Minor offences are usually dealt with by your Commanding Officer.
Usually the most serious offences are dealt with by Court Martial in the Military Court. The Court Martial has powers which are similar to those of the Crown Court.
If you have a summary hearing, and you use your absolute right to elect for a trial by Court Martial, you will be entitled to legal representation, whereas you will not be entitled to legal representation in a summary hearing by either your Officer Commanding or your Commanding Officer.
Court Martial will sometimes hear trials for offences that are unfamiliar to those in the civilian world.
Sentences for such offences have to be considered both in terms of how serious they are, the potential threat to national security, and having regard to the position of responsibility you, the accused, may have.
A serving member of the military can be brought before a Court Martial and tried for an offence, irrespective of where in the world it is alleged to have taken place.
The range of offences can vary from military specific offences, such as mutiny, and disobeying an order, to rape and sexual offences, to driving offences, theft and assault.
If you are a civilian, working for the Ministry of Defence as a contractor, or an employee of other organisations, or if they work in certain areas with a partner or friend on military duty, you can also be prosecuted under military law if you offend.
These provisions cover members of your family living with military personnel on base, or, if you work in a support role for an organisation such as Nato.
We are able at short notice to represent service personnel and travel to any area in the world where a Court Martial is convened.
If you have been charged with an offence and you are going to Court Martial, then you can immediately ask and apply to the Armed Forces Criminal Legal Aid Authority to appoint us as your solicitor.
Although punishments available to a Court Martial are similar to those available in a civilian Crown Court, there are specific military punishments available, such as reduction from rank, detention in a Military Corrective Training Centre, and dismissal from the service, amongst others.
Sentences and decisions made by the Court Martial can be appealed to the Court Martial Appeal Court. These hearings are heard at the Court of Appeal by civilian Court of Appeal Judges.
Contact one of our specialist military lawyers today