The Mayer Law Blog

After the Court-Martial

Posted May 10th, 2012 in Courts-Martial, News

For individuals convicted at court-martial, the long-term effects can be onerous. While jail is a short-term possibility, most servicemembers convicted at court-martial suffer through long-term stigma caused by the process.

1. The Discharge

A court-martial usually may impose a punitive discharge. There are two of these: Bad-Conduct Discharge and Dishonorable Discharge. While there are differences between them, you must understand that they both hurt your chances of obtaining employment, further education, and, depending on your state of residence, your rights.

2. Titling

Even if you are not convicted at court-martial, you may be “titled” with your service’s criminal investigations division. This is a record of an investigation against you that will remain in law enforcement databases for 40 years. A routine background check may show these records, and it has the potential of impacting future employment–even without a court-martial conviction.

3. Offender Registration

Depending on your state and the nature of the crimes resulting in court-martial conviction, you may be required to register with the offender database. This means that anyone can access the database online and see your picture, personal information, and the charges for which you were found guilty. This can cause humiliation for you and your family as well as difficulty in finding a job and higher education.

Know your rights and fight every legal battle to the fullest extent. While jail may occur after a court-martial, the stigma of the other punishments can be far more detrimental to your future success.

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