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Military Justice

The basis for a separate criminal justice system for the military comes from Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution which granted Congress the power to “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces”. Accordingly in 1950, Congress enacted the Uniform Code for Military Justice or UCMJ. This code has gone through significant revisions over the years and it is important for a military justice practitioner to be familiar with the most recent version.

Within the UCMJ itself, Article 36 provides the President of the United States with the power to prescribe pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures. Article 56 gives the President the authority to set maximum punishments for violations of the UCMJ. It is through this power that the Manual for Courts Martial or MCM which is actually an executive order of the President was created. The MCM contains the Rules for Court Martial, including the Military Rules of Evidence, Punitive Articles, and Non-Judicial Punishment provisions. The separate services have their own rules and regulations such as the Army AR 27-10 which set forth policies and procedures for the administration of military justice. Local commands may have their own versions of regulations or rules such as the Navy and Marine Corp Trial Judiciary Guide for Western Judicial Circuit. In interpreting the law, the military justice system draws from both military and federal court decisions.

If you are seeking civilian counsel to represent you in a military justice matter, it is important that you hire counsel who understands how UCMJ, MCM, and rules and regulations work. Counsel should also have a firm grounding in Federal and Military criminal case law. Steven Krupa has many years of experience working in military courts. He is a graduate of the United States Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville Virginia and he has had extensive training in military justice matters. He strives to keep current on military decisions in appellate courts. Mr. Krupa is available for consultation by contacting our office.

Tacoma Criminal Defense Attorneys


The team at Krupa & Clark are excited to announce some new changes in our practice.  Steven Krupa will be leaving the firm to explore new opportunities effective June 30, 2020.  As of June 1, 2020, the name of the firm will be changed to the Law Offices of Michael Clark.  The firm will continue to focus on helping people who have been injured through the negligence of others, as well as other matters. The team, and especially Michael Clark, want to thank Steven for his years of dedicated service to his clients and the greater bar association, as well as for his friendship. We are proud of our association with Steve and look forward to seeing what the next chapter has in store for him.

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