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Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive? 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 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive, Weapons of mass destruction, Biological agents, Chemical agents, or Hazardous materials?

Article 115 Ucmj Threat To Use ExplosiveArticle 115 of the UCMJ covers the offense of communicating a threat to use an explosive. This crime involves intentionally threatening to use an explosive device to cause harm or damage. The severity of this offense stems from the potential for widespread fear and disruption it can cause within military operations and the community. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Penalties for this offense are severe, including confinement, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of pay. These significant consequences highlight the importance of seeking the best military defense lawyers.

Court martial lawyers play a crucial role in defending against such charges. They understand the complexities of military law and can craft a robust defense, challenging the prosecution’s evidence and protecting the accused’s rights. Skilled legal representation can significantly affect the case’s outcome, potentially mitigating the harsh penalties.

For individuals facing charges under Article 115 UCMJ, engaging experienced court martial lawyers like those at Gonzalez & Waddington is essential. Their thorough understanding of military justice ensures a comprehensive

and effective defense strategy, addressing every aspect of the case to achieve the best possible outcome.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive vary depending on the date of the offense.

Article 115 UCMJ Covers Threats to Use:

  • Explosives
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Biological agents, substances, or weapons
  • Chemical agents, substances, or weapons
  • Hazardous materials

What are the Elements of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive,

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused communicated certain language, to wit: (state the language of the threat alleged);
  2. That the information communicated amounted to a threat;
  3. That the harm threatened was to be done by means of
    • an explosive(s)
    • a weapon(s) of mass destruction
    • a biological or chemical agent(s), substance(s), or weapon(s) or
    • a hazardous material(s); and
  4. That the communication was wrongful.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive?

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

  • 1o 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 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive is a Category 3 Offense – Confinement from 30-120 months (2 years and 6 months to 10 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 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

In that Capt James Cook, US Air Force, did, at or near Mobile, Alabama, on or about 4 June 2025, wrongfully communicate certain information, to wit: that he would detonate a nuclear bomb at the Mobile City Hall, which language constituted a threat to harm a person or property by means of a weapon of mass destruction.

Model Specification for Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data) did, (at/on board—location) on or about __________, wrongfully communicate certain information, to wit: __________, which language constituted a threat to harm a person or property by means of a(n) [explosive; weapon of mass destruction; biological agent, substance, or weapon; chemical agent, substance, or weapon; and/or (a) hazardous material(s)].

What are the definitions of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive?

A communication is “wrongful” if the accused transmitted it to issue a threat or with the knowledge that it would be viewed as a threat.

A communication is not “wrongful” if it is made under circumstances that reveal it to be in jest or for an innocent or legitimate purpose that contradicts the expressed intent to commit the act.

What is a Threat in an Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive case?

A “threat” means an expressed present determination or intent to kill or injure a person or to damage or destroy certain property presently or in the future. The communication must be one that a reasonable person would understand as expressing a present determination or intent to wrongfully injure the person or property of another person,  presently or in the future. Proof that the accused actually intended to kill, injure, damage or destroy is not required.

A communication is ‘‘malicious’’ if the accused believes that the information would probably interfere with the peaceful use of the building, vehicle, aircraft, or other property concerned or would cause fear or concern to one or more persons.

What is an Explosive in an Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive case?

“Explosive” means gunpowder, powders used for blasting, all forms of high explosives, blasting materials, fuses (other than electrical circuit breakers), detonators, and other detonating agents, smokeless powders, any explosive bomb, grenade, missile, or similar device, and any incendiary bomb or grenade, fire bomb, or similar device, and any other explosive compound, mixture, or similar material.

What is a Weapon of Mass Destruction in an Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive case?

“Weapon of mass destruction” means any device, explosive or otherwise, that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors; a disease organism; or radiation or radioactivity.

What is a Biological Agent in an Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive Case?

“Biological agent” means any microorganism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsia, or protozoa), pathogen, or infectious substance, and any naturally occurring, bioengineered, or synthesized component of any such micro-organism, pathogen, or infectious substance, whatever its origin or method of production, that is capable of causing death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism; or deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or materials of any kind; or deleterious alteration of the environment.

What is a Chemical Agent in an Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive case?

“A chemical agent, substance, or weapon” means a toxic chemical and its precursors or a munition or device, specifically designed to cause death or other harm through toxic properties of those chemicals that would be released as a result of the employment of such munition or device, and any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection with the employment of such munitions or devices.

What is Hazardous Material in an Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive case?

“Hazardous material” means a substance or material (including explosive, radioactive material, etiologic agent, flammable or combustible liquid or solid, poison, oxidizing or corrosive material, and compressed gas, or mixture thereof) or a group or class of material designated as hazardous by the Secretary of Transportation.

Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive Military Defense Lawyers

If you are suspected or accused of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive, speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

Background of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

Article 115 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses the offense of making threats to use explosives or other weapons of mass destruction. This article is critical in maintaining safety and security within military environments and ensuring that any threats to use explosive devices are treated seriously. The military must maintain a high level of order and discipline, and threats to use explosives directly undermine this stability.

Basics of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

To secure a conviction under Article 115 for threatening to use explosives, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Communication of Threat: The accused communicated a threat, either verbally or in writing, to use an explosive or a weapon of mass destruction.
  • Specific Intent: The accused had the specific intent to communicate the threat. This means the threat was deliberate and not made as a joke or in a moment of anger without serious intent.
  • Reasonableness: The threat was made under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat was serious and could be carried out.

Collateral Consequences of a Conviction of Article 115 UCMJ

A conviction under Article 115 carries numerous collateral consequences beyond the immediate penalties imposed by the court-martial. These can affect various aspects of a service member’s life:

  • Employment Opportunities: A dishonorable or bad conduct discharge can severely limit future employment opportunities. Many employers conduct background checks, and a conviction for threatening to use explosives can be a significant barrier to securing civilian employment.
  • Loss of Military Benefits: Convicted service members typically lose military benefits, including retirement pay, VA benefits, and healthcare. This loss can have a substantial financial impact, especially for those who had planned a career in the military.
  • Firearm Ownership: Convicted felons are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, impacting personal freedoms and recreational activities.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma associated with such a conviction can affect personal relationships and community standing, leading to isolation and mental health issues.
  • Civilian Legal Consequences: Depending on the threat’s jurisdiction and nature, additional civilian legal consequences may exist, including further criminal charges or civil lawsuits.

Mental and Emotional Impact of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

A conviction’s mental and emotional toll under Article 115 cannot be overstated. Individuals may experience severe stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues as a result of their conviction and its consequences:

  • Family Strain: The strain on family relationships can be profound, leading to marital issues, estrangement from children, and other familial conflicts.
  • Social Isolation: The stigma associated with a court-martial conviction can lead to social isolation and difficulties in maintaining friendships and social networks.
  • Identity Crisis: For many service members, their military identity is a core part of their self-concept. A court-martial conviction can lead to an identity crisis and loss of self-esteem.

Purpose of Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

The primary purpose of penalizing threats to use explosives under Article 115 is maintaining good order and discipline within the military. Threats of violence, especially involving explosives, severely undermine trust, unit cohesion, and operational effectiveness. By criminalizing such behavior, the military aims to:

  • Ensure the safety and security of all service members and military installations
  • Promote a culture of respect and professionalism within the ranks
  • Deter potential offenders by highlighting the serious consequences of such behavior
  • Uphold the standards of conduct necessary for military readiness and effectiveness

Legal Defense Considerations for Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive

Facing charges under Article 115 can be daunting, and the accused must have a robust legal defense. Some common defense strategies include:

  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that the accused did not have the specific intent to communicate a genuine threat. This might involve showing that the statement was made in jest or without serious intent.
  • Ambiguity of Communication: Arguing that the communication was ambiguous or not a threat to use explosives. The defense might argue that the language used could be interpreted differently.
  • Coercion or Duress: Establishing that the accused was coerced or under duress when making the threat can mitigate the threat’s perceived seriousness.

Article 115 UCMJ Threat to Use Explosive Court-Martial Lawyers

Article 115 UCMJ serves a critical role in maintaining the security and discipline of the military. The severe consequences of making threats to use explosives underscore the importance of this law in protecting service members and ensuring a safe working environment. Understanding the elements of the offense, potential punishments, and collateral consequences is essential for service members to comprehend the gravity of such actions. For more information on military law and the UCMJ, visit the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) website.

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