Consequences Of A Court Martial Conviction

What Are The Consequences Of A Military Court Martial Conviction?

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:

Convicted Felon

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.

Punitive Discharge

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.

Voting Rights

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.

Gun 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.

Sex Offenses

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.”

Va Benefits

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.

Immigration Consequences

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.

Retirement Benefits

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

Google Reviews

King Military Law
Based on 44 reviews
powered by Google
Ariel DifoAriel Difo
02:32 17 Feb 24
I was told by my command and even military lawyers that my separation from the military was inevitable and that there was no way to fight it. I lost all hope was going to accept my separation from the military. But, thanks to the guidance of Mr. King, I was encouraged to fight for my name and was even able to win my board with the help of Mr. King and his Firm. Angela and Kasheta were always there to assist me with any questions or concerns I had, and Angela did an amazing job scrutinizing the discovery and finding many flaws with the accusations. It was their hard work and dedication that eventually led to me being retained in the military. Mr. King was always professional and instilled confidence in me that I had nothing to fear. I would highly recommend his firm, knowing that his team will give you one hundred percent of their efforts and help you fight for what's right.
Adam WAdam W
00:27 10 Feb 24
Don and his team at King Military Law are truly incredible people. It's rare that you can call a law firm and speak directly with a lawyer, let alone someone like Don. He gave my father and I exactly the information we needed despite the challenges that ensued. It gave us hope in a very difficult time. Even afterwards, he's done everything he can to help me and my family take action and hopefully help many others in the process. Thank you Don 🙏
19:16 09 Feb 24
I recently hired Don King and his team for my legal situation and they delivered expertly. I was not sure what my options were and they laid it out for me in a way I can understand. There are no guarantees when it comes to legal situations but I was lucky that I went with what I came to see was the best in the game. Give them a call. I wish you the same result that I had especially with Angela and Kasheta on the case too.
21:58 24 Jan 24
Potentially found myself on the wrong side of an NJP that would have jeopardized my military career and discharge. This was not only a threat to my meticulously built reputation, but also to my future after military service. I was incredibly worried with no idea who to contact or trust.Here comes King's Law Firm - they are a dedicated and diligent team, filled with experienced professionals that have seen almost anything a service member can encounter. This is crucial - they have the unique perspective to provide comprehensive and informed legal advice. Upon listening to my situation, they instantly had a plan of action for me. This provided so much clarity and much needed relief.I cannot stress how beneficial the King Law Firm team has been to me. I need to shout out Ms. De La Garza - she actively listen to me for well over 20 minutes so that she could have the most accurate understanding of my situation. Her attentive nature tied with vast experience makes her such an invaluable asset to have on your side.I deeply appreciate the help, and will certainly use your firm in the future!
Lucas VazquezLucas Vazquez
01:43 11 Jan 24
If you're seeking legal assistance, King Military Law is where you need to go. I was going through legal issues with my command, Mr. King and his staff did above and beyond to help me. From making me feel comfortable and guiding me throughout the case. I can't thank them enough.
Christopher EsquivelChristopher Esquivel
03:25 05 Dec 23
Mr. King is very knowledgeable in military law. He was able to help me and made sure to explain everything in the most simple terms so that I can ensure I was in good hands. He is quick to help you address the issues you are going through and help you find solutions.
kyle doughertykyle dougherty
01:23 02 Nov 23
Don King and his practice, "King Military Law," have been an absolute game-changer in my life. From the moment I spoke to Don for a free consultation over a year ago, I knew I was making the right choice. The journey that followed has been nothing short of extraordinary.I had the opportunity to consult with several military lawyers, but it was Don's unwavering commitment and his word that won me over. He assured me he would stand by my side, and that promise has been upheld most remarkably. Don, along with his exceptional paralegals, Angela and Katesha, embarked on a tireless journey to fight for my rights and my future.The most significant battle they helped me win was against an administrative separation board. The dedication and diligence they put into my case were unparalleled. They left no stone unturned, meticulously examining every detail and aspect of my situation. Their level of commitment to my case was nothing short of inspiring.What truly sets Don King and his team apart is their exceptional communication. They consistently went above and beyond, ensuring I was informed at every stage. Their accessibility and willingness to answer any questions I had, no matter the time or day, gave me peace of mind during what could have been an extremely stressful period for my family and me.Don and his team didn't just treat my case as another file; they treated it as a number one priority. Their genuine care and concern for my well-being and the well-being of my witnesses were evident throughout our time together. They provided support and advocacy that goes above and beyond the call of duty.In conclusion, I couldn't be more thrilled with my experience with King Military Law. Don King and his exceptional team have met and exceeded my expectations in every way. If you need military legal representation, I wholeheartedly recommend Don King and his practice. They are not just legal professionals; they are compassionate allies who will fight relentlessly to ensure that justice prevails. Thank you, Don King and King Military Law, for giving me a second chance and being the unwavering support I needed during a challenging time. You are nothing short of amazing.
Cody WhortonCody Whorton
04:54 21 Oct 23
I am a Chief Petty Officer; I have served for our world’s finest Navy for 13 years. Unfortunately, I had a potential career ending legal event that threatened me with an administrative separation board. After calling numerous lawyers in San Diego, I called Mr. Don King and his legal team. Let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. After speaking with Mr. King, I immediately felt that I had the best legal representation that I could possibly find. I WAS RIGHT! Don is the most honest, hard-working, and compassionate lawyer you are going to find! His team fought for me like I was their son. His team is super responsive and always helpful. They were very knowledgeable and were able to answer all my questions regarding the process. Don’s paralegal Angela would always ensure all required documentation was in order and received in a timely manner. She would even talk to me when I was feeling down and ensured I was making the right decisions on my part. Don fought at my board like it was the last day on earth. This is the best legal team in San Diego. If you choose only one lawyer, choose Mr. Don King and his legal team. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! Thank you, King family! My wife and I will never forget what you did to help us win this battle.
00:29 14 Oct 23
Had a conversation today with Mr king about a military court case 2000 miles away and spoke with over 20 other attorneys and not 5 of them combined gave me the amount of advice that he did himself! Very well educated in his field with a wealth of knowledge. I have multiple high end attorneys on retainer here in my state so I’m not foreign to well experienced attorneys and this man was what I am familiar with when it comes to well experienced. Sad that I had to swim thru a pool of uneducated attorneys whom claimed to be the best in their field only to find out that they had no clue to what seemed to myself and my legal/political friends to be a somewhat simple question for someone claiming to be a pro! This man is the real deal! This is not a paid or fake comment and I have never met this person who is very far from here and he helped me as if I was standing in front of him! Even as he was walking his dog he took his own time to get back to me. If you’re looking for a legit attorney then you’ve found him! I’d give more stars if possible. I’ll be telling my friends on the west coast in the area about you. Thank you for your time sir!
Jess SackettJess Sackett
20:19 15 Sep 23
Mr King recently defended my daughter for misconduct. His defense ended with a unanimous board decision clearing my daughter of that charge. Mr King was tenacious and unrelenting in her case. His staff are true professionals and highly skilled and experienced in preparing the cases. If you or someone you know needs a lawyer who will fight for you Mr King is the one you want in your corner.

See All Reviews