Let William E. Cassara, PC, Help You

Are you facing a sentence of one year or more, confinement or a punitive discharge? If so, your case will automatically be appealed to your service's Court of Criminal Appeals.

Mr. Cassara holds more than a quarter of a century of civilian military law experience. As a result, he understands how this system works. He can help you navigate that system intelligently and wisely.

How Do Court-Martial Appeals Work?

When it comes to this system, you should first understand that every military service (Army, Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps, Coast Guard) has what is known as a Court of Criminal Appeals. These courts (except the Coast Guard) are made up of active duty military judges who sit in "panels" of three. The sole reason for the being of these judges is to hear appeals of courts-martial from their particular service, where the sentence includes confinement of one year or more, or a punitive discharge (dishonorable, bad conduct, dismissal) as part of the punishment.

In these cases, the service member has what is known as an "appeal of right." In other words, regardless of whether the service member pleaded guilty or not guilty, if his or her sentence includes confinement for one year or more and/or a punitive discharge, his or her case will automatically be heard by that service's Court of Criminal Appeals.

The above process is, of course, complicated, but below we provide a brief summary of what happens:

  • Your lawyer will review the Record of Trial — provided by the court reporter — and file a brief with the Court of Criminal Appeals, outlining any errors that occurred at trial that may have denied you a fair trial. They will then file a brief with the court.
  • The government lawyers will then file a brief in response.
  • Your lawyer can then file a reply brief, ask for "oral argument" before the court, or rest on the brief they already filed.

Learn More About How We Can Help You

You need an attorney who is experienced in court-martial appeals. Mr. Cassara has represented hundreds of service members on appeal of their court-martial convictions. Call to schedule your free initial consultation: 800-511-9293. You can also reach us through our easy online contact form.