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Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses? Call our experienced military defense lawyers at 1-800-921-8607 for a free consultation.

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Note: This law applies only to Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses?

Article 104 Ucmj Public Records OffensesArticle 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses public records offenses involving falsification, alteration, destruction, or removal of public records. This offense is taken seriously within the military due to its potential impact on the integrity of military operations and legal proceedings. The article specifies severe penalties, including up to one year of confinement, dishonorable discharge, and total forfeiture of pay, depending on the date of the offense. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Accusations under Article 104 UCMJ require immediate legal attention due to the complex nature of military law and the serious consequences of a conviction. Seeking the best military defense lawyers is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, these lawyers deeply understand the UCMJ and the procedural intricacies of courts-martial. This knowledge is vital for mounting an effective defense, ensuring the accused’s rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Secondly, public records offenses can involve detailed and technical evidence. Court martial lawyers can meticulously examine this evidence, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and challenge any procedural errors. Their ability to navigate the military justice

system can significantly affect the case outcome.

Additionally, the repercussions of a conviction extends beyond legal penalties. They can affect the accused’s military career, reputation, and future opportunities. Experienced court martial lawyers can provide a strategic defense to mitigate these impacts, aiming to secure the best possible outcome for the accused.

In conclusion, facing charges under Article 104 UCMJ is a serious matter that necessitates the expertise of the best military defense lawyers. Their comprehensive understanding of military law and ability to effectively manage complex cases make them indispensable for anyone accused of public records offenses in the military. Seeking legal assistance promptly can make a significant difference in the defense strategy and overall outcome of the case.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses vary depending on the date of the offense.

What are the Elements of Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused [altered, concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, or destroyed] [took with the intent to alter, conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate, or destroy] a public record, namely: (state the record alleged); and
  2. That the [(altering) (concealing) (removing) (mutilating) (obliterating) (destroying)] [(taking)] was willful and unlawful.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses?

For offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

  • 3 Years of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1

For offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses is a Category 2 Offense – Confinement from 1-36 months (1 month to 3 years)
  • Dishonorable Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Note: The Military Judge MAY impose a period of confinement less than the jurisdictional maximum period of confinement upon finding specific facts that warrant such a sentence. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.), Appendix 12B-C

Combined UCMJ Maximum Punishment Charts

Sample Specification for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

In that SPC Tim Tunney, US Navy, did, at or near Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi, on or about 8 Dec 2024, willfully and unlawfully alter a public record, to wit: a Florida driver’s license.

Model Specification for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about  __________, willfully and unlawfully [(alter) (conceal) (remove) (mutilate) (obliterate) (destroy)] [take with the intent to (alter) (conceal) (remove) (mutilate) (obliterate) (destroy)] a public record, to wit: __________.

What are the Definitions for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses?

“Willfully” means intentionally or on purpose.

“Public records” include records, reports, statements, or data compilations in any form of public offices or agencies, setting forth the activities of the office or agency, or matters observed under duty imposed by law as to which matters there was a duty to report. (Public records include classified matters.)

Other instructions.

  • Instruction 7-3, Circumstantial Evidence (Intent), is ordinarily applicable
  • Instruction 6-5, Partial Mental Responsibility
  • Instruction 5-1-7, Evidence Negating Mens Rea
  • Instruction 5-12, Voluntary Intoxication, as bearing on the issue of intent to alter, conceal, etc., may be applicable

Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses Military Defense Lawyers

Article 104 of the UCMJ addresses public records offenses, such as falsification, alteration, destruction, or removal of public records. These offenses carry severe penalties, including confinement, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of pay. Given the complex nature of military law and the serious consequences, it is essential for those accused to seek the best military defense lawyers. These lawyers can navigate the intricacies of court-martial, scrutinize evidence, and provide a robust defense strategy to protect the accused’s rights and future.

If you are suspected or accused of Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses, speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

Article 104 UCMJ: Public Records Offenses

Introduction to Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses public records offenses. This article is crucial for maintaining the integrity and security of public records within the military. Public records include any official documents, papers, or electronic records that are maintained by military authorities. Ensuring their accuracy and safeguarding against tampering or unauthorized access is essential for upholding military discipline and trust. This guide delves into the specifics of Article 104, including the elements of the offense, potential punishments, and the broader implications of a conviction.

Basics of Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

To secure a conviction for public records offenses under Article 104, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Existence of Public Records: The document or record in question is an official public record maintained by military authorities.
  • Nature of the Offense: The accused committed one of the following actions:
    • Willfully and unlawfully altered, falsified, concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, or destroyed the public record.
    • Willfully and unlawfully retained a public record with the intent to impede its proper use or authority.
    • Knowingly and willfully made a false entry in any public record.
  • Intent: The accused acted with the specific intent to commit the offense and knew that their actions were unlawful.

Collateral Consequences of a Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses Conviction

A conviction for public records offenses under Article 104 has numerous collateral consequences, including:

  • Employment Challenges: Finding civilian employment can be difficult for individuals with a dishonorable discharge and a conviction for public records offenses. Many employers hesitate to hire individuals with such a conviction due to concerns about trustworthiness and integrity.
  • Loss of Military Benefits: Convicted individuals typically lose all military benefits, including retirement pay, healthcare benefits, and access to military facilities.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma attached to a conviction for public records offenses can lead to isolation, harassment, and difficulties in maintaining personal relationships.
  • Legal Restrictions: Convicted individuals may face various legal restrictions, including limits on their ability to hold certain positions that require handling sensitive or classified information.

Impact on the Military of Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

Public records offenses can profoundly impact the military, undermining trust in the integrity of official documents and the overall functioning of military operations. The effects include:

  • Compromised Trust: The integrity of public records is fundamental to the trust that service members and military authorities place in official documentation. Offenses that compromise this integrity can erode trust and confidence.
  • Operational Impact: Falsified or tampered records can lead to incorrect decisions, misallocation of resources, and other operational inefficiencies.
  • Legal and Disciplinary Consequences: Public records offenses can result in extensive legal and disciplinary actions, diverting resources and attention from other critical military functions.

Legal Defenses for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

Accused individuals have the right to present a defense against charges of public records offenses. Common defenses include:

  • Lack of Intent: The defense may argue that the accused did not have the specific intent to commit the offense or did not know that their actions were unlawful.
  • Mistaken Identity: The defense may argue that the accused was not the individual who committed the offense.
  • Authorization: The defense may argue that the accused had proper authorization to alter or handle the public records in the manner alleged.
  • Insufficient Evidence: The defense may argue that the prosecution has not provided sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Importance of Legal Representation in Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses Cases

Given the serious nature of the charges and the severe consequences of a conviction, it is crucial for individuals accused of public records offenses under Article 104 to seek experienced legal representation. A qualified military defense attorney can provide guidance, build a strong defense, and protect the accused’s rights throughout the legal process.

Military Defense Lawyers for Article 104 UCMJ Public Records Offenses

Article 104 UCMJ’s provisions on public records offenses are designed to maintain the integrity and security of official documents within the military. The severe penalties and collateral consequences underscore the importance of protecting public records from tampering, falsification, and unauthorized access. Understanding the elements of the offense, potential defenses, and the importance of legal representation is essential for anyone facing such charges.

For more information on military law and the UCMJ, visit the official UCMJ website.

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