members). No matter what the charges, at a special court-martial the maximum punishment allowed is reduction to E-1, forfeiture of 2/3 pay, confinement for 1 year, and a BCD. A conviction at a special court-martial will translate to an actual federal conviction; it will depend on the state as to whether or not it is considered a felony conviction because in some states the criteria for a felony is if the person was facing more than one year. In other states, the line between felony and misdemeanor is drawn as a misdemeanor when the person was facing less than one year in confinement.
A general court-martial (GCM) is the highest level of court-martial under the UCMJ. A GCM is composed of a military judge and at least five jury members (known as panel members). The maximum punishment possible at a GCM will depend on the individual charges and will be the total punishment when adding each charge’s individual maximum punishment. Every case that will be a GCM will have a pretrial Article 32(b) hearing.
Being a former service member herself and working exclusively on military cases, Ms. Stewart has amassed experience to help in the following areas of the UCMJ:
When faced with the decision of hiring a UCMJ specialist, Ms. Stewart’s former clients explain all that is necessary about her commitment to their case and her expertise in handling the toughest legal battles. Learn more about her unique abilities in the words of her clients, peers, and military judges.