An Article 32 Hearing is the military equivalent to a preliminary hearing or a grand jury investigation. The accused has the right to hire a civilian attorney. If you are facing a possible general court martial you need to take advantage of the best possible defense. Contact our Law Offices for representation at your Article 32 hearing.

Rights of the Accused

The accused at an Article 32 investigation has several important rights. This includes the right to be present throughout the investigative hearing. More importantly, the accused can hire a civilian attorney rather than using appointed military counsel. The attorney of the accused can call witnesses, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and compel the attendance of available military witnesses. The attorney can also request that the investigative officer allow civilian witnesses to testify at the hearing, although the investigating officer is not required to do so.

Article 32 Hearing Procedures

Under Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, when charges appear to be serious enough to warrant a general court martial, a commanding officer will direct a commissioned officer to conduct an investigation. The commanding officer may also appoint a prosecuting attorney to represent the interests of the United States. An investigative hearing (Article 32 Hearing) is scheduled as soon as possible after the appointment of the investigating officer.

During the hearing, the investigating officer will review evidence, both against and favorable to the accused, and then proceed to examination of witnesses. The government representative will normally conduct a direct examination of the government witnesses, followed by defense cross-examinations, and examinations by the investigating officer. Likewise, if the defense calls witnesses, the other parties have opportunities for examinations and cross-examinations.

Article 32 Hearing Conclusions

At the conclusion of the hearing the investigating officer will make a report to the commander who directed the investigation. The report will include the investigating officer's conclusion about whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused committed the alleged offenses. It will also contain the recommendations of the investigating officer, including disposition of the charges. The recommendation investigating officer is not final, it is only advisory.

Contact our Law Offices

The military attorney that can be appointed to the accused for an Article 32 Hearing is often young and inexperienced. When facing a possible general court martial, it is not the time to have a green defense lawyer, who may be in unfamiliar territory and out of their depth. Our attorneys are experienced in military law, and has proven success defending clients facing serious charges. Contact an Article 32 hearing lawyer at our law offices of today.

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