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Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation? 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 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation?

Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or SuffocationArticle 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation addresses domestic violence, specifically assault by strangulation or suffocation. This offense involves intentionally impeding someone’s normal breathing or circulation by applying pressure to the throat or neck or covering the mouth or nose. Such charges are grave and carry severe penalties, including lengthy confinement, dishonorable discharge, and federal felony conviction.

For individuals accused of this crime, seeking the best military defense lawyers is imperative. Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence lawyers understand the complexities of military law and can provide robust defense strategies. The stakes are high; a conviction can result in legal penalties and significant personal and professional repercussions. An experienced lawyer can help navigate the legal process, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence vary depending on the date of the offense.
In the military, the crime of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation falls under the general offense category of Domestic Violence. It is one of the more serious offenses under the UCMJ and carries increased punishments. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

What are Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Offenses?

What are the Elements of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused assaulted (state the name of the alleged victim) the (spouse) (intimate partner) (immediate family member) of the accused;

  2. That the accused did so by (strangling) (suffocating) (state the name of the alleged victim); and

  3. That the (strangulation) (suffocation) was done with unlawful force or violence. and

  4. Note: When the alleged victim is a child under 16, add the following element. That, at the time, (state the name of the alleged victim) was a child under the age of 16 years. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation upon a child under the age of 16?

For Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

  • 11 Years of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Federal Felony Conviction

For Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 128b UCMJ is a Category 3 Offense
  • Mandatory confinement ranges from 30-120 months (2 years and 6 months to 10 years)
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • 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

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation of a Person 16 Years and Older?

For aggravated assault by strangulation or suffocation when committed upon a child under 16 years offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

  • 8 Years of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Federal Felony Conviction

For domestic violence aggravated assault by strangulation or suffocation when committed upon a person 16 years or older committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 128b UCMJ 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
  • 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

Sample Specification for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

In that Capt Andrew Kennedy, US Air Force, 73rd Bomber Wing, did at or near Hickman Air Force Base, Florida, on or about 5 June 2025, commit an assault upon 2nd Lt Susie Victm, the spouse of the accused, by unlawfully strangling her with his hands.

Model Specification for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board location), on or about __________, commit an assault upon __________, the (spouse) (intimate partner) (immediate family member) (immediate family member under the age of 16 years) of the accused, by unlawfully (strangling) (suffocating) him/her (with/by _________).

What are the Definitions for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation?

The term “violent offense” means a violation of the following:

(a) Article 118, UCMJ,

(b) Article 119(a), UCMJ,

(c) Article 119a, UCMJ,

(d) Article 120, UCMJ,

(e) Article 120b, UCMJ,

(f) Article 122, UCMJ,

(g) Article 125, UCMJ,

(h) Article 126, UCMJ,

(i) Article 128, UCMJ,

(j) Article 128a, UCMJ,

(k) Article 130, UCMJ, or

(l) Any other offense with an element that includes the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person or property.

Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or SuffocationThe term “spouse” under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation means one’s husband or wife by lawful marriage.

The term “intimate partner” in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation means either (a) one’s former spouse, a person with whom one shares a child in common or a person with whom one cohabits or with whom one has cohabited as a spouse; or (b) a person with whom one has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, as determined by the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

The term “immediate family” in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation means either (a) one’s spouse, parent, brother or sister, child, or other person to whom he or she stands in loco parentis; or (b) any other person living in one’s household to whom he or she is related by blood or marriage. “In loco parentis,” meaning “in place of a parent,” is a legal doctrine describing a relationship similar to that of a parent to a child; it refers to an individual who assumes parental status and responsibilities for another individual, usually a young person, without formally adopting that person.)

The term “strangulation” in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocationmeans intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure to the throat or neck, regardless of whether that conduct results in any visible injury or whether there is any intent to kill or protractedly injure the victim. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

The term “suffocation” means intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing of a person by covering the mouth of the person, the nose of the person, or both, regardless of whether that conduct results in any visible injury or whether there is any intent to kill or protractedly injure the victim. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

“Bodily harm” in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation 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.

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.

“Culpable negligence” in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation 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,” in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation, 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.

Potential Collateral Consequences of a Conviction of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation and a Federal Conviction

  • 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

Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

Strangulation and suffocation are extremely dangerous acts that can cause immediate and long-term harm. These methods of assault can lead to severe physical and psychological consequences, making them particularly concerning forms of domestic violence.

Physical Dangers of Strangulation or Suffocation

  1. Brain Damage: Strangulation can impede blood flow and oxygen to the brain, potentially causing brain damage within minutes. This can result in loss of consciousness, memory issues, and long-term cognitive deficits.
  2. Asphyxiation: Suffocation, by blocking airways, prevents oxygen from reaching vital organs, leading to asphyxiation. Even a brief interruption in breathing can cause irreversible damage to the brain and other organs.
  3. Internal Injuries: Applying pressure to the neck can cause internal injuries, such as fractured larynx, damaged trachea, and carotid artery injuries. These can lead to complications like stroke or death.
  4. Delayed Symptoms: Often, victims of strangulation may not show immediate, visible signs of injury. Symptoms like difficulty breathing, hoarseness, and swelling can appear hours or days later, complicating diagnosis and treatment.

Psychological Impact of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

  1. Trauma: The experience of being strangled or suffocated can be profoundly traumatic, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Victims may relive the incident through flashbacks and nightmares.
  2. Fear and Control: Strangulation is a highly intimate and terrifying form of violence that can instill deep fear and a sense of helplessness in victims. Abusers often use it as a method of exerting control and dominance.

Legal Implications of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

Given the severe implications of strangulation and suffocation, these acts are treated with utmost seriousness in the legal system. Charges under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation reflect the gravity of these actions, with stringent penalties aimed at addressing the harm inflicted on victims and deterring future occurrences.

Importance of Seeking Help in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation Cases

For anyone experiencing or witnessing these forms of violence, it is critical to seek help immediately. Medical attention is necessary to assess and treat injuries, even if they are not immediately apparent. Psychological support can help victims cope with the trauma and start the healing process.

Court Martial Lawyers for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation

Strangulation and suffocation are not only physically damaging but also psychologically traumatizing. Understanding the dangers associated with these forms of assault underscores the need for stringent legal measures and comprehensive support systems for victims. Recognizing the signs and seeking immediate help can save lives and facilitate recovery for those affected.

Why Seek Legal Assistance in Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation Case

  1. Complex Legal System: The military justice system has unique procedures and regulations. The best military defense lawyers know to navigate these complexities effectively.
  2. Severe Penalties: Convictions under Article 128b can lead to long-term confinement, loss of military career, benefits, and more. A skilled lawyer can help mitigate these consequences.
  3. Evidence Scrutiny: Legal professionals can meticulously examine the evidence, identify any procedural errors, and challenge the credibility of the prosecution’s case.
  4. Support and Guidance: Accusations of domestic violence can be overwhelming. Legal counsel provides the necessary support and guidance throughout the legal proceedings.

Charges under Article 128b UCMJ require immediate legal intervention. The best military defense lawyers are equipped to defend against these serious allegations, ensuring the accused’s rights are protected and working towards the most favorable outcome. For anyone facing such charges, securing a proficient defense lawyer is crucial.

If you are suspected or accused of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Assault By Strangulation or Suffocation, speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

The Dangers of Strangulation in Domestic Violence

Strangulation is one of the most dangerous and often underreported forms of domestic violence. This perilous act not only poses immediate life-threatening risks but also long-term physical and psychological consequences for survivors. The following article explores the severe impact of strangulation in the context of domestic violence and the legal and medical responses to this critical issue.

The Immediate and Long-term Risks of Strangulation

Strangulation, defined as the obstruction of blood vessels and/or airway by external pressure to the neck, can cause a rapid decrease in oxygen supply to the brain, leading to unconsciousness and, potentially, death. The dangers associated with strangulation are often underestimated, as visible injuries may be minimal or absent, despite the serious internal damage that can occur.
“Strangulation is defined as ‘a form of asphyxia characterized by closure of the blood vessels or air passages of the neck as a result of external pressure on the neck.'” Shields et al., 2010
The immediate effects of strangulation include loss of consciousness, seizures, and incontinence. Long-term consequences can involve serious neurological damage, PTSD, depression, and other psychological disorders.

Neurological and Psychological Outcomes

The neurological outcomes of strangulation are particularly severe, often resulting in acquired brain injury. Research has shown that victims can suffer from arterial dissection, stroke, seizures, and motor or speech disorders.
“Neurological consequences included loss of consciousness, indicating at least mild acquired brain injury, seizures, motor and speech disorders, and paralysis.” Bichard et al., 2021
Psychological outcomes such as PTSD, depression, and increased risk of suicidality are common among survivors of strangulation.

Strangulation in the Context of Domestic Violence

Strangulation is a common tactic used in domestic violence to exert control and instill fear. It is a significant predictor of future lethal violence. Studies indicate that victims of non-fatal strangulation are substantially more likely to be killed by their partners.
“Non-fatal strangulation was associated with greater than six-fold odds of becoming an attempted homicide, and over seven-fold odds of becoming a completed homicide.” Glass et al., 2008
Strangulation in intimate partner violence (IPV) is often used as a method of coercion and control, contributing to the overall cycle of abuse and making it a critical factor in risk assessments for domestic violence cases.

Legal and Medical Responses to Strangulation

Legal Framework

In response to the grave dangers posed by strangulation, many jurisdictions have introduced specific laws to address non-fatal strangulation as a distinct criminal offense. These laws aim to improve prosecution rates and provide greater protection for survivors.
“Queensland, Australia introduced a discrete non-fatal strangulation offense in 2016. While the offense is charged often, around half the non-fatal strangulation charges laid by police do not proceed.” Douglas & Fitzgerald, 2021

Medical Intervention

Healthcare providers play a crucial role in identifying and documenting cases of strangulation. Despite the lack of visible injuries, thorough medical examinations can reveal critical signs of strangulation, such as neck swelling, petechiae, and respiratory distress.
“Careful examination and documentation can provide critical evidence for the prosecution of these crimes.” Armstrong & Strack, 2016
Best practices for healthcare providers include direct questioning about strangulation during patient assessments, using forensic examination techniques, and ensuring proper documentation for legal proceedings.

Challenges and Recommendations

Despite advancements in legal and medical responses, significant challenges remain. Underreporting, lack of visible injuries, and the normalization of strangulation in some contexts hinder effective intervention and prosecution. Additionally, comprehensive training for law enforcement and healthcare professionals is critical.
“Non-fatal strangulation is far more common than most formal data suggest and is a highly gendered form of domestic assault often used to control or intimidate a partner.” Pritchard et al., 2018
Recommendations for addressing these challenges include improved training programs, public awareness campaigns, and the development of standardized protocols for the medical and legal handling of strangulation cases. Furthermore, the integration of strangulation risk assessments into broader domestic violence intervention strategies is essential for reducing morbidity and mortality.

Overall Reporting Data

“The Department received a total of 166 sexual assault reports that involved cadets/midshipmen/prep students as victims and/or alleged perpetrators in APY 22-23—a decrease of 40 reports from the previous APY.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 8
“Of the total 166 reports, 65 were Unrestricted Reports, and 101 were Restricted Reports.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 8

Demographics and Trends

“Most victims in investigations of Unrestricted Reports are female (91 percent), and most subjects are male (86 percent).” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“The majority of victims and subjects are between ages 16 and 24 (87 percent of victims and 72 percent of subjects).” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18

Specifics on Strangulation

“In APY 22-23, there were a number of reports that specifically included allegations of strangulation as part of the sexual assault incidents.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23
“Strangulation was identified in 15 percent of the reported sexual assaults, highlighting the severity and violent nature of these incidents.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23

Military Justice Outcomes

“By the end of APY 22-23, MSAs had completed disposition information for 60 subjects, with several cases involving allegations of strangulation resulting in court-martial charges.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23
“9 subjects had court-martial charges preferred, including cases where strangulation was a factor, 1 subject received nonjudicial punishment, and 4 subjects received an adverse administrative discharge.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23

Conclusion

Strangulation in the context of domestic violence is a severe and often lethal form of abuse. The immediate and long-term consequences for survivors underscore the need for robust legal frameworks, thorough medical assessments, and comprehensive support systems. Enhancing awareness, training, and strengthening legal and medical responses can better protect survivors and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
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