MILITARY LAW BLOG
What Is the Military’s Policy on Alcohol Consumption?
As a military service member, it’s important to understand how the military handles alcohol use. This way, you can make lawful, responsible choices regarding your alcohol consumption. Here’s what you need to know to remain in good standing as a service member and what to do if you face disciplinary action for excessive alcohol use. … Read more
How to Fight a Positive Drug Test in the Military
As a service member, you undoubtedly know the military has a zero-tolerance policy for drug use. The expectation is that if you’re entrusted with protecting and serving your country, you must do so without the influence of illicit substances. As such, everyone from the newest recruit to the most seasoned general is subject to random, … Read more
Sexual Harassment is Now a Crime Under the UCMJ
The Department of Defense has passed multiple reforms in recent years as it attempts to stamp out sex crimes in the military. Despite this, the estimated rates of sexual harassment and sexual assault remain alarmingly high. According to a RAND study released in 2021, roughly one in 16 women and one in 143 men experience … Read more
Can You Appeal a Court-Martial Conviction?
If you are a recently convicted military service member, you may wonder if you can appeal a court-martial conviction. The short answer is yes. The military has built-in protections for convicted service members, including the ability to appeal a decision, which may reduce or eliminate your sentence. The rules that apply depend on which type … Read more
What Happens to Military Deserters?
Failing to report for military duty is a serious offense carrying severe penalties up to and including capital punishment (the death penalty) for desertion during wartime. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers three charges relating to failure to report for duty—desertion, absence without leave (AWOL), and missing movement. Being absent without leave for … Read more
Settlement to Review Thousands of Navy and Marine Corps Discharges
Military service members often experience more than their fair share of trauma while serving their country. Unfortunately, the resulting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), and other behavioral and mental health conditions can lead to misconduct that garners wrongful military discharges. This is the argument Iraq War veteran Tyson … Read more
What is the Most Common Type of Military Discipline?
All military service members are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Specific crimes and their corresponding punishments are defined in the 146 articles of the UCMJ. Notably, the articles also provide procedural protections for members, including the right to a military defense attorney and the option to appeal courts-martial convictions. Military Crime … Read more
Can Military Members Take a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement, also called a plea bargain or pretrial agreement, is when a defendant agrees to plead guilty to some or all the charges in exchange for a lesser punishment. This may include lowering the charge to something less severe or reducing the sentence. Plea agreements also sometimes require the defendant to testify against … Read more
How Does Pretrial Confinement Work for Military Members?
When a person is charged with a crime, the judge may order pretrial confinement. The military version of pretrial confinement shares some similarities to civilian rules, but there are some notable differences. By understanding how pretrial confinement works for military members, you’ll know what to expect if this has been imposed on you. How Pretrial … Read more
Judge Rules in Favor of Navy Seals Challenging COVID Vaccine
Following FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in August 2021, President Joe Biden asked the Department of Defense (DoD) to explore adding it to the list of required vaccinations for service members. It wasn’t long before the military began mandating the COVID vaccine. In fact, the Navy set a deadline for all sailors to … Read more
Unprecedented Unaminous Verdict Order Enacted in Military Court during Sexual Assult Trial
An army judge rules to require a unanimous guilty verdict during a sexual assault case, sparking discussion of requiring unanimous verdicts in military court. Military and civilian court cases operate under different sets of laws, processes, and sentencings. These differences include court proceedings and regulations where military courts do not always align with the standard … Read more
Can Military Members Face Double Jeopardy?
Military service members have different rights than civilians. Still, they are protected under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, which states: “No person shall…be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” This means no one can be charged more than once for the same crime. However, … Read more