What are the levels of military courts-martial?

General court-martials

A general court-martial can adjudge the following punishments:

  • Confinement
  • Reprimand
  • Forfeitures of up to all pay and allowances
  • Reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade
  • Punitive discharge (bad-conduct discharge, dishonorable discharge, or dismissal)
  • Restriction
  • Fines
  • For certain offenses, death. A sentence of confinement over ten years may only be adjudged with the concurrence of three-fourths of all court-martial members. A death sentence requires a unanimous decision of the jury.

Special Court-Martial

A special courts-martial can adjudge the following punishments:

  • Confinement for one year (only enlisted soldiers)
  • Hard labor without confinement for up to three months
  • Forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for up to one year
  • Reduction to the lowest pay grade (enlisted members only)
  • Bad-conduct discharge (enlisted members only)
  • Summary Courts-Martial

Summary Court-Martial

A summary court-martial can adjudge the following punishments:

  • 30 days confinement
  • Hard labor without confinement for 45 days
  • Restriction to specified limits for 45 days
  • Forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for one month
  • Reduction to the lowest pay grade.
  • If an enlisted member is above the pay grade of E-4, the summary court-martial may not adjudge confinement or hard labor without confinement. It can only reduce the servicemember to the next lower pay grade.
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