There are a great many consequences of a military criminal conviction that clients do not often know about or consider. Therefore, we wanted to list a few here to help you understand and make an informed decision. The following briefly describes the most common outcomes:


As you may know, being a “convicted felon” has many ramifications in our society. You’ll likely lose your right to vote or to run for public office, your chances of being employed in many fields (law enforcement, medical, or other positions that are considered “sensitive” or involve positions of trust). Whether or not a conviction on a particular charge will be treated as a felony varies from state to state. You should discuss your specific plans with your counsel to find out what your conviction will mean in a particular state.


If you are convicted at a court martial, you may receive a “punitive discharge” (Bad Conduct,  Dishonorable or Dismissal (if you’re an officer). These discharges will take effect after any mandatory appeal process is completed (sometimes as long as three years after your conviction). This means that you remain on active duty until the punitive discharge takes effect or your enlistment expires, whichever occurs first. That said, it is likely that you will be placed in a no-pay “appellate leave” status until this happens. During the wait, you and your dependents will still be permitted to use the Exchange and Commissary and you’ll retain your right to medical and emergency dental. Once your discharge is approved, you’ll lose these benefits.


As mentioned, many states restrict the voting rights of convicted felons. You should discuss your specific state rules with your counsel to determine if you might retain voting rights.


Federal law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year from purchasing ammunition or firearms. This also applies to convictions for domestic violence regardless of the confinement time. Your military attorney can assist you in understanding your specific state’s rules.


Convictions for certain “sex offenses” may require that you register as a sex offender. This draconian policy is governed by federal as well as state law. For example, the names of “sex offenders” and the details of their crime will be accessible by members of the public on websites such as this one:

Those required to register as a sex offender will have restrictions on attending colleges, living near parks or schools, and working in industries where they would have contact with minors, to name just a few. As an example, click here for California’s rules, which are very similar to other states. The terms and duration of sex offender registration vary from state to state. Certain states may require registration for offenses not listed in the instruction. Read more about sex offender registration generally by clicking here. Regardless of your state, PLEASE make sure you understand the ramifications of this policy thoroughly before you agree to plead guilty to a crime considered a “sex offense.”


You may not know it now, but the benefits you’ve earned from the Veteran’s Administration are extremely valuable. They include lifetime disability compensation, veteran’s pension programs, free medical care, educational benefits (including the 9/11 GI Bill), housing and home loan guarantees, job training, small businesses loans, mental health counseling, and funeral benefits, just to name a few. Regardless of your age or health, you should NOT take any action that would give up these benefits without careful consideration. For example, the post 9/11 GI Bill is worth over $100,000 alone! Read more about these valuable benefits by clicking here. If you receive a punitive military discharge you will likely lose ALL of these benefits. Please consult with an experienced military counsel before you do anything that would render you ineligible for VA benefits.   


A court-martial conviction can negatively affect a non-citizen’s immigration status, ultimately leading to deportation proceedings. Click here to review Grounds for Deportability. These grounds include, but are not limited to, conviction for a “crime of moral turpitude” for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed, conviction for some controlled substance offenses, and convictions for domestic violence.


Enlisted members separated by a punitive discharge, and officers separated by a dismissal will lose all retirement benefits, including pay and medical benefits.

As you can see, a general court martial or special court martial conviction could drastically impact your life. You should do EVERYTHING you can to fight in order to avoid one. At King Military Law, we work to fight–and win–this battle every day. Please give us a call if you think we can help. 

King Military Law: Decades of Experience in YOUR Corner–When Experience Matters Most

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King Military Law
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Leslie PuikLeslie Puik
01:03 07 May 23
There aren't enough words of high praise to express our appreciation for Don King of King Military Law. He and his very qualified staff Kasheta and Angela took care of our needs like we were their only clients. They are all highly professional, superb communicators, responsive, and thorough. They are caring, compassionate and patiently listen to and address every concern as though they were helping one of their family members. Don excels at helping others understand the processes of the law. He educates his clients so that they can navigate toward the best possible solution and outcome. We will be forever grateful for the entire team's effort to help our family through the most challenging time of our lives.I highly recommend King Military Law.
john puikjohn puik
11:57 05 May 23
Don fought hard for our son with passion and experience.My wife and I can't say enough good things about our experience with King Military Law. Don is an excellent communicator, patiently explaining every aspect of the case, keeping us informed throughout the process. It was obvious to us that his experience in the military law system was the most important benefit of our decision to hire him. The staff, Kasheta and Angela were incredible. Emails were returned promptly. All questions were answered without delay. I always felt like we were their only client. We were truly blessed to have found Don and his staff to help us with this matter.
Dakota GrammerDakota Grammer
21:49 09 Mar 23
Let me begin by saying Mr. King has saved my life. I hired Mr. King for defense in a Court Martial case. His entire team worked tirelessly to create a solid defense for me. They would even just have conversations with me to make sure my mental health was okay throughout the whole process, making sure I know my resources incase I needed help. Because of Mr. King and his team I got an amazing plea that would not have been possible without him. I would recommend anyone to Mr. King and his team. Thank you all again for everything you have done for me and helping me still have a life after such a stressful event!
06:14 28 Feb 23
I felt so hopeless until I found Don. The way that most of us service members aren’t entirely educated on our rights. Is appalling. What I was accused of is supposed to be a career killer. Something as simple as licking my finger tips while handling cash could’ve cost me everything. Don and LT Bassani both work in tandem in away that was so symbiotic you could’ve sworn they’ve worked together for decades. And a special and well deserved shoutout to Angela and Kasheta. They walked me through the process and practically held my hand the entire way. Not only that but they made myself and my witnesses feel comfortable. When it’s all said and done. This is the team you want on your side.
Kyp RidenhourKyp Ridenhour
19:05 05 Dec 22
Don King is as exceptional as his resume would have you believe. His knowledge of legal proceedings, and litigating skills were far above what I had even expected. His assistance was worth every penny. I could not have been happier with choosing King Military Law. Don and his team helped me through every part of the legal procedure that I was dealing with and if it had not been for his team I would not have been able to continue my career in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. King and his team were always able to help me and I would not ever recommend anyone else for help in a military law situation as Mr. King has more experience in military law and litigating than any prosecutor that the United States government would put up against you. His team will help you fight back any false charges and I would happily trust him and his team in any situation. My brother is a lawyer and he told me I was very lucky to find such an experienced lawyer to help me. Please reach out to KingMilitaryLaw for help if you are ever in need.
01:46 17 Nov 22
I had a great experience working with King Military Law. They are excellent when it comes to communication and understanding the law. I would truly recommend them to anyone who needs assistance on any legal issues.
Siddharth SwaminathanSiddharth Swaminathan
14:41 09 Nov 22
Simply put Don, Kasheta and the rest of king military law are amazing. They are worth every dollar and Don truly cares about each of one of his clients. He will work night and day for and there is no one better than Don in this business. I was facing a board of inquiry for a situation that had gotten so far out of hand. Don pointed out so many flaws in my case and stopped my situation before it made it to a BOI. I cant thank Don enough. I called Don over 20 times a day. He always answered my phone calls, was patient and was with me every step of the way keeping me calm and grounded. My only regret is I didnt call Don immediately at the first sign of trouble.
Pusha 392Pusha 392
01:17 03 Nov 22
Was in an overwhelming situation with the Navy, reached out for a consultation with Mr King, he explained potential outcomes and path that could be taken. I felt comfortable hiring him and his team. Mr Don and his are knowledgeable, effective, efficient and very understanding. Because of their help I’m able to continue my time in the Navy. Big shout to Angela Schlosser and Kasheta De La Garza, who work and assist Mr Don King
greg Meagreg Mea
04:22 12 Oct 22
I can’t recommend King Military Law enough ! I felt like I wasn’t just a case but an actual person. They were professional yet compassionate every step of the way. Answered every question with kindness and honesty. They are completely transparent an filled with knowledge . Which i think is what everyone should look for when thinking about hiring an attorney. They truly have your best interest at heart.
Gabe CarothersGabe Carothers
03:05 30 Jul 22
King military law truly cares, and will be by your side every single step of the way. If you are even thinking of calling them. Do It. They are true professionals who care. Thank you king military law.

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