UCMJ Related Charges and Offenses - Good Order and Discipline
Today's environment and the Cancel Culture has highlighted how common expressions and associations can have a negative impact on our careers and relationships, albeit unintentional or misinterpreted. Things you might say or do can alter your career path. 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 depend on the specifics of the charges levied against you. We will discuss these approaches with you and your attorney 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 are related to Good Order and Discipline and for which 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 Related to Good Order and Discipline
We understand military law, and how to effectively investigate UCMJ cases.
About Specific UCMJ Charges Relating to Good Order and Discipline Offenses
Disloyal statement (Article 134)
Making a Disloyal Statement is punishable under the UCMJ. In order for you to be punished under this Article the government must prove: (1) That the accused made a certain statement; (2) That the statement was communicated to another person; (3) That the statement was disloyal to the United States; (4) That the statement was made with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the United States by any member of the armed forces or to interfere with or impair the loyalty to the United States or good order and discipline of any member of the armed forces; and (5) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was either: (i) to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces; (ii) was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces; or (iii) to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces and of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
This obviously has a wide range of interpretations and highly subjective, but we all understand how certain activists have a tendency to 'realign' their views depending on the political whims or interpretation of the Cancel Culture. In other words, watch what you say, where you say it, and who you say it to.
My job will be to overcome the government's claims and this will probably require substantial interviews and discussions with people you know and have known. I'm quite experienced in conducting interviews, as many as several hundred in a single case. I will work with your defense team to develop the best solution to ensure we overcome the government's position.
Fraternization (Article 134-23)
To be charged with Fraternization the government must prove: (1) That the accused was a commissioned or warrant officer; (2) That the accused fraternized on terms of military equality with one or more certain enlisted member(s) in a certain manner; (3) That the accused then knew the person(s) to be (an) enlisted member(s); (4) That such fraternization violated the custom of the accused’s Service that officers shall not fraternize with enlisted members on terms of military equality; and (5) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was either: (i) to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces; (ii) was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces; or (iii) to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces and of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
If you are found guilty you can receive a dismissal, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years.
Fraternization is often levied as a secondary (lesser) charge but, make no mistake about it, it can cause you serious issues. As a felony conviction, your future is at risk. I've seen this charge applied as a secondary charge to a rape allegation and when the rape allegation was dismissed the military member was convicted of Fraternization and sentenced to a year of confinement. Unfair? Unrealistic? Unwarranted? Possibly yes, to all but the fact is this officer is serving a year in confinement.
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.
Misprision of a Serious Offense (Article 131c)
To convict you of Misprision of a Serious Offense, the government must prove: Any person subject to this chapter— (1) who knows that another person has committed a serious offense; and (2) wrongfully conceals the commission of the offense and fails to make the commission of the offense known to civilian or military authorities as soon as possible; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
If found guilty you can receive a Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 3 years.
If you are charged with a violation of Article 131c, you need to have Michael West as part of your defense team. Michael has experience investigating these type charges and his experience will prove to be an invaluable part of your defense.
Provoking Speeches or Gestures (Article 117)
To be convicted of Provoking Speeches or Gestures, the government must prove: Any person subject to this chapter who uses provoking or reproachful words or gestures towards any other person subject to this chapter shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. The specific elements that they have to prove include: (1) That the accused wrongfully used words or gestures toward a certain person; (2) That the words or gestures used were provoking or reproachful; and (3) That the person toward whom the words or gestures were used was a person subject to the UCMJ.
If you have been accused of Provoking Speeches or Gestures, 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.
OTHER UCMJ VIOLATIONS
As you can see from the other types of charges that can be levied against you, prosecutors have a multitude of approaches they can take and a multitude of charges they can bring about.
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.