A Court-Martial Defense Lawyer Who Understands The Consequences
Anyone charged with a crime faces fear and uncertainty about the future. For military service members, the consequences of a criminal accusation can be even more severe due to the military’s own justice system. If you are a service member in the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard, you need an experienced court-martial defense lawyer to advocate for your rights.
Attorney Noel Tipon not only has a deep understanding of military law, but he knows what it is like to serve his country. He served in the Marine Corps and as a Marine Judge Advocate for ten years before founding Tipon Law Firm, LLLC in Hawaii. Noel understands the challenges you face and knows how to approach them.
The Court-Martial Process: What To Expect
The court-martial process is similar to a civilian criminal trial but has key differences that requires the help of an experienced military defense attorney. The process starts when someone reports a UCMJ violation to a commanding officer. If the commanding officer has probable cause, you may be apprehended and confined for up to 72 hours. If the commanding officer decides to proceed with a court-martial, officers will formally read you your charges and the investigation period begins.
Like a civilian criminal trial, you will then have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you enter a not-guilty plea, your case will proceed to trial.
There are three different types of courts-martial, including:
- Summary Courts-Martial. These procedures are used for minor offenses and do not require a military judge.
- Special Courts-Martial. This procedure is used for serious offenses and is similar to a civilian criminal trial. A military judge will preside over the trial and a panel of three service members will act as a jury.
- General Courts-Martial. Reserved for the most serious crimes, general courts-martial will include a military judge, legal representation for both parties and a panel of five or ten members, depending on the offense. The general court-martial can impose a maximum sentence including death, life in prison or dishonorable discharge.
During a court-martial, each side has the opportunity to examine witnesses and present evidence. If the panel or military judge finds you guilty, you will face sentencing according to UCMJ guidelines.
Fighting For You In Military Appeals
If the judge or panel finds you guilty at the end of your court-martial, you may have options to appeal the decision. There are different types of military appeals that may be available depending on your circumstances.
In cases where a service member receives a bad conduct discharge, a dishonorable discharge, confinement for two or more years or dismissal, there is an automatic review by the branch of service court of criminal appeals. If the appeal is unsuccessful, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) to review the decision.
If your sentence does not include a dismissal, dishonorable discharge, confinement or a bad conduct discharge, you can appeal to the Judge Advocate General of your branch of service. You may also appeal based on newly discovered evidence or fraud.
The Defense Representation You Deserve
After dedicating years of your life to serving your country, you deserve a strong advocate to protect you. To schedule a consultation with a Hawaii court-martial defense attorney, call 808-727-1289 or fill out an online contact form.