Overview Court Martial Offenses
A court-martial may try any offense which is listed in the punitive articles of the UCMJ. The punitive articles run from Articles 77 through 134 of the UCMJ. 10 U.S.C. §§ 877-934. Some of the offenses listed within Articles 77 through 134 have a civilian analog, but some are exclusive to the military.
Civilian Analog Offenses
Examples of military-specific offenses include desertion (Article 85); absence without leave (Article 86); insubordinate conduct (Article 91); mutiny and sedition (Article 94); misconduct as a prisoner (Article 105); malingering (Article 115); and conduct unbecoming an officer (Article 133).
General Article 134
In addition to the enumerated offenses above, a servicemember may be tried at a court-martial for offenses not specifically covered within the punitive articles. Under General Article 134, which states that all “crimes and offenses, not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense.”
Federal Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 13)
The military uses Article 134 to assimilate state and federal offenses for which there is no analogous crime in the UCMJ in order to impose court-martial jurisdiction. The potential punishments for violations generally match those applicable to the corresponding civilian offense.
The preemption doctrine prohibits the application of Article 134 to conduct covered by Articles 80 through 132.
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The hard-core military criminal defense lawyers at Gonzalez & Waddington have gained a name for advocating for American military members serving at locations worldwide. If you are under investigation for a military offense, then hiring the most aggressive civilian defense lawyers can be the difference between getting convicted versus winning your case or saving your career. Our criminal defense lawyers zealously fight for US armed forces personnel in both UCMJ and administrative cases: Sex crimes, Maiming – Article 128a, UCMJ, Sexual Abuse of a Child under Article 120b UCMJ, Breach of Medical Quarantine – Article 84, UCMJ, or Prohibited Activities with Military Recruit or Trainee by Person in Position of Special Trust – Article 93a, UCMJ.
For over twenty years our court-martial attorneys tenaciously fight for American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coasties charged with sexual offenses, rape, Assault – Article 128, UCMJ, Indecent Act, Malingering – Article 83, UCMJ, or Indecent Conduct – Article 134, UCMJ. We also defend against other offenses under the UCMJ.