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Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense Lawyers

Note: This law applies only to Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense?

Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense LawyersArticle 128b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses domestic violence involving violent offenses committed by military personnel against their spouse, intimate partner, or immediate family member. This law applies to offenses committed on or after January 1, 2019. Convictions can lead to severe penalties, including significant prison time, loss of rank, and a federal felony record.

For anyone accused under Article 128b, seeking the best military defense lawyers is essential. These attorneys are well-versed in military law and can navigate the complexities of the UCMJ, ensuring that the accused’s rights are protected and a strong defense is mounted.

Given the gravity of domestic violence charges, professional legal assistance is critical to achieving a favorable outcome and mitigating the long-term consequences of a conviction.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense vary depending on the date of the offense.

In the military, the crime of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense falls under the general offense category of Domestic Violence. It is one of the more serious offenses under the UCMJ and carries increased punishments.

What are Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Offenses?

What are the Elements of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense?

  1. That, (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed a violent offense, to wit: (state the alleged violent offense); and
  2. That the violent offense was committed against (state the name of the alleged victim) who was, at the time of the violent offense, a/an (spouse) (intimate partner) (immediate family member) of the accused. and
  3. 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.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense?

For Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

  • Any person subject to the UCMJ who is found guilty of violating Article 128b UCMJ by committing a violent offense against a spouse, an intimate partner, or an immediate family member of that person shall be subject to the same maximum period of confinement authorized for the commission of the underlying offense plus an additional 3 years of confinement except for those violent offenses for which the maximum punishment includes death, confinement for life without eligibility for parole, or confinement for life.
  • To calculate a sentence, take:
    • the maximum punishment for the underlying offense; then add
    • an additional 3 years of confinement (except for those violent offenses for which the maximum punishment includes death, confinement for life without eligibility for parole, or confinement for life).
  • For example, Article 128 UCMJ: Assault Consummated by a Battery committed from 1 Jan 2019 to 27 Dec 2023 has a maximum confinement of 6 months.
  • If Assault Consummated by a Battery is charged as an Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence—Violent Offense, the Military Judge would add 6 months + 3 years, for a total maximum of 3 years and 6 months.
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Federal Felony Conviction

For Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, the Offense Category for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence—Violent Offense is based on the underlying offense.
  • To calculate the sentence, take:
    • the maximum punishment for the underlying offense; then add
    • an additional 3 years of confinement (except for those violent offenses for which the maximum punishment includes death, confinement for life without eligibility for parole, or confinement for life).
  • For example, Article 128 UCMJ: Assault Consummated by a Battery committed after 27 Dec 2023 is a Category 1 Offense, with a confinement range of 0-12 months. If Assault Consummated by a Battery is charged as an Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence—Violent Offense, the Military Judge would add 3 years + 0-12 months, for a confinement range of 3 to 4 years.
  • 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 – Violent Offense

In that Chief Petty Officer Chuck Sandbagger, US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard Cutter Victory, did at or near San Juan, Puerto Rico, on or about 22 March 2025, commit a violent offense against Amanda Sandbagger, the immediate family member under the age of 16 years of the accused, to wit: Struck  Amanda Sandbagger’s body and head with Chief Petty Officer Chuck Sandbagger’s fists, thereby causing grievous bodily injuries to Amanda Sandbagger.

Model Specification for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board location), on or about __________, commit a violent offense against __________, the (spouse) (intimate partner) (immediate family member) (immediate family member under the age of 16 years) of the accused, to wit: (describe offense with sufficient detail to include expressly or by necessary implication every element and any applicable sentence enhancer from the underlying offense).

What are the Definitions for Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense?

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 that has an element that includes the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, the term “spouse” means one’s husband or wife by lawful marriage.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, the term “intimate partner” 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.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, the term “immediate family” 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.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, the term “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.

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.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, “Culpable negligence” refers to a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, “Simple negligence” is the absence of due care. The law requires everyone to demonstrate the care for the safety of others that a reasonably careful person would demonstrate under the same or similar circumstances at all times; that is what “due care” means.

Under Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense, the term  “Culpable negligence,” 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.

If the Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense alleges that the accused committed a violent offense (Article 128b(1)) or committed an offense against the UCMJ (Article 128b(2A), Article 128b(2B)), the Military Judge must advise the members of the elements and appropriate definitions of the alleged offense, as follows. In order to establish that the accused committed the offense of (state the alleged offense), the government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

If the Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense alleges that the accused intended to commit a violent offense (Article 128b(4)), the Military Judge must advise the members of the elements and appropriate definitions of the alleged offense, as follows.

Proof that the accused committed a violent offense is not required. However, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, at the time of the violation of the protection order, the accused intended every element of the offense of (state the alleged violent offense).

The government must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the intended offense is a violent offense.

Potential Collateral Consequences of a Conviction of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence – Violent Offense 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 Violent Offense Military Defense Lawyers

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

Examples of Article 128b UCMJ Domestic Violence Violent Offense:

  1. Physical Assault: Hitting, punching, slapping, or kicking a spouse or intimate partner.
  2. Strangulation: Choking or strangling a spouse or intimate partner.
  3. Shoving or Pushing: Forcefully pushing or shoving a spouse or intimate partner to the ground.
  4. Using a Weapon: Threatening or attacking a spouse or intimate partner with a weapon, such as a knife or gun.
  5. Biting: Biting a spouse or intimate partner during a confrontation.
  6. Throwing Objects: Throwing objects at a spouse or intimate partner, causing injury.
  7. Hair Pulling: Pulling the hair of a spouse or intimate partner aggressively.
  8. Burning: Inflicting burns on a spouse or intimate partner with a hot object or substance.
  9. Forced Confinement: Locking a spouse or intimate partner in a room or restricting their movement.
  10. Kicking: Kicking a spouse or intimate partner during a dispute.
  11. Head-Butting: Using one’s head to strike a spouse or intimate partner.
  12. Punching: Repeatedly punching a spouse or intimate partner in the face or body.
  13. Grabbing: Grabbing a spouse or intimate partner forcefully, causing bruises or injuries.
  14. Shaking Violently: Shaking a spouse or intimate partner violently, especially if pregnant.
  15. Throwing Against a Wall: Throwing a spouse or intimate partner against a wall or furniture.
  16. Threatening with a Weapon: Threatening to harm or kill a spouse or intimate partner with a weapon.
  17. Stabbing: Stabbing a spouse or intimate partner with a knife or other sharp object.
  18. Using Pepper Spray: Using pepper spray or another irritant on a spouse or intimate partner.
  19. Sexual Assault: Forcing a spouse or intimate partner to engage in sexual acts against their will.
  20. Destroying Property: Destroying property in a manner that causes fear of physical harm to a spouse or intimate partner.

These examples illustrate various violent behaviors that can be prosecuted under Article 128b UCMJ for domestic violence.

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