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"While military members may see guilty verdicts as the end of the road, court appeals can give them a fighting chance for resolving the case."
RICHMOND, VA, August 30, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Service members convicted at a court-martial have the right to appeal their conviction. Those convicted at a summary court-martial have to appeal the sentence at the next higher level of command within five days of the sentence's announcement, with the help of a court-martial lawyer. The commander at the higher level is in charge of changing the severity of the sentence, including reducing it, ruling it out or not altering it.
For conviction in a special or general courts-martial, service members have the right to appeal a sentence to military courts of appeal. In processing the request, the convening authority has to review it before the service member's case gets to the military Court of Appeals.
The convening authority is the person who referred the case to a court-martial. This person can only reduce or eliminate the punishment and can seek a Judge Advocate's counsel in their decision.
Conviction from a Court Martial Does Not Mean Defeat
Attorney Richard Stevens advises military members that getting convicted in a court-martial is not a dead end and that they can resolve their case with the help of a court martial attorney.
"While military members may see guilty verdicts as the end of the road, court appeals can give them a fighting chance for resolving the case," Stevens says. "Depending on the case's circumstances, it can be automatically reviewed by a military court of appeal."
There Are Options to Explore Even after a Guilty Verdict in a Military Court
With legal counsel from a court-martial attorney, military members facing conviction can appeal to the military courts of appeal for a case review. In situations where the appeal does not provide desired results, service members can go after a further appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
"The military accused has the right to hire a civilian lawyer, making their appointed military defense lawyer act as a co-counsel," Stevens says. "Considering the seriousness of military courts-martial, a court-martial lawyer provides legal support to help service members make decisions to get the best results in their case."
About Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Since 1995, attorney Richard V. Stevens has expertly tackled military defense cases involving false confessions, disproving incriminating statements and addressing police interrogation methods. Due to his skill, experience and accomplishments in handling such cases, attorney Stevens has been invited and has lectured at innumerable military defense attorney conferences on topics ranging from intricate criminal trials to preparing effective trial strategies.
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