Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of courts-martial?
Summary courts-martial are streamlined, non-judicial courts-martial. Special courts-martial cover offenses similar to misdemeanors, while general courts-martial cover offenses similar to felonies.
What are my rights when I am being investigated for or charged with a military crime?
You are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. You have a right to a free military attorney, a right to a fair trial, and a right to remain silent, among other rights.
Should I accept Article 15 penalties or request a court-martial trial?
Most trials result in a conviction, and a service member may receive harsher penalties than under Article 15. However, you should ask an attorney about whether you should demand a trial.
Can I be charged in the military system if I violate the UCMJ while I am off the base?
Yes. As a member of the military, you must abide by its rules of conduct at all times. This includes periods of furlough or excursions off the base at which you are stationed.
Who is eligible to receive clemency, and how is it decided?
A military service member who has convicted of a crime may request clemency. Clemency is granted on a discretionary basis, and the decision may take into consideration the crime, your military service history, any progress toward rehabilitation, your civilian life (if any), and what type of assistance would be needed after release, among other factors.
Article 15 procedures are an alternative to a court-martial that involves imposing non-judicial discipline through commanders for minor offenses.
General courts-martial resolve serious military criminal offenses like felonies, while special courts-martial resolve more minor offenses like misdemeanors.
A finding of unfitness means that a service member can no longer perform their regular duties because of a physical or mental condition.
VA Health Care Benefits
A veteran who did not receive a dishonorable discharge may qualify for VA health benefits, but limited resources may restrict benefits to priority groups.
Employment Rights for Veterans
Federal law gives veterans a right to reinstatement and protections against discrimination, as well as accommodations for a disability.