If you are a military service member who has been accused of or arrested for a crime, you will soon face reprimand hearings known as a court martial. These military criminal court proceedings are convened by commanders and superiors who retain the authority to uphold the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

These trial courts are conducted on a general as-needed basis. You will be notified of the date of court martial through an official order presented through the chain of command for your particular branch of service. These proceedings can have lasting consequences, which is why you should work with a court martial lawyer.


5 / 5 stars
"Mr. Jordan and his team did an outstanding job during my court-martial. They provided exemplary legal advice, which resulted in a most agreeable verdict. Mr. Jordan and his team ensured that I was treated fairly and he defended all aspects of the case. Moreover, Mr. Jordan ensured I maintained the appropriate rank, all entitlements, and continued my military service. I would recommend Mr. Jordan and his legal team for any military legal matters."
Cristi Murphy


Our founding attorney is a former service member who served as an Army JAG officer. Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law is committed to providing military service members with excellent representation for cases and hearings both domestically and overseas. Attorney Jordan and his team obtained numerous victories for clients in:

  • Court martial cases
  • Board of inquiries
  • Separation board hearings
  • Article 15 hearings
  • Investigations
  • General memorandum of reprimands

If you have been accused of a military crime and are in need of an experienced legal defense, call our court martial attorney right away. We are here to fight for you.

Attorney Jordan firmly believes that all cases deserve an aggressive attorney who will conduct an independent investigation of the case and challenge evidence brought forth in the proceeding. Each client deserves outstanding representation and to have their story told. If you are being summoned to any of the following courts martial proceedings, immediately call Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law.

  • Article 32 Investigation
    These hearings are slightly less formal than a general court martial but are still considered to be a form of disciplinary action taken against someone who is a uniformed service member. Article 32 hearings are often led by a commanding branch officer.
  • Summary Court Martial
    This is the lowest level of a court martial that you can receive after a disciplinary incident. This type of court martial is used to make quick resolutions to matters but provides fewer rights to the accused individual than a higher court martial.
  • Special Court Martial
    In a special court martial, accused individuals could potentially be penalized with disciplinary actions such as forfeiture of pay, reduction of pay grade, bad conduct discharges and confinement of up to one year.
  • General Court Martial
    This is the most serious type of court martial that you could receive. In a general court martial, at least five commanding officers will be present to determine the outcome of your offense. You have more rights in a general court martial, but you may be served with higher penalties.
  • NJP / Article 15
    Non-judicial proceedings, also known as a captain's mast, office hours or Article 15, is a form of punishment that is implemented on military members that require disciplinary action but not a court martial proceeding.
  • Separation Boards
    These involuntary separations from your military service can be difficult for individuals who have devoted so much time into their careers. If you are facing a separation board, you need to work with an attorney from Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law.


Our court martial attorneys are devoted to ensuring that your side of the story is heard. We are not afraid to pursue an aggressive defense for your case and ensure that you receive a favorable outcome for your court martial proceedings. We are committed to providing outstanding representation to those who serve our country.

If you have been arrested and are now facing disciplinary action in the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy or Marine Corp, you need to contact Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law and speak with a court martial attorney. We are available 24/7.

What Is A Court Martial?

Members of the armed forces are subject to the UCMJ, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well as state courts. If a member of the military has violated any part of the code, a court martial can, and often times will, be convened. The type of court martial will be determined by the severity of the offense. For the most minor violations, a summary court martial will be convened. The penalty imposed upon you will be determined by a commissioned officer who acts as judge. The military will generally not provide you with a defense attorney, but you can retain your own. The Air Force is the only service that treats Summary Courts Martials as a type of misdemeanor court. Attorneys are allowed to appear, call witnesses and make arguments in front of the hearing officer. The rules for Court Martial and the military rules of evidence typically apply during an Air Force Summary Court Martial.

For misdemeanor crimes, a special court martial is convened. This form of court martial involves a military judge, as well as at least three members of the panel. If the defendant requests it, a trial by judge alone can take place. All members of the military can be tried in a special court martial, including officers and midshipmen. The Rules for Courts Martial and the Military Rules of Evidence apply. Unless requested, an Article 32 hearing will not occur prior the convening of a special court martial. The penalties imposed can be significant, but are restricted to no more than one year in confinement, and no more than three months of hard labor, and no more than 2/3 of pay forfeited, and for no longer than one year.

For felony offenses, a general court martial will be convened. This form of court martial involves a military judge, not less than five members. The penalties imposed are far more serious and in some cases, can include the death penalty. These cases involved what is termed an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury proceeding, in which it will be determined if there is sufficient evidence to convene the general court martial. In an Article 32 investigation, the accused can call witnesses, and has the right to cross examine the prosecution witnesses. Avoiding a general court martial will require a great deal of legal skill in this initial hearing, and even if you are completely innocent, it is advised that you are represented by a seasoned military criminal defense lawyer throughout every point in the process.

Contact Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law for more information about court martial defense, worldwide.

A military attorney performs many of the same duties as his civilian counterpart. The difference is that the attorney works for and with military personnel. Military legal personnel participate in court proceedings in courtrooms on military bases all across the globe.

FAQs About Courts Martial

Have you or a loved one been accused of or charged with a crime while serving in the military? If so, you may now be facing a criminal hearing called a court martial. These proceedings are conducted under military law, also known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ. Because military law differs from the federal criminal code that applies to civilians, you may have questions that only a court martial attorney can answer.

The three types of courts martial have slight procedural differences and dole out different punishments.

  • summary court martial hears the cases of enlisted members who are accused of committing minor offenses.
  • special court martial is considered a misdemeanor court for trying mid-level offenses.
  • general court martial is characterized as a felony court, making it the most serious of the three military courts.

For less serious transgressions, such as breaches of military etiquette and regulations, a non-judicial punishment (NDP) may be held instead of a court martial.

Any service member who has been accused of committing a crime has the right to retain a court martial attorney. Rather than facing your punishment hearing alone, face your reprimand hearing with a trusted attorney by your side. This can make a great deal of difference in your case.

Not all court martial attorneys are equal. Before you make your choice, look for an attorney who possesses the following characteristics.


Often the best court martial attorneys are those who have experience in the service. Attorney Joseph Jordan has been in your shoes. With over 10 years of experience in the U.S. Army and three years of service as an enlisted soldier, Mr. Jordan possesses valuable insight into the daily life of a service member that many attorneys do not.


If you are facing court martial, you need an attorney who understands your issues no matter what branch of the armed service you are in. Mr. Jordan has substantial experience defending all service members against UCMJ violation allegations, including soldiers, sailors, members of the Coast Guard, airmen, and marines.


The courts-martial are military courts, so you need an attorney who has trial experience. Military courts are no place for the fainthearted. This is a high-intensity environment that requires an experienced, aggressive trial attorney in order for your story to be heard. When the stakes are high, Mr. Jordan provides the hard-hitting advocacy it takes to secure a positive result.


In many cases, the strongest defense attorneys are those with prosecution experience. They know how the other side thinks, how they strategize, and how they handle court martial cases. Mr. Jordan served as an Army prosecutor at Fort Cavazos (Fort Hood) as well as the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea.


If you hope to beat your charges, you need a court martial defense lawyer that is relentless in their pursuit of a not guilty verdict – someone who doesn't take "no" for an answer. Mr. Jordan does this by way of thorough investigation of all the details and thorough cross-examination of all witnesses. No stone will be unturned in your defense if you retain Mr. Jordan.


If you have been summoned to a court martial, contact Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law immediately. Regardless of the charges leveled against you or what type of court martial you’re facing, we can defend your rights. Our team is committed to giving your case the attention it deserves, providing exemplary legal advice that will increase the chance of an agreeable outcome. Call us toll free at 888-616-6177 or (254) 340-0867 today to get started.

We Are Committed to Serving You

Joseph L. Jordan is a UCMJ lawyer who travels around the globe to represent service members in military criminal defense matters. He is an accomplished, experienced military attorney who specializes in defending ALL service members against violations of the UCMJ.