The Uniform Code of Military Justice [UCMJ] provides for three types of courts-martial.
Usually, the most complex and serious cases are tried at general court-martial,
less serious offenses are tried at special courts-martial, and the most minor offenses
are tried at summary courts-martial.
Attorney Mike Coco has defended many clients in all three types of court-martial.
He has tried cases involving murder, manslaughter, homicide, rape, sexual assault,
aggravated assault, computer and internet crimes (pornography), drug offenses of
all types, espionage, classified cases, and financial crimes. There are very few
crimes listed in the UCMJ that have not been the subject of courts-martial that
Mike has been involved in. Mike has tried hundreds of cases as a military judge,
defense counsel, and prosecutor.
General courts-martial are usually the forum for cases in which a dishonorable
discharges or a dismissal are possible. This is the usual forum for murders, sexual
assaults, crimes against children, or any other serious offense. Even if the offenses
are not relatively serious, almost all officer cases are tried at this level as
other forums have limitations on the punishments the court can adjudge. If you
are facing a general court-martial, you may potential lose your career, your freedom,
your rank, your money, and possibly even your retirement.
Special courts-martial are the forum choice when the offenses are not as serious.
This forum limits potential punishments to one year in jail, a bad conduct discharge,
reduction to the lowest enlisted grade and forfeiture of two thirds of pay per
months for 12 months. Other punishments are possible. Officers rarely are tried
in this forum as they cannot receive many of the punishments allowed in this forum.
Summary courts-martial are for the minor offenses and do not require a military
judge to preside over the trial. This forum may be used when a commander desires
a quick resolution to an issue. The punishments are restricted to 30 day in jail
and no punitive discharge is authorized.
If facing a court-martial, a potential client must be sure they have all
the tools available to defend against the power of the United State government.
An accused must ensure that he has counsel that understands the system and can
fight for their client’s rights. You may have a right to expert witnesses or to
have certain witnesses present to provide the best possible defense. After years
of trying cases, Mike has that experience and knows how to fight for what you are