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UCMJ Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters? Call our experienced military defense lawyers at 1-800-921-8607 for a free consultation.

“Your career, reputation, and even your freedom hang in the balance. A single misstep could derail everything you’ve worked for. This isn’t just a legal matter; it’s a fight for your future.” (Michael Waddington, Military Defense Lawyer).

Note: This law applies only to Article 120 UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019

What is Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters?

Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene MattersArticle 120a of the UCMJ addresses the deposit of obscene matters, which involves wrongfully and knowingly sending obscene materials through the mail. Convictions can lead to severe penalties such as dishonorable discharge, confinement, and forfeiture of pay. These charges can have long-lasting consequences, including a permanent federal felony record, loss of military career, and significant personal and professional setbacks. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Anyone accused of violating Article 120a UCMJ should immediately seek the best military defense lawyers. Experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers can navigate the complexities of military law, scrutinize evidence, and build a robust defense to protect the accused’s rights and future. The intricacies of these cases require seasoned legal professionals who understand the military justice system, ensuring that the accused receives a fair trial and the best possible outcome.

What are the Elements of Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused (deposited) (caused to be deposited) in the (United States) (__________) mails, for mailing and delivery, a (letter) (picture) (__________) (containing) (portraying) (suggesting) (__________) certain matter, to wit: (state the matter alleged);
  2. That the act was done wrongfully and knowingly; and
  3. That the matter deposited was obscene. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters?

For Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters committed between 1 Jan 2019 and 27 Dec 2023:

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

For Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters committed after 27 Dec 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters, 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

Combined UCMJ Maximum Punishment Charts

Collateral Consequences of a Federal Conviction for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters

  • Employment will be severely limited (many employers won’t hire a convict)
  • Inability to enroll in college, university, or trade school
  • Loss of GI Bill
  • Loss of military career
  • Loss of retirement benefits.
  • Loss of VA benefits.
  • Loss of medical benefits.
  • Loss of spouse, family members, and friends
  • Loss of income while in jail
  • Mental, physical suffering before and after prison
  • Ineligibility for public benefits, such as food stamps
  • Ineligibility for government-sponsored student loans and grants; 
  • Restrictions on certain types of employment or occupational licenses; 
  • Ineligibility to provide foster care to minor family members
  • Prohibitions on working with children
  • Loss of professional license or certification
  • Limitations on adoption or foster care

Sample Specification for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters

In that SrA Timmy Turner, US Air Force, did, at or near Nellis AFB, Nevada, on or about 21 June 2025, wrongfully and knowingly deposit in the United States mails, for mailing and delivery a picture portraying certain obscene matters, to wit: sex between a man and a horse.

What are the Definitions for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters?

“Obscene” means that form of immorality relating to sexual impurity which is grossly vulgar, obscene, and repugnant to common propriety, and tends to excite sexual desire or deprave morals concerning sexual relations. The matter must violate community standards of decency or obscenity and must go beyond customary limits of expression.

The community standards of decency or obscenity are to be judged according to a reasonable person in the military community rather than the most prudish or tolerant members of the military community.

Knowingly Under Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters

“Knowingly” means the accused deposited the material with knowledge of its nature. Knowingly, depositing obscene matter in the mail is “wrongful” if it is done without legal justification or authorization.

Legal References for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters

Miller v. US, 413 U.S. 15 (1973), obscenity defined; US v. Negron, 60 MJ 136 (CAAF 2004).

Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters Military Defense Lawyers

Article 120a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) prohibits the wrongful deposit of obscene materials. This article is designed to maintain moral standards and discipline within the military by prohibiting the distribution or depositing of such materials.

Basics of Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters:

  1. Obscene Materials: The material must be legally defined as obscene.
  2. Deposit or Distribution: The accused must have knowingly deposited, distributed, or facilitated the distribution of these materials.
  3. Wrongfulness: The act must be carried out wrongfully without legal justification or excuse.

Consequences and Legal Defense for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters

Violating Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters can result in penalties, including confinement, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of pay. The severity of the penalties underscores the importance of maintaining ethical standards within the military.

Importance of Legal Representation in Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters Cases

Accused individuals should seek the best military defense lawyers to navigate the complexities of Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters. Skilled legal representation can help challenge the evidence, question the definitions of obscenity, and protect the accused’s rights.

Hiring Court Martial Lawyers for Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters Cases

Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters upholds moral and ethical standards within the armed forces. Given the serious consequences of a conviction, obtaining experienced legal representation is crucial for anyone facing charges under this article.

If you are suspected or accused of Article 120a UCMJ Deposit of Obscene Matters, speak with one of our experienced Article 120a UCMJ military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

Deposit of Obscene Matters Reporting Data

“In APY 22-23, there were several reports involving the deposit of obscene matters, underscoring the persistence of this issue within military academies.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 10
“The reports of depositing obscene matters were categorized under broader sexual misconduct offenses and contributed to the overall statistics for the year.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 8

Demographics and Trends

“Most victims in investigations of depositing obscene matters are female, a trend consistent with other forms of sexual misconduct.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“The incidents of depositing obscene matters primarily involved subjects aged 16-24, who make up the majority demographic within the military academies.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18

Military Justice Outcomes

“By the end of APY 22-23, several cases involving the deposit of obscene matters had advanced to military justice proceedings, reflecting the gravity of these offenses.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15
“Cases of depositing obscene matters resulted in various disciplinary actions, including court-martial charges, nonjudicial punishment, and administrative discharges.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16
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