When you are charged with a sex crime, the consequences are always very serious, no matter what your walk of life. If you are enlisted in the military, however, they can be even more serious, especially if you are facing a general court martial for sexual assault under Article 120, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UMCJ). Sex crimes always include severe penalties and a conviction for one of the crimes can irreparably damage your entire military career and everything you have spent years working toward. It’s important to act quickly and have a skilled military criminal defense attorney on your side if you are facing charges of sexual assault under Article 120 UCMJ.
What Kinds of Penalties Can You Face for Sexual Assault as a Military Member?
An active service member who is facing charges of sexual assault under Article 120 UCMJ can expect a number of punishments and penalties. The most notable include the following:
• Dishonorable discharge
• Mandatory registration as a sex offender
• Many years, even decades, incarcerated in prison
Generally speaking, a person who is a member of the military who is convicted of the crime of sexual assault can face extremely serious charges. This is especially the case if the charge is aggravated sexual assault. Not only will the individual receive a dishonorable discharge or bad conduct discharge, but they can also face imprisonment that lasts as long as 30 years. Additionally, the person may also be forced to forfeit their entire pay and any allowances they received from the military during their years of service.
What Constitutes the Crime of Sexual Assault?
The crime of sexual assault includes any number of actions that involve forcible sexual contact. These are defined under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There have been a number of revisions to the Code since 2007 that have increased the overall scope of what type of act is considered to be sexual assault. In addition, the severity of punishments for such acts for individuals who are convicted of sexual assault has also been increased since that year. When you are a member of the military and have been charged with a sexual assault, you can not only face a general court martial but a minimum sentence as well. As per the current regulations, any touching of another person’s body that is deemed to be sexual in nature can result in criminal charges of sexual assault.
The crime of sexual assault can occur if a person engages in sexual actions against a victim. In general, the following acts or actions can be considered sexual assault when the following things occur:
• The victim has fear for their safety or health
• The victim suffers bodily harm or is threatened with bodily harm
• The victim does not consent to the sexual act
• The victim cannot consent because they are impaired due to alcohol or drugs
• The victim is asleep or unconscious at the time that the sexual act occurs and therefore, cannot consent
Why is it So Important to Hire a Military Criminal Defense Attorney When You are a Military Member Facing Sexual Assault Charges?
If you are a member of the military who is facing sexual assault charges, it is absolutely crucial to have a skilled military criminal defense attorney working on your side. When you face such serious charges, your freedom is on the line and depending on certain circumstances, you may end up spending the rest of your life in prison. Even the accusation of sexual assault can have a hugely negative impact on your character, career and life in general. You can face the end of your career. Time is of the essence if you are in such a grave situation, which is why you must act quickly and hire an experienced military criminal defense lawyer. Having an attorney on your side is your best bet for getting the charges against you reduced or even completely eliminated. It will also lessen your punishment if you are found guilty of a lesser charge.
Get in touch with a military criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience if you have been accused of sexual assault.
I couldn't have asked for better representation.