Gonzalez & Waddington – Attorneys at Law

CALL NOW 1-800-921-8607

Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence

Note: This law applies only to Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence offenses allegedly committed on or after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence?

Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence military defense attorneysArticle 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence addresses child endangerment by culpable negligence. This serious offense occurs when someone responsible for a child under 16 years old recklessly disregards the child’s safety, creating a substantial risk of physical or mental harm. Culpable negligence goes beyond ordinary carelessness, representing a gross deviation from the standard of care expected.

To convict under Article 119b, the prosecution must prove that the accused’s actions or omissions caused a foreseeable and significant risk of harm to the child. Examples include leaving a child unattended in dangerous conditions, failing to provide necessary medical care, or exposing the child to hazardous situations. Conviction can result in severe penalties, including confinement, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of pay and allowances.

Speak with a Civilian Court-Martial Lawyer

Given the gravity of these consequences, the accused must hire an experienced military defense lawyer. A skilled attorney specializing in military law understands the intricacies of the UCMJ and can navigate the complexities of military court proceedings. They can provide a robust defense, challenging the prosecution’s evidence and highlighting any reasonable steps the accused took to ensure the child’s safety. Moreover, a seasoned military defense lawyer can identify potential procedural errors and leverage their knowledge of military regulations to build a strong case.

Hiring an experienced military defense lawyer is essential for safeguarding one’s rights and achieving the best possible outcome. They bring expertise, strategic insight, and a thorough understanding of the military justice system, ensuring the accused receives a fair trial. In cases of child endangerment by culpable negligence, the stakes are high, and having a knowledgeable defense lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case.

What are the Elements of Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in Grievous Bodily Harm?

  1. That the accused had a duty for the care of (state the name of the alleged victim);
  2. That (state the name of the alleged victim) was then under the age of 16 years;
  3. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused endangered (state the name of the alleged victim)’s (mental health) (physical health) (safety) (welfare) through (design) (culpable negligence) by ____________________; and
  4. That the accused’s conduct resulted in grievous bodily harm to (state the name of the alleged victim), to wit: __________.

What are the Elements of Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in Harm?

  1. That the accused had a duty for the care of (state the name of the alleged victim);
  2. That (state the name of the alleged victim) was then under the age of 16 years;
  3. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused endangered (state the name of the alleged victim)’s (mental health) (physical health) (safety) (welfare) through (design) (culpable negligence) by _________________; and
  4. That the accused’s conduct resulted in harm to (state the name of the alleged victim), to wit: ________.

What are the Elements of Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence (All Other Cases)?

  1. That the accused had a duty for the care of (state the name of the alleged victim);
  2. That (state the name of the alleged victim) was then under the age of 16 years; and
  3. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused endangered (state the name of the alleged victim)’s (mental health) (physical health) (safety) (welfare) through (design) (culpable negligence) by ________________.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Design?

Maximum Punishment for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in Grievous Bodily Harm committed between 1 Jan 2019 to 27 Dec 2023:

  • 3 Years of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction

Maximum Punishment for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in Grievous Bodily Harm committed after 27 Dec 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, this offense is a Category 3 Offense – Confinement from 30-120 months (2 years and 6 months to 10 years)
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction
  • 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

Maximum Punishment for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in Harm committed between 1 Jan 2019 to 27 Dec 2023:

  • 2 Years of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction

Maximum Punishment for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in Harm committed after 27 Dec 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, this offense is a Category 2 Offense – Mandatory confinement ranges from 1-36 months (1 month to 3 years)
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction
  • 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

Maximum Punishment for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence (All other cases) committed between 1 Jan 2019 to 27 Dec 2023:

  • 1 Year of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction

Maximum Punishment for Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence (All other cases) committed after 27 Dec 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, this offense is a Category 1 Offense – Confinement from 0-12 months
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction
  • 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

Model Specification for Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in grievous bodily harm:

In that____________(personal jurisdiction data), (at/on board—location), on or about ____ 20 __, had a duty for the care of ________, a child under the age of 16 years and did endanger the (mental health) (physical health) (safety) (welfare) of said ____________, by (leaving the said _________ unattended in (his) (her) quarters for over _________ (hours) (days) with no adult present in the home) (by failing to obtain medical care for the said_______’s diabetic condition) (_________), and that such conduct (was by design) (constituted culpable negligence) (which resulted in grievous bodily harm, to wit:________________) (broken leg) (deep cut) (fractured skull)).

Model Specification for Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Resulting in harm:

In that _________ (personal jurisdiction data), (at/on board—location), on or about _________ 20 __, had a duty for the care of _________, a child under the age of 16 years, and did endanger the (mental health) (physical health) (safety) (welfare) of said _________, by (leaving the said _________unattended in (his) (her) quarters for over _________ (hours) (days) with no adult present in the home) (by failing to obtain medical care for the said _________’s diabetic condition) (______________), and that such conduct (was by design) (constituted culpable negligence) (which resulted in (harm, to wit:________) (a black eye) (bloody nose) (minor cut)).

NOTE: The language of the relevant statute, 10 U.S.C. § 919b, provides that, “Any person subject to this chapter who has a duty for the care of a child under the age of 16 years, who, through design or culpable negligence, endangers the child’s mental or physical health, safety, or welfare, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Only the MCM’s sample specification for Child Endangerment where no harm is alleged (“Other cases,” below) uses the language “was responsible for the care of.” The other sample specifications for Child Endangerment use the actual statutory language of “had a duty for the care of.”

Model Specification for Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence Other cases:

In that __________(personal jurisdiction data), (at/on board—location), on or about ______ 20 __, was responsible for the care of __________, a child under the age of 16 years, and did endanger the (mental health) (physical health) (safety) (welfare) of said________, by (leaving the said _____________ unattended in (his) (her) quarters for over _________ (hours) (days) with no adult present in the home) (by failing to obtain medical care for the said ___________’s diabetic condition) (___________), and that such conduct (was by design) (constituted culpable negligence).

What are the Definitions for Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence?

“Endanger” means to subject one to a reasonable probability of harm.

What is the Duty of Care in Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence case?

“Duty of care” is determined by the totality of the circumstances and may be established by statute, regulation, legal parent-child relationship, mutual agreement, or assumption of control or custody by affirmative act. When there is no duty of care for a child, there is no offense under this paragraph. Thus, there is no offense when a stranger makes no effort to feed a starving child or an individual, such as a neighbor, and is not charged with a child’s care, which does not prevent the child from running and playing in the street.

What is Culpable Negligence Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence case?

“Culpable negligence” is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent act or omission accompanied by a culpable disregard for the foreseeable consequences to others of that act or omission. In the context of this offense, culpable negligence may include acts that, when viewed in the light of human experience, might foreseeably harm a child.

The age and maturity of the child, the conditions surrounding the neglectful conduct, the proximity of assistance available, the nature of the environment in which the child may have been left, the provisions made for care of the child, and the location of the parent or adult responsible for the child relative to the location of the child, among others, may be considered in determining whether the conduct constituted culpable negligence. (While this offense may be committed against any child under 16, the victim’s age is a factor in the culpable negligence determination.

Leaving a teenager alone for an evening may not be culpable (or even simple) negligence; leaving an infant or toddler for the same period might constitute culpable negligence. On the other hand, leaving a teenager without supervision for an extended period while the accused was on temporary duty outside commuting distance might constitute culpable negligence.))

If actual harm is not alleged in an Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence case:

If the endangerment is not alleged to have resulted in actual harm, give the following instruction:

Actual physical or mental harm to the child is not required. The offense requires that the accused’s actions reasonably could have caused physical or mental harm or suffering.

If harm is alleged in an Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence case

If the endangerment is alleged to have resulted in harm, give the following instruction:

“Harm” means actual physical or mental injury to the child.

If grievous bodily harm is alleged. If the endangerment is alleged to have resulted in grievous bodily harm, give the following instruction:

Grievous bodily harm” means bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

Other Instructions in Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence cases

If “by design” is alleged, Instruction 7-3, Circumstantial Evidence (Intent), is normally applicable; Instruction 5-12, Voluntary Intoxication, may be raised by the evidence.

Overview of Article Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence

Article 119b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses child endangerment by culpable negligence. This offense occurs when a person responsible for the care, custody, or control of a child under 16 years old engages in conduct that shows a reckless disregard for the child’s safety or well-being, leading to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm. Culpable negligence goes beyond ordinary negligence and involves a level of carelessness or indifference that is egregious and represents a gross deviation from the standard of care expected. Call our military defense lawyers to discuss your Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence case.

Hiring a Military Defense Lawyer for Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence

Under Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence, the prosecution must prove that the accused’s actions or omissions created a foreseeable and significant risk of harm to the child. This can include leaving a child unattended in a dangerous environment, failing to provide necessary medical care, or exposing the child to harmful situations or substances.

The key element is that the negligence was so severe that it demonstrated a blatant disregard for the child’s safety. Conviction under Article 119b could result in serious consequences, including confinement, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of pay and allowances, reflecting the military’s stringent stance on protecting children within its community.

Selecting the Best Military Defense Lawyers for Article 119b UCMJ Endangerment by Culpable Negligence

Defenses against this charge might include demonstrating that the accused took reasonable steps to ensure the child’s safety or that the risk was not foreseeable. Article 119b UCMJ Child Endangerment by Culpable Negligence underscores the military’s commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and holding individuals accountable for actions that put vulnerable minors at risk, thereby promoting a safe and responsible environment for all military families.

Skip to content