UCMJ Related Charges and Offenses
UCMJ Investigations provides experienced investigative services relating to a wide range of UCMJ related offenses. Our approaches to reviewing and analyzing the government’s case depends on the specifics of the charges levied against you. We will discuss these approaches with your attorneys so that we can maximize our efforts.
While not a complete list these are some of the more frequent types of UCMJ charges and offenses that we offer investigative services.
We are not lawyers and the information presented is illustrative of the types of investigative services we offer. Consult your attorney for legal guidance.
OUR EXPERTISE: UCMJ CASES
We understand military law, and how to effectively investigate UCMJ cases.
About Specific UCMJ Charges
RAPE (ARTICLE 120)
Although I am not a lawyer, I have aided and assisted lawyers in the development of their defense cases for many years and I have developed and taught approved CLE training course for attorney’s.
To successfully defend someone against a charge it’s my responsibility to know the elements of the offense and I have to know the deficiencies of the government’s case in order to develop evidence that proves your innocence.
When looking at the charge of violating Article 120 the government must prove one of several elements which basically amounts different natures of unlawful, forced activities of another person.
Your defense must be based on solid evidence as well as a compelling presentation of the evidence which amounts to a water-tight defense.
You need an exceptional defense counsel and that includes an investigator that can not only find evidence that will convince the court of your innocence.
You need an investigator that has investigated these charges FOR the government and therefore knows how they proceed and knows what the government weaknesses are.
I have teamed with exceptional legal counsel to do just that and we have been successful in overcoming significant evidence that resulted in charges being dropped against our clients.
SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD (ARTICLE 120B)
Under a recent measure by the House of Representatives, servicemen convicted of rape or sexual assault could face a mandatory maximum sentence of two years, as well as dishonorable discharge or dismissal.
To you this means it is even more imperative to engage the services of an experienced investigator who can provide aggressive inquiry into the evidence and to help ensure you get a favorable outcome.
Michael West is well-versed with pertinent laws and procedures, has investigated these type allegations for the military and goes the extra mile to protect your rights.
Service-members convicted of rape or sexual assault of a child face significant penalties including the death sentence, dishonorable discharge, confinement for life and the loss of pay and allowance. This is not the type allegation that you want a second-rate investigator for and if you are an attorney you owe it to your client to use the best resources around to mount an aggressive defense.
OTHER SEXUAL MISCONDUCT (ARTICLE 120C)
This is basically a catch-all charge that doesn’t rise to the level of rape or sexual assault but still holds serious repercussions if you are convicted.
That’s why you want an experienced investigator on your team who knows what to look for and how to find information that your defense team needs to know.
These charges might include such acts as Intentionally and wrongfully viewed the intimate areas of another person without the person's consent, photographing, filming or recording another person's private area without the person's consent or broadcasting or distributing the recordings.
Indecent exposure is where an individual exposes his/her anus, genitalia, buttocks, female nipple or areola, in an indecent way.
Having an experienced investigator as part of your team will greatly enhance your (or your client’s) ability to escape prosecution and a long prison sentence.
Aggravated Sexual Assault (Article 120)
According to the Uniform Military Code of Justice Article 120, aggravated sexual assault is the crime of a person engaging in unwanted sexual conduct with another person through use of force, fear, threats or bodily harm.
This crime is a lesser crime than rape, but still holds immense penalties if you are found guilty. It is important to know that if you are arrested your career, rank, military and civilian life will all be greatly changed.
Numerous aggravated sexual assault reports have surfaced over the last few years and in today’s politically correct environment this is an easy charge for someone to levy against another, innocent person. These incidents are not just isolated to one particular area of the military; all branches and people of all ranks could be charged with this offense.
Your team needs an investigator that knows what to look for and that is able to provide your attorney with definitive proof of your innocence.
Manslaughter/Attempted Murder (Article 118 or Article 119)
Any person who unlawfully takes the life of another human being in a premeditated act without justification will be charged with murder under Article 118 or Manslaughter under Article 119.
If you did not actually commit the homicide but were involved in the perpetration through the acts of another crime such as rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault or sodomy, you will be charged with murder as well.
The government investigators of your case will aggressively attempt to ensure that you receive the highest amount of penalties for this accusation and if you are found guilty, you will be immediately dishonorably discharged and could potentially suffer the death penalty or life imprisonment as directed by court martial.
This is not the time to find a cheap or inexperienced investigator. You need the best because the stakes are too high. You need to get Michael West involved with your legal defense team from the very start. He knows what to challenge and where to look for weaknesses in the government’s case.
Larceny (Article 121)
Larceny, or theft, is a major offense in the military and if charged, you could be facing serious penalties.
Whether you were charged with a suspected event that happened on or off-duty, you need to have an experienced investigator sift through the details of the government’s case and find evidence to exonerate you.
According to Article 80 of the Uniform Military Code of Justice, larceny is the act of illegally taking another person's property without their knowledge or consent through use of force, fear or deception.
Depending on the price and type of goods taken the penalties may vary. Property valued at less than $500 might result in one penalty whereas If the property taken was a military vehicle, aircraft, firearm, vessel or explosive, you will be dishonorable discharged and could spend up to 10 years in confinement.
Your investigator needs to be someone who is not afraid to actively defend your rights and challenge evidence so that your legal team has the best available evidence to work with. You can’t play games with your future and Michael West certainly doesn’t.
Drug Related Crimes (Article 112a)
The military has a no-nonsense attitude toward the use or drugs. This includes the possession, transfer, sale or otherwise possessing any drug including marijuana, cocaine or large amounts of prescription pills, you will be charged with wrongful use, possession, etc., of a controlled substance as defined under Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Michael West has helped prosecute hundreds of drug offenses over his career and knows how the system is used. You need him on your defense team.
Being confined without pay and being dishonorably discharged is not a consequence that you want.
Conspiracy (Article 81)
You can be charged with Conspiracy if you enter into an accord/agreement with other people to hatch a conspiracy or while involved in the conspiracy one of their co-conspirators performs an overt act to effect the proposed mission of the plan/conspiracy.
There are several levels of involvement and the punishment for each is severe.
A qualified investigator can help to gather evidence that might mitigate the government’s account of your involvement, but don’t want until it’s too late. Call Michael West immediately when you find yourself (or your client) involved in this offense.
Obstruction of Justice (Article 131b)
To convict you of obstructing justice, the prosecutor must prove that you (1) you knew or believed that there would be a criminal proceeding; (2) and you committed certain acts; (3) with the intent to influence or impede the administration of justice; and (4) that that your conduct was service discrediting or prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces.
Obstruction of justice includes lying to investigators, intimidating witnesses and destroying evidence. Encouraging a victim to take back an accusation can also be obstruction of justice. There must be the intent to influence or impede the administration of justice, however, an actual impediment or influence is not necessary. Additionally, a proceeding or investigation does not need to have started for obstruction of justice to occur.
If you are charged with a violation of Article 134, you need to have Michael West as part of your team. Michael has investigated literally hundreds of related charges and his experience will prove to be an invaluable part of your defense.
Pandering (Article 134)
An individual is liable to be punished upon the direction of the court-martial if he/she forces another person to engage in an act of prostitution. Here, 'prostitution' refers to sexual contact or a sexual act that is caused/delivered in exchange for anything of value. Inducing, enticing or procuring prostitution means that you persuaded, coaxed, solicited or caused an act of sexual intercourse for hire to occur. Sexual intercourse, or any penetration of the female sex organ by the penis, must have occurred. The compensation for the sexual act need not be money to qualify as prostitution, other valuable consideration is possible. For the act to be wrongful there must not have been a legal justification or excuse.
Pandering requires three people: the panderer, the prostitute and the customer. If only two people are involved, the offense is solicitation to commit prostitution. Pandering is a very serious charge. Convictions for pandering may result in a dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1 and up to 5 years in prison.
If you have been accused of pandering, you need to contact Michael West immediately so that he can find the real information that your attorney needs.
Solicitation (Article 82)
Soliciting another to commit an offense is a violation of Article 82 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
To convict you of solicitation, the prosecutor must prove that you (1) wrongfully solicited or advised another to commit a specific criminal offense by certain actions or conduct; (2) that you specifically intended for the other individual to commit the offense solicited; and (3) that that your conduct was service discrediting or prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces.
Soliciting or advising another to commit a crime is a statement or act that is a serious inducement, recommendation or suggestion to commit a crime. The person who is solicited needs to know that the solicited act is a crime.
The solicited crime does not need to be committed or completed for someone to be guilty of solicitation. However, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person soliciting the crime intended for every element of the crime to be committed. Statements made in jest do not constitute solicitation since the accused could not have had the intent for the crime to be committed.
You need to have an investigator to help you with clarity. Don’t let the system progress to the point of no return. You (or your attorney) need to contact Michael West immediately if you are accused of this very serious offense.
Adultery (Article 134)
There are several other offenses included under Article 134, such as adultery. The prosecutor must also prove that the conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, which means that the adultery had an obvious and measurable effect on morale, discipline, or unit cohesion or had a detrimental impact on the authority or esteem of a service member. Alternately, the prosecutor must prove that the adultery was service discrediting, meaning that because of the open and notorious nature of the allegation, it lowered the service in the public esteem, brought the service into disrepute or made it subject to public ridicule.
To convict you of adultery, the prosecutor must prove that (1) you had sexual intercourse with another person; (2) that you or the other person was married to another person; and (3) that your conduct was service discrediting or prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces.
The prosecutor must also prove that the conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, which means that the adultery had an obvious and measurable effect on morale, discipline, or unit cohesion or had a detrimental impact on the authority or esteem of a service member. This is a point where Michael West would consider and his military investigator experience would be exceptionally valuable.
Sodomy (Article 125)
Sodomy is a violation of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It is defined as "unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal." Unnatural carnal copulation is oral sex, anal sex or sex with an animal. Penetration is a necessary element for a sodomy charge.
To be found guilty of sodomy the prosecutor must prove that you had oral sex, anal sex or sex with an animal. Sodomy may be forcible or consensual. Forcible sodomy does not have to involve physical force. Forcible sodomy includes sodomy against victims unable to give consent because of sleep, intoxication or unconsciousness, as well as victims incapable of giving consent because of their age or mental illness. Forcible sodomy can also include "constructive force" such as intimidation, threats or an abuse of authority. Sodomy is a very serious charge and voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a sodomy charge. Convictions for forcible sodomy or sodomy with a child under age 12 can result in life in prison without parole. Convictions for sodomy with a child under age 16 can result in 20 years in prison. A consensual sodomy conviction may result in up to 5 years in prison.
If you have been accused of sodomy, you need to contact an experienced military defense lawyer before you speak to law enforcement or your command. With Michael West as part of your defense investigative team you a significant advantage toward finding weaknesses in the government’s case.
OTHER UCMJ VIOLATIONS
As you can see from the other types of charges that can be levied against you, sex crimes are a large segment of the types of cases the government files.
There are roughly 109 different violations of Articles that service-members could be charged with. EVERY one of them could use the benefit of having an experienced military investigator on your team.
Michael West has provided investigative services for local, state, federal and military organizations since 1971 and knows how investigative agencies work.