What Is Martial Law?

When a person is in any branch of the military, they must abide by a special set of rules. This set of rules is called martial law. Martial law is a strict code of conduct that must be observed by military persons at all levels. If a person fails to adhere to martial law, or violates martial law, they will be charged with a military crime. Once charged with a military crime, the person will have to partake in a court-martial trial or face charges in a military court.

Types of Court-Martial

Military court, also known as a court-martial, is where military members have their trial heard and their judgment determined. These courts hear everything from minor crimes such as theft to severe military crimes such as desertion.

Take a look at the three kinds of court-martial:

  • Summary Court-Martial: This type of court-martial typically involves minor cases. Punishments will be determined according to the pay grade of the defendant and a single officer will serve as prosecutor and defense. If the defendant is an E-4 or below, punishment may include 30 days of confinement, reduced pay, and a 60-day restriction period.
  • Special Court-Martial: This type of court-martial handles “intermediate” cases involving a three-officer jury, defense counsel, prosecutor, and military judge. The defendant may also be able to opt for a trial by judge or a minimum of a third enlisted personnel.
  • General Court-Martial: This court-martial serves harsh penalties, such as bad conduct discharges, dishonorable discharges, and even death sentences. Before the case reaches general court-martial, protocol must be followed. This includes investigation before the trial. In addition, the defendant can pay for civilian legal counsel in this court-martial.

Our Tampa military criminal defense lawyers know how to handle the military court process for service members facing serious criminal charges! Trust us to provide insight and direction needed during this serious and confusing time.

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Each case we take on is handled on an individual basis. We can tailor your defense to perfectly match up with your specific charges and circumstances. With over 7,000 cases resolved in our years of practice, our clients can trust that Thomas & Paulk has the hands-on skill and experience to guide them through this difficult time. If you are facing military crime charges, don’t hesitate to enlist our counsel and representation.

Contact us at (813) 321-7323 for a free case evaluation! Our military criminal defense attorneys in Tampa are ready to hear your case and protect your rights.

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