Fraternization laws dictate both people engaged in sexual relations must be willing and able to provide their consent. A married couple on their wedding night, for example, decides together to consummate their marriage. This is consent on both parts. A husband who decides to engage in sexual activity with his wife after she passes out from drinking too much does not have her consent to engage. That’s considered rape. In the civilian world, no one can be legally punished for engaging in consensual sexual relations provided both parties are physically, emotionally, and mentally able to give their consent.
Military law, however, doesn’t work like that. There is a zero tolerance party when it comes to military fraternization. This is what it means when two members of the military decide to engage in sexual encounters with one another regardless of consent. Even if both parties want to engage in sexual activity with one another, they are not permitted to do that if they are both party of the military.
Fraternization in the Military
Article 134 from the Uniform Code of Military Justice states no members of the United States Military may engage in any sexual relationship with another person in the military regardless of age, consent, assignment, or gender. It is strictly forbidden, and it can result in serious criminal charges being brought against the people guilty of this kind of relationship.
– Forfeiture of pay
– Punitive discharge
– Demotion of pay grade
These are the most common ways military members are disciplined when they are caught fraternizing with another member of the military as it’s strictly forbidden. It might seem like a ridiculous law, but there are reasons the military does not condone fraternization. These men and women are highly trained to keep the country safe, and they must be able to do that without distraction. They must be not only willing but able to put the lives of their peers before their own, and it often provides a very difficult situation when a romantic partner is in danger.
The Boundaries of Fraternization
Friendships and even flirtations form in the military, and there is nothing anyone can do about that. However, the law clearly states no commissioned officer may have an inappropriate relationship with an enlisted person. It also prevents adultery, and it also includes any sexual or romantic relationship of any sort between officers and the enlisted. Unfortunately, matters of the heart are not so easily changed, and many people find themselves involved in some form of fraternization even if they know better than to engage in any sort of sexual relationship with the other party.
If you are accused of fraternization, it might ruin your future and your reputation. The military stands to uphold the most stringent laws, and there is very little tolerance for those who break the simplest rules and procedures. If you are involved in a fraternization case, you want to call an attorney who has legal experience working in the military.
Things to Remember
Consent doesn’t matter in the military. While sexual encounters in which consent is not issued are considered awful crimes, there is no place for consent when romantic relationships are not permitted at all. Both parties can end up in trouble, reputations are ruined, and people can lose their jobs for this. In some instances, you might lose your entire position within the military. Do not let this happen to you. If you’ve been wrongly accused of fraternization, allow an attorney to help you with your case.
Call us now to discuss your situation. Your initial consult is free, and we want to help you. It’s our job to provide a defense that allows you to continue your career without damage. We work to disprove the allegations made against you, and we work to ensure you are not going to suffer in the future because of an untrue allegation made to you now. The rules of the military are clear, but they are far more serious than the rules outside the military. Don’t let them ruin your life by trying to defend your own fraternization case. Let an experienced attorney work for you.