The Army said Wednesday it has filed criminal charges against a single-mom soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan last year, arguing she had no family able to care for her infant son.

Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook, could face a prison sentence and a dishonorable discharge if she is convicted by a court-martial. But first, an officer will be appointed to decide if there's enough evidence to try a case against her.

Hutchinson's attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said she still hopes the case can be settled without a military trial. She said the Army should consider Hutchinson's reason for not deploying overseas — that she was afraid of what would happen to her baby.

"There are other routes if they really want to punish her," Hutchinson's attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said Wednesday. "I don't think the situation was serious enough to warrant a criminal matter."

Hutchinson of Oakland, Calif., was scheduled to deploy from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah on Nov. 5. She skipped her unit's flight, saying the only relative she had to take care of her 10-month-old son — her mother — was overwhelmed by the task and backed out a few days before Hutchinson's departure date.