What Is Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice?
Illinois Defense Lawyers Offering Military Members the Guidance They Need
Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is generally considered to be a “catch-all” provision. It allows the military to pursue charges against a service member for offenses that are not listed elsewhere in the UCMJ. If you are facing prosecution under Article 134, it is imperative to work with an experienced military defense lawyer.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice is a federal law that was enacted by Congress. The UCMJ defines and explains the military justice system and provides a listing of criminal offenses under military law. There are articles that cover desertion, dereliction of duty, insubordination, aiding the enemy, and many other military-specific offenses, as well as offenses with civilian equivalents such as drunk driving, assault, and robbery. Article 134, however, is quite different.
Under Article 134, the military has the authority to bring charges against a member of the Armed Forces for crimes that are not specifically addressed in other parts of the UCMJ. Many commanders operate under the assumption that any type of misconduct or undesirable behavior can be prosecuted under Article 134, but such is not the case. To be considered a criminal act, the behavior in question must:
- Bring discredit upon the Armed Forces;
- Be prejudicial to good order and discipline in the Armed Forces; or
- Constitute a non-capital crime under other federal or state laws.
Civilian Military Defense Lawyers in DuPage County
If you are facing charges under Article 134, it understandable that you might feel confused and overwhelmed. That is why it is important to work with an attorney who fully understands the UCMJ and its scope regarding the prosecution of crimes. Contact our office to get the help you need. Call 630-665-7300 for a free consultation with an experienced military defense lawyer. Our firm represents service members in Wheaton, St. Charles, DuPage County, Kane County, and throughout Illinois.