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Article 128a UCMJ Maiming

Note: This law applies only to Article 128a UCMJ Maiming offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 128a UCMJ Maiming?

Article 128A Ucmj MaimingArticle 128a of the UCMJ addresses the crime of maiming, which involves intentionally causing serious bodily harm resulting in permanent disfigurement or the loss of a body part. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to maim, committed an act causing severe injury, and that the injury led to permanent damage or significant disfigurement.

Accusations of maiming carry severe consequences, including up to 20 years of confinement, dishonorable discharge, and total forfeiture of pay. Given these harsh penalties, the accused must seek representation from the best military defense lawyers. Court martial lawyers possess the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of military law, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and protect the accused’s rights. Engaging experienced legal counsel can significantly impact the outcome, ensuring a thorough defense strategy and potentially mitigating severe consequences.

For those facing maiming charges, enlisting the help of seasoned court martial lawyers like those at Gonzalez & Waddington is essential. Their comprehensive understanding of the UCMJ and court martial procedures allows them to provide the robust defense needed in these high-stakes cases.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 128a UCMJ Maiming vary depending on the date of the offense.

What are the Elements of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused, inflicted upon (state the name of the alleged victim) a certain injury, namely: (state the injury alleged);
  2. That this injury (seriously disfigured the body of (state the name of the alleged victim)) (destroyed or disabled an organ or member of (state the name of the alleged victim)) (seriously diminished the physical vigor of (state the name of the alleged victim) by injuring an organ or other part of his/her body); and
  3. That the accused inflicted this injury with an intent to cause some injury to the person of (state the name of the alleged victim).

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 128a UCMJ Maiming?

For Article 128a UCMJ Maiming offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

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

For Article 128a UCMJ Maiming offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 128a UCMJ Maiming 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 128a UCMJ Maiming

In that SPC Dim Witted, US Army, did, at or near Fort Carson, Colorado, on or about 4 June 2025, maim PFC John Smoth by crushing his leg with a bulldozer.

Model Specification for Article 128a UCMJ Maiming

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about __________, maim __________ by (crushing (his) (her) foot with a sledge hammer) (__________).

What are the Definitions for Article 128a UCMJ Maiming?

A disfigurement does not have to mutilate an entire member or be of any particular type, but must be such as to impair perceptibility and materially the victim’s comeliness.

The disfigurement, diminished physical vigor, or destruction or disablement of the body part must be a serious injury of a substantially permanent nature. Once the injury is inflicted, it does not matter that the victim may eventually recover the use of the body part or that the disfigurement may be corrected medically or cured by surgery. Article 128a UCMJ Maiming requires a specific intent to injure generally but not a specific intent to maim.

Thus, one commits the offense of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming who intends only a slight injury if, in fact, there is the infliction of an injury of the type specified in this Article. Infliction of the type of injuries specified in this Article upon the person of another may support an inference of the intent to injure, disfigure, or disable. Drawing this inference is not required.

Article 128a UCMJ Maiming Military Defense Lawyers

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

Background of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming

Article 128a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses the crime of maiming. This article was implemented to cover serious bodily harm inflicted by a service member upon another person. Maiming involves intentionally causing severe physical injury that results in permanent disfigurement, loss of a body part, or serious damage to an organ or limb. The inclusion of this specific article underscores the military’s commitment to maintaining discipline and protecting the well-being of its members.

Basics of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming

To convict someone of maiming under Article 128a UCMJ Maiming, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Intent: The accused had the specific intent to maim or disfigure the victim.
  • Action: The accused engaged in conduct that caused serious bodily harm, such as disfigurement, destruction, or disabling of a body part.
  • Result: The injury resulted in permanent damage, significant disfigurement, or loss of function of a body part or organ.

Consequences of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming

Punishments for a conviction under Article 128a can be severe, reflecting the seriousness of the offense. They may include:

Collateral Consequences of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming Conviction

A conviction for maiming under Article 128a UCMJ Maiming can have significant collateral consequences, including:

  • Employment Issues: Difficulty finding civilian employment due to the nature of the conviction and dishonorable discharge.
  • Loss of Benefits: Loss of military benefits, including retirement pay, VA benefits, and healthcare.
  • Reputation Damage: Substantial damage to personal and professional reputation.
  • Civil Liability: Potential civil lawsuits from the victim for damages.

Purpose of Article 128a UCMJ Maiming

The primary purpose of Article 128a is to maintain good order and discipline within the military by punishing acts of extreme violence and ensuring the safety and security of all service members. The law aims to:

  • Protect Service Members: Ensure individuals can serve in an environment free from severe physical harm.
  • Promote Discipline: Maintain a high standard of conduct and discipline within the ranks.
  • Deter Misconduct: Deter potential offenders by underscoring the serious consequences of such violent behavior.
  • Uphold Military Values: Reflect the military’s commitment to respect and integrity by penalizing acts that undermine these values.
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