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Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

Note: This law applies only to Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout?

Article 128 Ucmj Assault Upon A Sentinel Or LookoutArticle 128 of the UCMJ covers assault upon a sentinel or lookout, a serious offense that involves attacking, striking, or using violence against a person who is on duty as a sentinel or lookout. This offense is treated with utmost severity due to the critical role sentinels and lookouts play in maintaining security and vigilance in military operations.

Convictions for this offense can result in severe penalties, including confinement, forfeiture of pay, reduction in rank, and dishonorable discharge. The gravity of these consequences underscores the importance of seeking representation from the best military defense lawyers.

Court martial lawyers are essential in defending against such charges. They understand the intricacies of military law and can build a strong defense, challenging the evidence and protecting the rights of the accused. Experienced legal representation can significantly influence the case’s outcome, potentially mitigating the harsh penalties.

Engaging skilled court martial lawyers, such as those at Gonzalez & Waddington, is crucial for anyone facing charges under Article 128 UCMJ. Their expertise in military justice ensures a comprehensive defense strategy, addressing every aspect of the case to achieve the best possible outcome.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout vary depending on the date of the offense.

What are the Elements of Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused (attempted to do) (offered to do) (did) bodily harm to (state the name and rank of the alleged victim) by (state the manner alleged);
  2. That the (attempt) (offer) (bodily harm) was done unlawfully;
  3. That the (attempt) (offer) (bodily harm) was done with force or violence;
  4. That (state the name and rank of the alleged victim) was a (sentinel) (lookout) who was then in the execution of his/her duty; and
  5. That the accused knew that (state the name and rank of the alleged victim) was a (sentinel) (lookout) in the execution of his/her duty.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout?

For Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout 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 Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout 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 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

In that SPC Dennis Hopster, US Army, did, at or near Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea, on or about 4 March 2025, assault PV2 Danny Kinlger, who then was and was then known by the accused to be a sentinel in the execution of his duty, guarding the Class 6 on Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea by striking PV2 Danny Kinlger in the face with an elbow.

Model Specification for Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about __________, assault __________, who then was and was then known by the accused to be a (sentinel) (lookout) in the execution of (his) (her) duty, ((in) (on) the __________) by __________.

What are the Definitions for Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout?

A (sentinel) (lookout) is a person whose duties include maintaining constant alertness, being vigilant, and remaining awake to observe for the possible approach of the enemy or to guard persons, property, or a place and to sound alert if necessary.

A (sentinel) (lookout) is “in the execution of his/her duty” when doing any act or service required or authorized to be done by statute, regulation, the order of a superior, military usage, or by custom of the service.

Assault by Attempt and Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

If the specification alleges an attempt to do bodily harm, give the following instructions:

An “assault” is an unlawful attempt, made with force or violence, to do bodily harm to another, whether or not the attempt is consummated. The accused must have committed an overt act with the specific intent to inflict bodily harm. An “overt act” is an act that amounts to more than mere preparation and tends to effect the intended bodily harm. Bodily harm doesn’t need to be inflicted.

“Bodily harm” and Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout means an offensive touching of another, however slight. An attempt to do bodily harm is “unlawful” if done without legal justification or excuse and without the lawful consent of the victim.

Assault by offer. If the specification alleges an offer to do bodily harm, give the following instructions:

An “assault” is an unlawful offer, made with force or violence, to do bodily harm to another, whether or not the offer is consummated. The accused must have made a demonstration of violence, either by an intentional or by a culpably negligent act or omission, which created in the mind of the victim a reasonable apprehension of receiving immediate bodily harm. Specific intent to inflict bodily harm is not required. Bodily harm doesn’t need to be actually inflicted.

“Bodily harm” under Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout means an offensive touching of another, however slight.

An infliction of bodily harm is “unlawful” if done without legal justification or excuse and without the lawful consent of the victim.

“Culpable negligence” under Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence.

“Simple negligence” under Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookoutis the absence of due care. The law always requires everyone to demonstrate care for the safety of others, which a reasonably careful person would demonstrate under the same or similar circumstances; that is what “due care” means.

“Culpable negligence,” under Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookouton the other hand, is a negligent (act) (or) (failure to act) accompanied by a gross, reckless, wanton, or deliberate disregard for the foreseeable results to others, instead of merely a failure to use due care.)

The use of threatening words alone does not constitute an assault. However, if the threatening words are accompanied by a menacing act or gesture, there may be an assault if the combination constitutes a demonstration of violence.

Assault by Battery and Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

If the specification alleges an assault by battery, give the following instruction:

An assault in which bodily harm is inflicted is called a “battery.” A “battery” is an unlawful infliction of bodily harm to another, made with force or violence, by an intentional (or a culpably negligent) act or omission.

“Bodily harm” means an offensive touching of another, however slight.

An infliction of bodily harm is “unlawful” if done without legal justification or excuse and without the lawful consent of the victim.

“Culpable negligence” is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence.

“Simple negligence” is the absence of due care. The law always requires everyone to demonstrate care for the safety of others, which a reasonably careful person would demonstrate under the same or similar circumstances; that is what “due care” means.

“Culpable negligence,” under Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout on the other hand, is a negligent (act) (or) (failure to act) accompanied by a gross, reckless, wanton, or deliberate disregard for the foreseeable results to others instead of merely a failure to use due care.)

What is the Divestiture of Status and Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout?

When the issue has arisen as to whether the lookout or sentinel has conducted himself or herself in a manner that has divested the sentinel or lookout of that status, acting in the execution of his or her duty, the following instruction should be given:

The evidence has raised an issue as to whether (state the name and rank of the alleged victim) conducted himself/herself before the charged assault in a manner that took away his/her status as a (sentinel) (lookout) acting in the execution of his/her duty.

A (sentinel) (lookout) whose own (language) (and) (conduct) under all the circumstances departs substantially from the required standards appropriate for the (sentinel’s) (lookout’s) rank and position under similar circumstances is considered to have abandoned that position.

In determining this issue, you must consider all the relevant facts and circumstances (including but not limited to (here, the military judge may specify significant evidentiary factors bearing on the issue and indicate the respective contentions of counsel for both sides)).

You may find the accused guilty of assault on a (sentinel) (lookout) in the execution of his/her duties only if you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that (state the name and rank of the alleged victim), by his/her (conduct) (and) (language) did not abandon his/her status as a (sentinel) (lookout) acting in the execution of his/her duty.

Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout Military Defense Lawyers

Background of Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) covers various forms of assault, including those against individuals in specific protective roles such as sentinels or lookouts. Sentinels and lookouts are responsible for guarding and monitoring designated areas, and assaulting them is considered a serious offense due to the critical nature of their duties.

Basics of Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

To secure a conviction for assault upon a sentinel or lookout under Article 128, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Assault: The accused committed an assault by either attempting or offering with unlawful force or violence to do bodily harm.
  • Victim’s Status: The victim was a sentinel or lookout at the time of the assault.
  • Knowledge: The accused knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was a sentinel or lookout performing their duties.

Collateral Consequences of Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout Conviction

A conviction for Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout can have numerous collateral consequences, including:

  • Difficulty obtaining civilian employment due to the nature of the conviction and any resulting discharge status
  • Loss of military benefits, including retirement pay, VA benefits, and healthcare
  • Significant damage to personal and professional reputation
  • Potential civil lawsuits from the victim for damages

Purpose of Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout

The primary purpose of penalizing assault upon a sentinel or lookout under Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout is maintaining good order and discipline within the military. Sentinels and lookouts are vital in the security and safety of military personnel and assets. By criminalizing such behavior, the military aims to:

  • Protect individuals performing critical security duties
  • Ensure the integrity and effectiveness of military security operations
  • Deter potential offenders by highlighting the serious consequences of such behavior
  • Uphold the standards of conduct necessary for military readiness and effectiveness

If you are suspected or accused of Article 128 UCMJ Assault Upon a Sentinel or Lookout, speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

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