Appealing a Court-Martial Conviction On Grounds of Multiplicity

A person that is accused of a crime cannot be convicted of both the original offense and the lesser included offense. This rule further declares that a person shall not receive multiple punishments for the same offense during a single criminal trial. This is the rule of multiplicity.

If you were convicted for a crime pertaining to an offense that was already addressed in another trial, you may have grounds for an appeal. Contact Daniel Conway & Associates today for a free consultation with our highly experienced military criminal attorneys.

Call (757) 401-6365 to arrange your first meeting with our knowledgeable legal team.

The Elements Test

The “elements” test is used to determine whether two offenses are factually the same, and therefore cannot be penalized twice. In the elements test, the court considers whether or not any of the offenses require a piece of evidence which the other does not. “[T]hoses elements required to be alleged in the specification, along with the statutory elements, constitute the elements of the offense for the purpose of the elements test.” United States v. Weymouth, 43 M.J. 329, 340 (C.A.A.F. 1995).

The analysis for an unreasonable multiplication of charges claims is guided by a list of non-exclusive factors enumerated in Quiroz. No one factor is a prerequisite, and one or more of the factors can be sufficiently compelling to warrant relief.

During the trial, three concepts for multiplicity may arise:

  • Multiplicity for double jeopardy purposes
  • Unreasonable multiplication of charges as applied to findings
  • Unreasonable multiplication of charges as applied to a sentence

Multiplicity can be a difficult concept to fully understand without a thorough legal education. Our military criminal law attorneys can tell you more about multiplicity and whether or not it can play any role in your court-martial appeal request.

Call (757) 401-6365 to arrange a free consultation with our military criminal defense lawyers today. We are available for appointments 24/7.

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