Article 32 Hearings
Prior to convening a General Court-Martial, an Article 32 UCMJ hearing must be conducted. An Officer, typically a lawyer, will be appointed by as the Article 32 officer and his/her job is to determine the form and legal sufficiency of the charges, and to recommend a forum (General Court-Martial, Special Court-Martial, Summary Court-Martial, etc.) . The nearest comparison to be drawn between this process and civilian law is a grand jury. However, unlike a grand juries in most jurisdiction, the defense is allowed to take part in the hearing. This is a huge difference, and allows the defense the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and to gather a sense as to the governments theory of the case as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, all testimony given is sworn, so if different answers are given by a witness on cross examination then later in the court-martial process, the statements from the Article 32 hearing can be used to attack the credibility of the witness. Most military prosecutors are busy and rarely prepare adequately for the hearings. We have extensive experience at conducting these hearings and ultimately getting great outcomes for our clients. We aggressively represent clients at Article 32 Hearings and have had great success at getting charges dropped, reducing forums to Special Courts-Martial, or at the very least gathering evidence through thorough examination of witnesses to ensure better outcomes at future trials. Contact us today and speak with an attorney that is experienced in this area of military law.