A military court is different than a civilian court. Within the military, each branch of the armed forces has its own trial and court of criminal appeals. However, uniform higher level appellate authority exists with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and U.S. Supreme Court. Rules for military appeals vary by uniformed service and court.
If you were convicted after trial by a special or general court-martial, your case will receive an automatic review on appeal. The first person that reviews the case is the “convening authority,” or the high ranking military member that ordered your case to trial by court-martial. The convening authority can “mitigate” the charges, conviction or sentence after trial by disapproving the findings and sentence in part or in whole.
After the initial review of the case by the convening authority, you can pursue an appeal if the adverse findings and sentence are approved. The following courts will hear these military direct appeal cases, depending upon your branch of military service:
- Army Court of Criminal Appeals
- Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
- Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals
- Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals
You can find more about CRIMINAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MILITARY APPEALS.