Legal Assistance for Military Law Offences

Updated on Friday 28th July 2017

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People who are involved in a case of military law offence are instructed to receive legal assistance from a criminal defence solicitor in London.  The British Armed Forces enabled the Armed Forces Act in 2006 which contains the military law offences. We remind that any individual charged with such offences should ask for complete legal advice before the hearing in the court of law. It is good to know that the Armed Forces Act in 2006 comprises two categories:

•    criminal conduct offences;
•    discipline offences.

The main criminal conduct offences are considered to be: 

•    criminal damage;
•    theft (including taking a vehicle without permission) or fraud;
•    driving under influence of alcohol substances or careless driving on drug substances;
•    services obtained on illegal methods.
 

The Armed Forces Act 2006


If you believe you are suspected or involved in a military law offence case, our team of defence solicitors in London can provide you with the legal assistance necessary for your case. The Armed Forces Act was issued by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2006, to replace the Service Discipline Act, which contained three separate documents for all services of the Armed Forces (Marine, Army and Air Force). The act managed to establish a set of rules and laws for all three services bringing some important changes in the military law offences. The most important changes mentioned in the act are: 

•    summary discipline - this is the main instrument most offences are dealt with; 
•    Service Prosecuting Authority - its role is to decide whether to prosecute a person under the Military Service Law or not or if it will send the accused to the Martial Court;
•    the Martial Court is the instrument that deals with the most serious military law offences.

Basically, another way to see the changes is that there are offences that can be handled by a Commanding Officer in a summary discipline or others that are more serious and they are handled in Martial Court. 
 

Summary hearing by the Commanding Officer in UK


The military offences are judged by a Commanding Officer in the UK who can be a lieutenant, wing commander, or colonel. The hearings are available for the following military offences in the UK:

•    conduct prejudicial to good order;
•    insubordination;
•    criminal damage;
•    assault;
•    absent without leave;
•    theft;
•    careless driving.

It is good to know that several military crime acts cannot be heard by a commanding officer, and here we remind the following:

•    misconduct on military operations;
•    desertion;
•    surrendering a position;
•    assisting the enemy.

The commanding officer who finds the offender guilty of military offences can enforce punishments like detention or reduction in rank.


What is a Summary Appeal Court in UK?


Any officer found guilty of military offences in the UK should ask for legal support from our criminal lawyers in London, as they can help you appeal the decision to the Summary Appeal Court in UK. This important court of law consists of judge advocate and a warrant officer who will rehear the charges and also reconsider the verdict or the decision. As for granting or dismissing the appeals made to the Summary Appeal Court in UK, only three members of the court will decide upon them. Please consider that appeals made on a point of law in the UK are sent at the High Court of England and Wales.

The military law offences in UK and the legal advice in such cases are explained in the video below we invite you to watch: 
 


Our criminal solicitors in London are specialized in a wide range of military law offences and they can provide you all the legal assistance necessary to solve your case. For further information or legal assistance in a military law offence case, please contact our team of defence solicitors in London.

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