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Update Colorado Code Of Military Justice

Concerning updates to the Colorado code of military justice.
2018 Regular Session
Military & Veterans
Bill Summary

Colorado code of military justice - updates. The act makes the following changes to the Colorado code of military justice (code):

  • Updates the terminology used in the code to reflect current use;
  • Clarifies the applicability of the code relating to persons serving pursuant to federal law;
  • Authorizes commanding officers to arrest any enlisted member and impose certain disciplinary punishments without the intervention of a court-martial and clarifies those punishments and who may impose them;
  • Describes the punishments that may be imposed by general, special, and summary courts-martial;
  • Removes a person's ability to refuse trial by summary court-martial;
  • Authorizes the assistant adjutant general for the space, cyber, and missile defense for the Colorado National Guard; the land component commander for the Colorado Army National Guard; or the wing commander for the Colorado Air National Guard to convene a general court-martial;
  • Authorizes certain officers to convene a special court-martial;
  • Permits a military judge to be detailed to a court-martial irrespective of military branch;
  • Requires counsel in general or special courts-martial to be appointed as judge advocates;
  • Classifies as felonies offenses for which an accused may be convicted by general court-martial of an offense that carries a maximum penalty of 3 years or more of confinement, or for which the accused received a sentence of greater than one year confinement. A conviction by summary court-martial is not a criminal conviction. All other military offenses are misdemeanors.
  • Requires service of a sentence to confinement to be deferred pending an appeal;
  • Authorizes the state to appeal certain decisions in a court-martial and prohibits the state from appealing a finding of "not guilty" by a court-martial or trial by military judge only. The act describes the process for the state to file an appeal.
  • Makes changes to the applicability of, and sentences for violating, existing offenses in the code to make it consistent with the uniform code of military justice;
  • Creates an offense related to the possession and use of controlled substances;
  • Establishes a process by which a member of the military forces may make a complaint against a commanding officer; and
  • Requires certain persons already required to be members of the Colorado state bar to be members in good standing.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details