Maximum punishment for UCMJ Article 120
UCMJ Article 120 is the Uniform Code of Military Justice article that pertains to sexual assault offenses. The maximum punishment for UCMJ Article 120 depends on the specific offense and the circumstances surrounding the case. Those facing charges may want to know what are the best defenses to Article 120.
The maximum punishment for each of these offenses varies depending on the severity of the offense, the rank of the accused. The maximum punishment for UCMJ Article 120 may also depend on other factors relevant to the case.
For example, the maximum punishment for rape or sexual assault under UCMJ Article 120 can include a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for life without the possibility of parole. The maximum punishment for lesser offenses, such as abusive sexual contact or sexual assault, may include a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and allowances, and a maximum of 20 years of confinement.
It’s worth noting that each case is unique, and the punishment will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. The maximum punishment for UCMJ Article 120 is severe, but not all cases will result in the maximum punishment being imposed.
Under UCMJ Article 120, sexual assault offenses are divided into several categories, including:
- Rape and sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual contact
- Abusive sexual contact
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
UCMJ Article 120c
Also falling under Article 120 is UCMJ Article 120c. Article 120c is a section of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that pertains to the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images. It was added to the UCMJ in 2015 to address the growing problem of “revenge porn” in the military.
Under Article 120c, it is a crime to knowingly broadcast or distribute an intimate visual image of another person without that person’s consent, with the intent to cause harm or with reckless disregard for the likelihood of causing harm. The term “intimate visual image” refers to a photograph, video, or other visual recording that depicts a person’s naked genitals, buttocks, or breasts, or shows them engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Violations of Article 120c are punishable by court-martial and may result in a range of penalties, including confinement, a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank, and forfeiture of pay and allowances. The severity of the punishment will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, including the nature and extent of the harm caused by the wrongful distribution of the intimate visual image.
What are the best defenses to Article 120?
The most effective defenses to UCMJ Article 120 charges will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. However, there are some common defenses that may be used in sexual assault cases, including:
- Consent: If the accused can prove that the sexual activity was consensual, this may be a defense to sexual assault charges. However, this defense may not be available if the alleged victim was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if they were otherwise unable to give consent.
- Lack of evidence: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the sexual assault offense. If there is not enough evidence to support the charges, the accused may be able to argue that the charges should be dropped.
- Mistaken identity: If the accused can show that they were not the person who committed the sexual assault, this may be a defense to the charges.
- Lack of intent: If the accused did not have the intent to commit a sexual assault offense, this may be a defense. For example, if the accused believed that the sexual activity was consensual and did not realize that the alleged victim was not able to give consent, this may be a defense.
- Improper investigation or conduct by law enforcement: If the accused’s rights were violated during the investigation or there was misconduct by law enforcement, this may be a defense to the charges.
It’s important to note that sexual assault cases can be complex and emotional, and the effectiveness of a defense strategy will depend on the specific facts of the case. If you are facing UCMJ Article 120 charges, and are looking for the best defense to Article 120 charges, it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney who can help you build a strong defense strategy. Contact our office today 757-504-2815.