Article 107 UCMJ False Official Statement
Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a provision that defines the offense of false official statements. The article states that any person subject to the UCMJ who makes a false official statement under oath, or in writing, or verbally, with the intent to deceive a person in authority or to obtain some personal gain, can be punished as a court-martial may direct.
The offense is considered a serious one in the military justice system and can result in severe consequences, including dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and allowances, confinement, and a criminal record. False official statements can undermine the integrity of the military justice system and erode the trust between service members, so the UCMJ takes a strict approach to such conduct.
How does a person unintentionally make a false statement?
People can give a false statement unintentionally. False statements may be made due to a misunderstanding, faulty recollection, or a mistake. For example, a person may genuinely believe their statement is true, but later find out was incorrect.
However, under Article 107 of the UCMJ, the prosecution must prove that the accused made the false statement with the intent to deceive or with knowledge that the statement was false. If the accused made a false statement unintentionally, they would not be guilty of the offense.
It is important to note that even if a false statement is made unintentionally, it can still have serious consequences. Inaccurate information can lead to incorrect decisions being made, and in the military context, this can put lives at risk. Therefore, it is important to take care when providing information and to correct any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Additionally, government prosecutors can level additional charges against the accused heightening the risk. for the accused.
What are the consequences of making false statements in the military?
Making false statements in the military can have serious consequences. Under Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), any person subject to the UCMJ who makes a false official statement with the intent to deceive a person in authority or to obtain some personal gain can be punished as a court-martial may direct.
The consequences of making false statements can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the circumstances of the case. Some of the potential consequences of making false statements in the military include:
Dishonorable discharge or other discharge from military service
Forfeiture of pay and allowances
Confinement for a period of time
Reduction in rank
Fines and other monetary penalties
In addition to the legal consequences, making false statements can also damage a service member’s reputation and career prospects.
How do military investigators accuse people of Article 107 false official statement?
Military investigators may use a variety of methods to catch people making false statements. Here are a few possible techniques that may be used:
Interviews: Military investigators may conduct interviews with individuals who are suspected of making false statements. During the interview, investigators may ask probing questions to try to elicit more information and detect inconsistencies in the person’s story.
Evidence analysis: Military investigators may examine physical evidence, such as documents or electronic communications, to look for inconsistencies or contradictions. They may also analyze metadata, such as the time and date stamps on electronic communications, to help determine the accuracy of statements made by individuals.
Polygraph exams: Military investigators may administer polygraph exams, also known as lie detector tests, to individuals who are suspected of making false statements. Polygraph exams measure physiological responses such as changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration, to determine whether a person is telling the truth or not.
Collaboration: Military investigators may collaborate with other law enforcement agencies or organizations to gather additional information or evidence. For example, they may work with computer forensics experts to analyze electronic evidence or work with other military units or civilian organizations to obtain additional information.
It is important to note that investigators must follow proper procedures when conducting investigations, including obtaining necessary warrants and respecting the rights of individuals who are being questioned. Any evidence obtained through illegal or unethical means may be inadmissible in court. That said, investigators are not barred from lying to suspects and often do to get suspects to make statements against their own interests.
Should a person decline to make a statement to military investigators before speaking with an attorney?
It is generally advisable for a person to decline to make a statement to military investigators before speaking with an attorney. Here are a few reasons why:
Protection of rights: Speaking with an attorney before making a statement can help protect a person’s rights. An attorney can advise the person on their rights under the law and can help ensure that investigators do not violate those rights during the questioning process.
Avoiding self-incrimination: Making a statement without an attorney present can be risky, as a person may inadvertently say something that could incriminate them. An attorney can help a person avoid saying anything that could be used against them in court.
Ensuring accuracy: An attorney can help ensure that a person’s statement is accurate and truthful. They can help the person prepare for the questioning process and can provide guidance on how to answer questions in a clear and concise manner.
Avoiding coercion: In some cases, military investigators may use coercive tactics to try to elicit a statement from a person. An attorney can help protect a person from such tactics and can intervene if the person feels uncomfortable or pressured during the questioning process.
Overall, it is important for a person to have legal representation when dealing with military investigators. An attorney can help protect the person’s rights and ensure that their statement is accurate and truthful. An experienced attorney can also help advise the suspect under investigation by helping them avoid statements that can make things worse. As an example, investigators use a suspect’s statements to confirm evidence they already have. So, when a suspect makes a statement, they inadvertently help the investigator with their investigation and validate fact patterns. This is not in a suspect’s interest to help the investigator confirm facts. A good attorney can help a suspect navigate this risk.
If you have been accused of making false statements, contact our office today at (757) 504-2815.