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Military Appeals

Court-Martial Appeals: Should I Hire An Appeals Attorney?

A court-martial conviction is not the end of the road. Depending on your conviction, the convening authority may be able to dismiss your conviction or lessen your sentence. In fact, effective January 2019, there are certain instances in which the convening authority can now reduce your sentence when before he or she could not. However, you need to submit a strong clemency case if you hope for this to occur and you should speak to your military defense attorney about your options or hire a civilian appeals attorney in Hawaii who is experienced with post-trial matters. Check out our Results.

After the convening authority properly acts on the findings and sentence of your case (and any clemency matters), the case is now outside his or her jurisdiction. In many instances your case will automatically go up on appeal to the court of criminal appeals for your service branch. If this happens, you will be assigned to a military defense appellate attorney free of charge to review your record of trial, look for legal errors, and submit those to the court of criminal appeals. That attorney will also submit any matters on your behalf that you personally want presented.

Some cases, however, because of the sentence imposed, will not go for automatic review in the court of criminal appeals. These cases will go to the Judge Advocate General of the servicing branch for review. You will not be assigned a military defense appellate attorney for this review. This is unfortunate because some of these cases carry with them severe consequences such as sex offender registration. To make matters worse, there is no automatic review from TJAG’s decision. You will have to petition the servicing court for review and whether or not that court even looks at your case is within that court’s discretion. This may seem harsh, but it is actually an improvement in rights for those convicted of crimes in the military. Prior to January 1, 2019, an appellant was stuck with TJAG’s decision and was not even granted an option to petition the court of criminal appeals for review.

It is important that your military appeals’ attorney has experience at both the appellate level as well as the trial level of the military court-system, preferably from both a prosecution and defense perspective. The ability to spot legal errors and effectively argue them is essential to the success of your appeal. A lack of experience in any one of those areas could make identifying, rom a review of a paper record of trial, and effectively presenting outcome determinative legal issues, nearly impossible.

Regardless of your situation, after action an appeal is your only shot at clearing your name and is absolutely worth it! At Law Office of Natanyah Ganz our team has you covered. Why Us

Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation using the form below or by calling us at (808)358-7318

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