A special court-martial is the intermediate court level. It consists of a military judge, trial counsel (prosecutor), defense counsel, and a minimum of three officers sitting as a panel of court members or jury. An enlisted accused may request a court composed of at least one-third enlisted personnel. An accused, officer or enlisted, may also request trial by judge alone. Regardless of the offenses involved, a special court-martial sentence is limited to no more than twelve months confinement (or a lesser amount if the offenses have a lower maximum), forfeiture of two-third’s basic pay per month for twelve months, a bad-conduct discharge (for enlisted personnel), and certain lesser punishments. An officer cannot be tried at a special court-martial.
You have the right to be represented by your appointed counsel and a civilian counsel of your choice.
You have the right to plead not guilty.
You have the right to testify on your own behalf or to not testify. Your choice to not testify can never be held against you.
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