Free Consultations!

From Investigation to Trial: The Stages of Military Criminal Proceedings

At John Malek Law Group, we provide expert legal representation for military personnel facing criminal charges. Military criminal proceedings are unique and follow a structured process, ensuring a fair trial and protecting the rights of the accused. In this blog post, we will guide you through the stages of military criminal proceedings, shedding light on our commitment to defending those who defend our nation.

Stage 1: The Investigation Begins

The first stage of military criminal proceedings commences with an investigation. When allegations of misconduct or criminal behavior are reported, military authorities conduct a thorough inquiry. This investigation is crucial as it forms the foundation for subsequent legal actions. Our John Malek Law Group team understands this stage's significance and actively guides our clients through the process.

Stage 2: Pre-Trial Confinement

Upon suspicion or during the investigation, the accused may be subjected to pre-trial confinement if authorities believe they pose a threat or may flee. This period can be distressing and challenging for the accused and their loved ones. Our firm is dedicated to advocating for our client's rights during pre-trial confinement, ensuring fair treatment, and securing their release, if possible.

Stage 3: Preferral of Charges

After the investigation, if there is sufficient evidence to proceed, formal charges are preferred against the accused. This step initiates the military justice process and requires meticulous preparation to respond effectively. At John Malek Law Group, our experienced attorneys diligently analyze the charges, gather evidence, and build a strong defense strategy for our clients.

Stage 4: Article 32 Hearing

Before a case proceeds to a general court-martial, an Article 32 hearing is held, akin to a civilian grand jury. During this stage, both the prosecution and the defense present evidence, and witnesses may be called to testify. Our legal team at John Malek Law Group leverages this opportunity to challenge the prosecution's case, cross-examine witnesses, and seek any inconsistencies that can aid our client's defense.

Stage 5: Referral of Charges

Following the Article 32 hearing, the hearing officer recommends the convening authority regarding the case's disposition. Based on the recommendation and evidence, the convening authority decides whether to proceed to a court-martial or take other appropriate actions. As defense attorneys, we engage in persuasive advocacy during this stage to present the strongest defense possible.

Stage 6: Court-Martial

The court-martial is the trial stage of military criminal proceedings, analogous to a civilian trial. It is the most critical phase where evidence is presented, witnesses testify, and the defense can rigorously challenge the prosecution's case. At John Malek Law Group, we leave no stone unturned in providing a robust defense for our clients during the court-martial, striving to protect their rights and secure a favorable outcome.

Stage 7: Sentencing

The sentencing phase follows if the accused is found guilty during the court-martial. Our team is well-versed in presenting mitigating factors to the court to secure our clients a fair and just sentence. We advocate for appropriate rehabilitation and ensure the punishment fits the crime.

Stage 8: Appeals

In military criminal proceedings, a post-trial review process allows for appeals. Our commitment to our clients does not end with the court-martial; we continue to fight for justice by exploring all possible avenues for appeals, if necessary.

We stand by our clients at every stage of military criminal proceedings. From the initial investigation to court-martial and beyond, our team of skilled attorneys is dedicated to providing the best legal representation possible. We understand the unique challenges military personnel face in these proceedings. We are proud to be their advocates and defenders, upholding the principles of justice and safeguarding their rights.

Contact John Malek Law Group today to schedule a consultation, and let us guide you through the complexities of military criminal proceedings!