Every service member in every branch of the Armed Forces of the United States must understand the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This set of laws pertains exclusively to military members. It applies equally to all ranks, although the rank of a service member accused of violating the UCMJ can significantly influence the severity of punishment if convicted. Each of the Punitive Articles of the UCMJ pertains to specific offenses, some of which carry much more severe penalties than their counterparts in civilian law.
Article 107 of the UCMJ pertains to false official statements. Article 107 violations are some of the most commonly cited offenses in modern military law. Every service member needs to understand what this Article entails, the military’s definition of a “false official statement,” and the potential penalties for conviction under Article 107. If you find yourself in this position, you need a military criminal defense counsel you can trust.
Representing Military Servicemembers Facing Article 107 Charges
Attorney Aaron Meyer is a former US Marine. After serving with distinction, Attorney Meyer began practicing defense law to protect his fellow servicemembers from unjust prosecution and the severe penalties that UCMJ violations often entail. It’s not uncommon for honorable servicemembers to face imprisonment, loss of military benefits, and even Dishonorable Discharge due to misconstrued evidence, falsified reports, and shaky witness testimony.
Attorney Aaron Meyer does not simply help his clients fight the charges they face; he focuses intently on dismantling a prosecutor’s evidence at its most basic levels to ensure his clients’ acquittals. Aaron Meyer Law has maintained an impressive record of zero convictions for past clients thanks to the firm’s unwavering commitment to providing aggressive and detail-oriented defense representation. If you face charges of violating Article 107 of the UCMJ, our team can help you form a viable defense.
Understanding Article 107 False Official Statement Case
The UCMJ Article 107 sets forth a very clear definition of what comprises a “false official statement.” For the prosecution pursuing an Article 107 case, they must establish four distinct components to secure conviction with the charge:
- The prosecution must prove that the accused signed an official military document or provided an official statement.
- The prosecution must then prove that the accused’s statement or document was materially false in its entirety or in certain particulars of the statement or document.
- Next, the prosecution must prove that the accused knew their document or statement to be false or contain false information at the time of making the statement or signing the document in question.
- Finally, the prosecution must prove the accused falsified their statement or document with the intent to deceive.
It is important to note that conviction for a false official statement does not require the intent for personal gain. It is not uncommon for military prosecutors to posit circumstantial evidence of the accused’s material gain as proof of intent to deceive.
Article 107 of the UCMJ further clarifies this offense by defining an “official statement or document” as any statement or document that will impact an official government function. The statement or document must have a clear and direct link to official duties, and Article 107 also includes statements provided by members of the military to civilian authorities.
Additionally, all service members must be cognizant of the fact that omission of key information in an official statement or document can also constitute a false official statement. Members of the military at all levels of enlistment and commissioned officers may need to provide official statements and sign official documents at various points throughout their careers. It is vital for any military service member in this position to provide complete and accurate information with every official statement.
Defending Yourself from Article 107 UCMJ Prosecution
The military tends to move very quickly when it comes to prosecuting violations of the UCMJ. Military courts are much more expedient than civilian criminal courts, so it is vital for any service member accused of violating Article 107 of the UCMJ to start working on their defense immediately. The maximum penalty for conviction under Article 107 includes Dishonorable Discharge, total forfeiture of pay and allowances, and confinement in military prison for five years. Since this Article of the UCMJ is quite definitive, lesser charges will fall under Article 80: Attempts.
Challenging a charge of violating Article 107 of the UCMJ may involve related criminal matters. For example, if a service member is accused of a crime and contests the charge, providing their side of the story, the investigating authorities may simply not believe the accused, adding an Article 107 charge to the other charges they face. It is also possible for a service member to face an Article 107 charge due to lack of information or no realization of material facts that investigating authorities believe should have been included in the official document or statement in question.
It’s vital for any service member to understand the fact that they may still face conviction even if they believe they have made a true statement. Even an honest mistake may lead to prosecution under Article 107 of the UCMJ. This is an unfortunate reality of military service and a key reason why any service member facing charges of Article 107 violation should seek defense counsel immediately once they receive notice that the military is prosecuting them for Article 107 violation.
Find Your Experienced Defense Team Now
Attorney Aaron Meyer and the team at Aaron Meyer law have maintained their spotless defense record thanks to his keen attention to detail and aggressive challenging of prosecutorial evidence. When you choose Attorney Aaron Meyer to represent you in an Article 107 case, you can expect robust, comprehensive, and detail-oriented defense from the very first stages of your proceedings. Attorney Meyer and his team will carefully review your military record and gather any available witnesses to establish your good character. They will also carefully scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence, challenging any and all inconsistencies they discover.
If you are facing charges of violating Article 107 of the UCMJ, it’s imperative to start working on your case immediately. Contact Aaron Meyer law today to learn more about the legal services our team can provide and how we can help you navigate your case.