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Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

Note: This law applies only to Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing?

AArticle 107 UCMJ False Swearingrticle 107 of the UCMJ covers false swearing, which involves willfully making a false oath in any matter related to official military duties. This can include false statements made under oath during official proceedings, such as affidavits, depositions, or any sworn statements.

Penalties for false swearing can include confinement, reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay, and dishonorable discharge. Given the serious nature of this offense and its potential impact on a military career, it is crucial for anyone accused of false swearing to seek representation from the best military defense lawyers.

Experienced court-martial lawyers are essential for navigating the complexities of military law, ensuring the accused’s rights are protected, and developing a robust defense strategy. The legal team at Gonzalez & Waddington has a comprehensive understanding of military justice and a proven track record of defending service members, making them well-equipped to handle such cases.

Engaging skilled court-martial lawyers can significantly influence the outcome of the case by challenging the prosecution’s evidence, identifying procedural errors, and advocating effectively on behalf of the accused. The consequences of a conviction for false swearing are severe, underscoring the importance of having knowledgeable legal representation.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Warrant, Noncommissioned, or Petty Officer vary depending on the date of the offense.

What are the Elements of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused took an oath;
  2. That the oath was administered to the accused in a matter in which such oath was required or authorized by law;
  3. That the oath was administered by a person having the authority to do so;
  4. That upon the oath the accused (made) (subscribed) a statement, to wit: (set forth the statement as alleged);
  5. That the statement was false; and
  6. That the accused did not then believe the statement to be true.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing?

For Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

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

For Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing is a Category 1 Offense – Confinement from 0-12 months
  • 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 107 UCMJ False Swearing

In that PVT, US Alexis Rose, did, at or near Kaiserslautern, Germany, on or about 7 May 2025, make under lawful oath a false statement in substance as follows: “I never sent nude images to PVT Steve Smithers,” which statement she did not then believe to be true.

Model Specification for Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about _________, (in an affidavit) (in __________), (make) (subscribe) under lawful (oath) (affirmation) a false statement in substance as follows: __________, which statement (he) (she) did not then believe to be true.

What are the Definitions for Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing?

An “oath” is a procedure that appeals to the conscience of the person to whom the oath is administered and binds that person to speak the truth.

“Subscribe” means to write one’s name on a document to adopt its words as one’s expressions.

Corroboration instruction for Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

When an instruction on corroboration is requested or otherwise appropriate, the judge should carefully tailor the following to include only instructions applicable to the case. Subparagraphs (1), (2), or a combination of (1) and (2) may be given, as appropriate:

As to the fifth element of this offense, there are special rules for proving the falsity of a statement. The falsity of a statement can be proven by testimony or documentary evidence by:

(1) The testimony of a witness directly contradicts the statement described in the specification as long as the witness’s testimony is corroborated or supported by the testimony of at least one other witness or by some other evidence that tends to prove the falsity of the statement.

You may find the accused guilty of false swearing only if you find beyond a reasonable doubt that the testimony of (state the name of the witness), who has testified as to the falsity of the statement described in the specification, is believable and is corroborated or supported by other trustworthy evidence or testimony.

To “corroborate” means to strengthen, to make more certain, and to add weight. The corroboration required to prove false swearing is proof of independent facts or circumstances that tend to confirm the testimony of a single witness in establishing the falsity of the oath.

Documentary evidence directly disproves the truth of the statement described in the specification as long as the evidence is corroborated or supported by other evidence tending to prove the statement’s falsity. To “corroborate” means to strengthen, to make more certain, and to add weight. The corroboration required to prove false swearing is proof of independent facts or circumstances which, together, tend to confirm the information contained in the document in establishing the falsity of the oath.

Exceptions to documentary corroboration requirement in Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing cases

There are two exceptions to the requirement for corroboration of documentary evidence. Applicable portions of the following should be given when an issue concerning one of these exceptions arises:

An exception to the requirement that documentary evidence must be supported by corroborating evidence exists when the document is an official record that has been proven to have been well known to the accused at the time (he) (she) (took the oath) (made the affirmation).

(Additionally) (An) (Another) exception to the requirement that documentary evidence must be supported by corroborating evidence exists when the document was written or furnished by the accused or had in any way been recognized by (him) (her) as containing the truth at some time before the supposedly falsely sworn statement was made.

If (this exception) (these exceptions) exist(s), the documentary evidence may be sufficient without corroboration to establish the falsity of the statement.

You may find the accused guilty of false swearing only if you find that the documentary evidence (and credible corroborative evidence) establish(es) the falsity of the accused’s statement beyond a reasonable doubt.

Proving that the accused did not believe the statement to be true in Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

Once the appropriate corroboration instruction above is given, the military judge should give the following instruction:

The fact that the accused did not believe the statement to be true when it was (made) (subscribed) may be proved by testimony of one witness without corroboration or by circumstantial evidence, if the testimony or evidence convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt as to this element of the offense.

Applicability of the offense of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

The offense of false swearing does not apply in a judicial proceeding or course of justice.

Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing as a lesser included offense

False swearing is not a lesser included offense of Article 131, Perjury.

Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing Military Defense Lawyers

If you are suspected or accused of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing, speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

Background of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses false official statements, commonly referred to as false swearing. This article is crucial for maintaining the integrity and reliability of official documents and statements within the military justice system. False swearing involves knowingly making a false statement under oath in an official proceeding or document.

The military relies heavily on the honesty and integrity of its personnel to function effectively. Ensuring that all official statements and documents are truthful is essential for maintaining good order and discipline. Article 107 serves as a deterrent against dishonesty and underscores the importance of truthfulness in all military affairs.

Key Factors in Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

To secure a conviction for false swearing under Article 107, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Statement Under Oath: The accused made a statement or signed a document under lawful oath.
  • Falsity: The statement or document was false.
  • Knowledge: The accused knew the statement or document was false at the time it was made or signed.
  • Materiality: The false statement or document was material, meaning it could influence or had the potential to influence the outcome of an official proceeding or action.

Collateral Consequences of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing Conviction

A conviction for false swearing under Article 107 can have numerous collateral consequences, including:

  • Employment Challenges: A dishonorable or bad conduct discharge can significantly hinder civilian employment opportunities. Many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record, especially one involving dishonesty.
  • Loss of Military Benefits: A conviction can result in the loss of military benefits, including retirement pay, VA benefits, and healthcare.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma associated with a criminal conviction can affect personal relationships and community standing.
  • Legal Consequences: In some cases, a conviction for false swearing may lead to additional legal consequences, such as civil liability or further criminal charges.

Purpose of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

The primary purpose of penalizing false swearing under Article 107 is to maintain the integrity of the military justice system and ensure that all official statements and documents are truthful. This is crucial for several reasons:

  • Maintaining Trust: The military justice system relies on the honesty of its personnel. False statements can undermine trust and erode confidence in the system.
  • Ensuring Fairness: Truthful statements ensure fair and just outcomes in official proceedings. False statements can lead to wrongful convictions or unjust outcomes.
  • Upholding Discipline: Honesty and integrity are core values in the military. Penalizing false swearing helps uphold these values and maintains good order and discipline.

Examples of Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

Examples of false swearing under Article 107 can include:

  • Providing false testimony during a court-martial or other official hearing
  • Signing a false statement or affidavit under oath
  • Submitting falsified documents as part of an official investigation

Defenses to Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing

There are several potential defenses to a charge of false swearing under Article 107, including:

  • Lack of Knowledge: The accused did not know that the statement or document was false when it was made or signed.
  • Immateriality: The false statement or document was not material to the outcome of an official proceeding or action.
  • Duress: The accused was forced or coerced into making the false statement.

Successfully raising these defenses can mitigate the consequences or result in an acquittal.

Article 107 UCMJ False Swearing Military Defense Lawyers

Article 107 UCMJ, which addresses false swearing, is crucial for maintaining the integrity and reliability of the military justice system. Ensuring that all official statements and documents are truthful, the military can uphold good order and discipline, maintain trust, and ensure fair outcomes in all proceedings. A conviction for false swearing can have severe and long-lasting consequences, including significant legal, financial, and social impacts. For more information on military law and the UCMJ, visit the Joint Service Committee on Military Justice.

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